Leadership Nudge™ 193 – Reduce Stress to Drive Success (with Jenni Jepsen)

February 21, 2018by Sandy Wilmer

Getting to high performance requires having the right amount of stress to make us feel motivated.

The “Stress Performance Curve” shows what happens in the brain. On the Y-axis we have Prefrontal Cortex Function and on the X-axis, we have stress.

We need to have the right levels of the two neural transmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in order to get to high performance. However, it’s more and more difficult today because we’re under so much stress. All the little stressors add up to big stressors that affect how we think.

What the research shows, is that for most people today, we’re on the far side of the curve; Over-stressed.

It’s not enough that we can’t function but it is enough that we don’t think optimally.

When we’re under pressure, trying to get something done right, and someone comes in and says “What’s going on? Why aren’t you getting this done?”, that pushes us down into more stress where we’re much less likely to get to good solutions.

What we need to do, instead, is support and encourage so that we get back to high performance.

So, the next time you see someone under pressure, instead of being frsutrated or saying, “Why aren’t you getting this done?”, ask instead, “Hey, I can see this is a challenge. How can I help?”

I’m Jenni Jepsen with your Leadership Nudge. Let us know how it goes!

Sandy Wilmer

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