If you don’t have stress and pressure – will you still perform?


If you don’t have stress and pressure – will you still perform?

Part of the series:

Ian Watson and Elizabeth Lovius riffing on life as a leader


– And I think it is becoming recognised now, I’m certainly hearing and seeing this more and more that the well-being of the human beings who are involved in any organisation, the quality of their well-being is a very, very big determinant in terms of what you’re talking about, how well they perform and right down, all the way down to the bottom line of the company, how well it performs as a business. And it’s something that is worth investing in. I think, you know, that is being recognised increasingly now that as you say, if you’ve got potentially either an unhappy workforce or you’ve got people who are literally just stressed, overwhelmed, frightened, feeling insecure. None of us perform that well from that state of mind, at least not if we’re in that state of mind for much of the time. We can go in and out of it, but it’s not a problem. But to expect people to perform well in a state of chronic stress is unhelpful.

– I mean, I don’t think anybody likes to be in a state of chronic stress.

– Right.

– Or, expects themselves or others to perform well in a state of Chronic stress realistically.

– Do you find that people get habituated to it, though?

– Yes, and I think that we think it’s normal.

– Right, that’s what I–

– And even more that, we think we need it.

– Yeah. That’s what I hear from people, because as I’m sure you recall in conversations that I’ve had, but people say, “Well yeah, this sounds good here,” you know. “I’d love to be more settled and laid back, “but how would I ever get anything done? People associate that with kind of passivity or laziness even, do you see that too?

– That’s definitely the mindset. If I don’t push myself, if I don’t pressure myself I’m not going to do anything.

– Yeah.

– But I’m wondering, you know, do you think that’s true?

– No, I don’t see that and I never see it play out that way.

– Okay.

– What I see is, when people have less on my mind, they still do what needs to be done, but often they just do it in a more efficient way. So they actually get the job done without all that extra kind of noise in the system. And I haven’t seen anybody become lazy or inefficient through settling down and connecting more to who they really are on the inside, have you?

– No. Certainly not myself, and certainly not others. What you say reminds me of, I was working with a group and they said some days the ball is really big and coming at you really slow and sometimes it’s speeding past you and you can’t know better what you do and I think that when we’re calm and settled the ball feels like it’s coming really slow and we know exactly what to do to catch it.

– Yeah.

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