Are You Feeling The Pressure?

The challenges of this time seem to not be going away. You may have thought that they would be around for a short time and then you could return to normal. It’s not looking that way. Actually, the pressure seems to be mounting.

How do you deal with remote work, kids schooling from home, social distancing, health risks and scares and other restrictions? How your life has changed? The path ahead is uncharted and that means you find your own way. Do the best you can. Be kind to yourself and believe that you will find a way. Keep your eye out for silver linings and new opportunities that will help make this a positive time for you.


photo: Gerd Altmann,


Sometimes you have to create some space around you. Walls crowd in and it is all too much. Pressures, people, demands, dissonance and missteps take their toll.

Creating space around you allows you to breathe. You can reorient, calm down and regain perspective. The next time you have had enough, find some space to regroup in. You won’t regret it!


photo: Victor Garcia,


Have you ever found yourself tightly squeezed by one or more people or situations? Life and work can certainly create such circumstances.

When you find yourself pressed, get yourself fully to the present moment so that you can see what is going on. Then, take a look at what is happening and how it is affecting you. Do you know which way you want to go? Do you see no good way out? When you find yourself squeezed, keep your best interests in the forefront. Do not allow them to be bullied or rerouted by the pressure. Allow yourself to respond, not react. When you react you are rigid, so to speak. When you respond, you are in control.

Actually, being squeezed can bring good results. It can help you change form, move forward or strengthen your resolve. Next time you are squeezed, make the most of it!


photo: gate74,


It would be nice to have a pressure valve to release the stress you encounter. Perhaps you can create one. What would do it for you? Some possibilities: one scheduled weekend off a month, a yearly vacation away from it all, scheduled time alone, regular activities doing things that fuel you or simplifying your life in ways that bring you peace.

Do you need some relief? Do what you can to find some.

photo: santiagotorrescl95,

Navigating Rapids

dreamstime_xs_41472300Odds are, as a manager you’ll be hitting some rapids in upcoming weeks. Navigating them skillfully, for both you and your team, will make the difference between an exciting ride or capsizing. What can cause these rapids? Many things, including: unexpected obstacles, personnel changes or problems, budget cuts, pressure to perform beyond capacity, overwhelm for you or your team, or over-the-top expectations from upper management.

What do you need to skillfully navigate such rapids?

• Presence of mind to make the best decisions

• Realistic expectations – knowing when to push and when to say no for you and your team

• As often as possible, being fully present in the moment

• Focus on priorities

• Awareness of how your team is doing

When you are navigating rapids you are dealing with unknowns, encountering obstacles, captaining your “ship”, assuring the well being of your team and identifying your destination. Success relies more on your inner being than on controlling outside events.

Navigating rapids requires you to be in the moment and at your best, so that you are ready to handle whatever you encounter.


photo: Strahil Dimitrov,


There is a lot going on as we approach the end of the year. Sometimes, the pace and pressure can be too much. One thing to watch out for, is allowing yourself to sidetrack into distraction. It’s a natural impulse. You don’t want to deal with a situation, so you find away to get away from it. The problems come when you stay there. Many times, distraction is unproductive and doesn’t give you anything back.

Say, you start browsing randomly on the Internet and you get caught up in something meaningless. How have you helped yourself relating to the things that were going on? Distraction can be destructive. The world moves on and you are sidetracked. At some point when you get back, you are behind and have not been a participant during your distraction.

Instead of sidetracking into distraction, you can handle the desire to escape by creating a temporary diversion that allows you to regroup and get yourself to a better place. You do it consciously, knowing you have to return to what you were doing and using the diversion to make you stronger and better able to handle the pressure. When I start feeling overwhelm, sometimes I’ll take a walk and other times, take just a few minutes to read the paper, knowing it will be a short time and I will return to my work in a better place.

What kinds of distractions are you capable of creating between now and the end of the year? How will you deal with them?

photo: marin,



Managing has enough challenges – adding pressure to the mix can undo you. Pressure comes in many forms – direct pressure from others to produce; unrealistic expectations; not having the resources and time you need; your own fears of whether you and your team can deliver – to name a few.

How can you deal with pressure when it starts to be too much? You can get away for a short time to regain perspective and prevent a situation that you may regret later. You can communicate clearly to others why their expectations are creating pressure – in a positive context of finding a way to meet those expectations. You can get fully present in the moment and map out a way for you and your team to deal with the pressure.

Handling pressure effectively asks a lot of you. It asks you to stay balanced and healthy, which aids you in dealing with the effects of pressure. It asks you to be able to stretch when you need to. It asks for discernment, so you know when to jump and when jumping is futile. It asks for confidence in your abilities and those of your team.

Developing your skill for handling pressure will propel your career and your performance. Take a look at how you handle the pressure of your job and develop your ability to manage pressure well.

photo: Stuart Miles,

Should You Rush?

The risks in rushing are inherent in its definition – swift, urgent, haste, sudden, hurry. What has your experience been when you rush? Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

It’s a question worth answering as the decision to rush, or not to rush, impacts the quality of your result as well as the timing. When pressure heightens and you are inclined to hurry, ask yourself “Should I rush?”.