Suoriutuminen paineen alla - Henley Business School Suomessa

Performance under pressure

Controlling your physiology to optimise your performance

Recent developments in our understanding of the link between emotions and behaviour have highlighted the need for organisational leaders to be more aware of their physiological state.

According to Jezz Moore, a former coach for the GB Junior Rowing Team and founder of Riddle Box, which specialises in executive and high-performance team coaching, ‘We’re all familiar with the concepts of stage fright and have seen top sports stars making irrational decisions at times. These states occur when the physiology of our emotional connections impairs our thinking.’

Jezz stresses the need to understand the differences between an anabolic state – in which our senses are heightened and we think very clearly – and a catabolic state, in which feelings of anger, frustration or even indifference will result in incoherence and chaotic thinking.

‘Emotionally pressurised situations might cause us to move from an anabolic to a catabolic state, and physically, we might experience a higher heart rate, faster breathing, dry mouth and clammy hands – all classic signs of pressure and stress. By identifying these signs, and their underlying causes, we can control them and think more clearly. It’s as if we give ourselves a self-induced lobotomy.’

All too often, a lack of awareness of our capability to control our behaviour, or perhaps just a lack of practice in doing so, leads to anxiety. In order to perform at a high level – in sport, business or any other field – we need to recognise our own emotional map.

Pumped up or calm and focused?

It seems as if many of us also confuse seemingly similar states, such as anger and passion, but these two are on opposite sides of the emotional divide. Some people think you need to be pumped up to perform at your best, but calmness and focus are often more effective.

‘Recognising our physiological state leads to improved emotional literacy,’ says Jezz, ‘and this, in turn, takes us to a position of emotional mastery, in which we can, in any given situation, respond with considered, rational decisions.

‘We know that our emotions can impair our thoughts because emotional processes are both quicker and more powerful that thought processes. In the same way that any sports person might have a game plan and a nutritional plan, we develop emotional plans and we rehearse them repeatedly leading up to a major event, to achieve the best possible outcome.’

Under Sir Clive Woodward, the English team that won the Rugby World Cup in 2003 followed this same principle, known as T-CUP: Thinking correctly under pressure.’

Achieve a competitive advantage

Jezz leads a session on Henley’s Advanced Management Practice programme and the effect is often dramatic; delegates quickly realise how this approach can impact on their own leadership capability, helping them to make important decisions with greater clarity, vision and focus.

Claire Hewitt, Henley’s Head of Learning Design, adds: ‘Having a session with Jezz is a different kind of experiential learning for participants and they come back enthused by the experience. He sets the bar very high, and seeing how these cognitive processes can regulate stress and produce better quality decision making, gives delegates a real competitive advantage.’

Find out more about Henley’s Advanced Management Practice programme.

Sabine Doms, Marketing Manager - Henley Business School Finland

Sabine Doms

Sabine is passionate about helping people to achieve their full potential and perform at their best. She has over 10 years experience in marketing and communications and is leading the marketing of Henley Business School in Finland since 2016.

Aiheeseen liittyvät uutiset ja tapahtumat

Could an Executive MBA be part of your talent and succession planning? - Henley Business School Finland

WANTED: Business Development Manager

  • 5 joulu 2022
Etsimme Suomen yksikköön Business Development Manageria, joka kehittää proaktiivisesti uusia asiakassuhteita yksilöiden ja organisaatioiden kanssa!

Paula Kilpinen appointed as Director, Custom solutions

  • 15 marras 2022
Paula Kilpinen has been appointed as Director, Custom solutions at Henley Business School Finland as of 14 November 2022. In this role she will lead the custom solutions business area, comprising of high-impact customised solutions for sustainable growth.

New campus in Helsinki

  • 10 loka 2022
At the start of August 2022, we moved into our own new customised campus in the heart of Helsinki, with both administration and educational facilities finally under the same roof. Now that the world is moving back to appreciating face-to-face interactions with each other, the new Henley campus is ready to support your learning success.