Wednesday Wellness Sessions: How to Excel Under Pressure

By Stan Phelps

The human brain is the most powerful processor on the planet. It’s responsible for incredible advances in art, culture, and technology. Yet, at times, it can cause us to act like anything but a human being.

When we are exposed to a high enough level of pressure—for instance, when you find yourself in a tense negotiation with a client—the human brain loses its ability to distinguish between actual and perceived risk. This causes the most primitive part of our brain, the amygdala, to kick into high gear to protect you from an impending (though non-life-threatening) situation that it fears may kill you.

Overcoming Biology

If you ever find yourself in a life-or-death situation, you will find that your innate reactions represent your greatest chance for survival. It is in these (hopefully rare) moments when you can truly appreciate the natural wisdom of your behavioral style, and its ability to keep you alive.

But, given the relatively infrequent number of times when you find your life at stake, you are far more than just your biological reactions to a threat. To manage yourself, you must recognize the role that pressure and biology play in your life. The only way out is awareness. Awareness will not make your biology go away, as it is part of a billion-year-old imperative for survival. Truth be told, as long as you’re breathing, your biology is not going anywhere.

Instead, it is possible for you to learn to behave in ways that are counter to what your biology wants you to do and to do so by making better choices through keeping your wits about you, focusing on the other person, and not succumbing to the pressure. To quote legendary football coach Lou Holtz: “Only the unprepared are overcome by pressure.”

Learn more from client experience expert Stan Phelps about understanding your own behavioral style and excelling under pressure by using the link below to register to attend his session via Zoom:

Wednesday, April 29: Excel Under Pressure

Stan Phelps, JD/MBA/CSP
Keynote Speaker | Workshop Facilitator
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