Posts Tagged ‘Performing Under Pressure’

A counterintuitive approach to pressure can help you manage the moment

If you’ve ever let pressure take control, you’re not alone. Working on behalf of a nonprofit can create all sorts of potentially stressful situations. But no matter the scenario, Performing Under Pressure’s Hank Weisinger emphasizes the importance of managing the pressure you feel rather than try to resist or ignore it. In fact, Weisinger encourages us to befriend the pressure-filled moment.

I recently read an article that emphasizes Weisinger’s point. According to Dr. Kelly McGonigal, the most helpful mindset towards stress is viewing it in a way that she calls “protective.” She adds that:

The three most protective beliefs about stress include:

Trying to see your body’s natural response to stress as something that’s helpful

Recognizing that you can handle the stress in your life “and even learn and grow from” it

Keeping in mind that stress is something all of us encounter

So, what does it mean to befriend the moment?

Befriending the moment is one of 22 strategies to alleviate pressure that Weisinger and his coauthor, Pawliw-Fry, explore in their book. They say, “Think of pressure moments as a challenge or opportunity/fun.” This strategy must be used frequently to reduce your threat perceptions, which can cause choking. Seeing situations as threatening drains your energy; reduces your self-confidence; impairs your judgment, attention and short-term memory; and increases impulsive behavior to avoid failure. Feeling challenged, though, is an “inherent performance steroid” and can lead to enthusiasm and positive energy. People do not thrive on the pressure, but they revel in the challenge, making statements like, “I want to see how good I can be.”

Get smart on pressure: If you find yourself losing the battle to pressure, learn more about Weisinger’s strategies for how to manage it in his new online course.

See more titles and summaries on this topic:

Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

Buy-In: Saving Your Good Ideas From Getting Shot Down

Image credit: Entrepreneur.com

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Announcing CausePlanet’s Choice Award winners: Our top books for nonprofit leaders

cp_bookchoice_2016_greenIt’s my favorite time of year for many reasons. One of which is that my team at CausePlanet enjoys reflecting on the books we reviewed in 2016 for nonprofit leaders. Here are some of our favorites among them.

It goes without saying that this is an incredibly tough process because we don’t review a book to begin with unless we feel it has value for our readers. The titles below receive our CausePlanet Choice Award designation because each stood out on many counts, including factors such as originality, insight, inspiration and applicability.

We would like to congratulate the following authors on providing our sector with guidance and wisdom in these wonderful book titles:

How to Turn Your Words into Money: The Master Fundraiser’s Guide to Persuasive Writing by Jeff Brooks. turnyourwordsintomoneyfb

Jeff BrooksHow to Turn Your Words into Money is a nonprofit writer’s new ally with the latest guidelines for creating the most effective messages to persuade your reader. Brooks explains what fundraising writing is not and what it should be. He does so in a way that tells you exactly what to avoid and what to try in your next attempt to sway your audience. A fair amount is appropriately dedicated to the many ways you can create a compelling story even when you’re stumped. How to Turn concludes with what every fundraising writer needs: universal assumptions we know about donors and some helpful advice to keep you inspired. 

Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most by Hendrie “Hank” Weisinger and J.P. Pawliw-Fry.performingunderpressurecover

Pressure is the enemy of success, according to vast research conducted by Performing Under Pressure authors Weisinger and Pawliw-Fry. Since it’s impossible to live life free of pressure, the authors present strategies to manage it immediately and in the future. Divided into three parts, this book helps you understand all aspects of pressure-inducing situations, provides 22 powerful solutions for handling pressure scenarios, and explains how to build your own “armor” to protect yourself over your lifetime from the ill-effects of pressure. 

Retention Fundraising: The Art and Science of Keeping Donors for Life by Roger Craver.retention-fundraising-cover

If you want to change the world, author Roger Craver argues that you must tackle one of the greatest fundraising challenges: retention. In other words, don’t raise a dollar unless you have a plan for keeping that dollar. Unfortunately, low retention has become increasingly accepted as a given in nonprofit operations. Craver asserts this doesn’t have to be the case. Thanks to a study of more than 250 organizations, Craver and his collaborators have introduced a framework for boosting retention and the lifetime value of donors. This framework is the foundation to improve each of the retention issues he presents, from redefining loyalty to understanding authentic engagement.

Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits by Heather Mansfield.mobile-for-good-cover

Any doubts you may have that social networks aren’t powerful or don’t need to be a priority in your communication and fundraising efforts can now be put to rest, according to Mobile for Good author Heather Mansfield. A comprehensive and thoroughly researched resource for nonprofits, Mobile for Good helps you master mobile content distribution on social networks so you are more likely to experience fundraising success. She provides recommended software, helpful checklists and nonprofits you should model. Advanced users will find a section dedicated to nonprofit staffers who are ready to tackle more challenging strategies. 

The Good Ones: Ten Crucial Qualities of High Character Employees by Bruce209-by-248-the-good-ones-cover Weinstein.

Questionable character is costly. Employees who lack character cost businesses and nonprofits billions of dollars each year. Unfortunately, employers focus too much on what candidates need to know or do and rarely think about what makes an employee great: character. The Good Ones: Ten Crucial Qualities of High-Character Employees presents ten qualities that clarify what it means to be a high-character employee. Stories from employers and employees illustrate how these traits are critical to the long-term success of your nonprofit and to the employees who exhibit them. This book contains advice for the employer, the interviewee and employee in search of a character fit.

The Generosity Network: New Transformational Tools for Successful Fundraising by Jennifer McCrea, Jeffrey C. Walker and Karl Weber.generosity_network_cover_large

The Generosity Network was written for those of you who work for one of the 1.8 million organizations that make up America’s nonprofit sector and the 10 million nonprofits worldwide. Whether a nonprofit leader, volunteer, board member or front-line employee, each person plays a critical role in attracting support for its organization. This book describes an approach that makes working with partners easier, more effective and, dare we say, more fun. The basis of the coauthors’ approach is rooted in relatedness and connectedness with partners. These partnerships are built upon three elements: know yourself, know others and know how to ask.

I encourage you to give yourself the gift of knowledge and download one of our book summaries and purchase the book. Make 2017 count by committing to your professional development. Knowledge has a shelf life and it must be renewed!

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Podcast: Three top pressure reducers that help you when it matters most

myndset-com“You can’t just show up to a high-pressure situation and expect to perform well. You need to be tenacious—to put the work in. People who find it difficult to perform often discount the need for preparation and hard work. It’s easier to believe in the myth of the clutch player, the leader-hero, or the prodigy,” assert Weisinger and Pawliw-Fry, coauthors of Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most.

“Nobody performs better under pressure. Regardless of the task, pressure ruthlessly diminishes our judgment, decision making, attention, dexterity and performance in every professional and personal arena.”

Leaders in the nonprofit sector are no strangers to feeling the pressure of furthering a mission with lean resources and limited staff. After learning more about the authors’ conclusive research, you can’t help but realize that pressure management should be a baseline competency for every leader.

Since it’s impossible to live life free of pressure, the authors present strategies to manage it immediately and in the future in their latest book.

We recently interviewed coauthor Hendrie “Hank” Weisinger about the book and found ourselves fascinated by tools he shared for managing pressure. We hope you enjoy his answers to the following questions:

Would you give a brief premise of your book?

What are three top pressure reducers that nonprofits can use to perform more successfully?

Would you explain the “COTE of Armor” and how it reduces pressure over the long-term?

How can nonprofit leaders reduce the stress for their employees, who are often overworked and underpaid?

Learn more about Hendrie Weisinger’s online courses if you’d like to do a better job of managing pressure in your life: http://pressure.hendrieweisingerphd.com

See a book summary of this title and others:

Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most

Driven to Distraction at Work: How to Focus and Be More Productive

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Image credits: myndset.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Performing under pressure: Befriend the moment

PerformingUnderPressureCover“Nobody performs better under pressure. Regardless of the task, pressure ruthlessly diminishes our judgment, decision making, attention, dexterity and performance in every professional and personal arena,” assert Performing Under Pressure coauthors Weisinger and Pawliw-Fry.

Leaders in the nonprofit sector are no strangers to feeling the pressure of furthering a mission with lean resources and limited staff. After learning more about the authors’ conclusive research, you can’t help but realize that pressure management should be a baseline competency for every leader.

Weisinger and Pawliw-Fry explain we live in a high-pressure time, where every day we feel we are on the line. More than ever, today’s workers feel the pressure to produce, perform and get results.

Why do we feel the pressure?

Many factors have increased the perceived pressure on our lives: recent economic downturn; higher competition for jobs; advent of the global economy; lack of job stability; and growing competition to get into top colleges, universities and graduate programs.

Pressure is the enemy of success

The authors explain the bottom line is simply that pressure is the enemy of success. Since it is impossible to live a life without pressure, the key is to understand your reactions to it and how those reactions put you at risk. Then you must engage in what the authors call pressure management.

In our Page to Practice™ book summary of Performing Under Pressure, we asked the authors what they most wanted readers to know about pressure:

CausePlanet: What is the most important thing you want people to know about handling pressure in the workplace?theatlantic-com

Weisinger: If you want to perform your best in a pressure moment, it is essential to “befriend the moment.” That means perceiving the pressure moment, whether it is giving a presentation, a crucial conversation, an interview or sports contest, as an “opportunity” or “fun” rather than a threatening situation.

Befriending the moment allows you to approach the situation with confidence and optimism, two natural pressure reducers, while viewing the pressure moment as threatening causes you to approach the situation with trepidation and anxiety.

The most important point for individuals to know for reducing daily feelings of pressure is to rid themselves of a ranking mindset —one that causes one to compare himself with others, which fosters competition. Competition is a natural pressure inducer so when you are always competing with others and trying to be the best, you experience continual pressure because you are chasing an impossible goal.

Plus, you can’t control the actions of others. There is always going to be someone that is better, richer and smarter. In contrast, developing a mindset of “excellence” helps you focus on what you can control –doing your best. When you focus on doing your best rather than trying to “beat” the others, you experience less daily feelings of pressure.lucille ball

Pawliw-Fry: Lose the story you tell yourself that in order to be successful you need to be perfect. You won’t be perfect and that is OK. The people who perform under pressure don’t go in expecting to be better than they have ever been before or perfect. They go in expecting the unexpected, that things might not go well at times and what they need to do is not react to their imperfection.

Michael Jordan performed worse under pressure, not better, but when he missed a big shot or made a mistake, he limited the duration the mistake stayed on his outlook. He wanted the ball back faster than others. That was the secret of his success.

Why you should buy this book

Performing Under Pressure is a guidebook with strategies—22 to be exact—that you can quickly apply in your workplace and in life. This book is grounded in Weisinger’s and Pawliw-Fry’s years of field experience and a multiyear study of more than 12,000 people who experience pressure.

For those of you who need immediate help, you can review part two where the authors share nearly two dozen how-to’s on pressure management. For others who want to better understand why they experience pressure to begin with, part one is extremely enlightening. Part three is a fitting conclusion with a delivery of techniques for managing pressure over the long-term.

See a book summary of this title and others:

Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most

Driven to Distraction at Work: How to Focus and Be More Productive

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Image credits: Crown Business (2015), theatlantic.com, The Lucy Show

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