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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Under Pressure

26 March 2009 by The Brigadier

Flappers – I can’t stand them. No, I haven’t got anything against bob haired young maidens with fringed dresses, dancing the Charleston, I’m referring to the workplace “flapper”. People deal with pressure differently and “flappers” are a problem for leaders. When the pressure is on, but the job still needs to get done, the last thing you need is a flapper running round like a headless chicken, a shouter, a crier or a doom-mongerer claiming the end of the world is nigh. Responding to pressure by flapping, not only distracts you and the team from dealing with a pressure situation appropriately, but it quickly unsettles other people, inhibiting the ability of the team to respond in the right way.

Anyone can be a hero when things are going well. It’s when our backs are up against the wall, and the pressure is on in the workplace that you really find out who your superstars are…… You are looking for people who can be Cool Hand Luke. The people, who as the pressure cooker hots up, get calm, stay focused and see everything with clarity. The classic cool, calm and collected. Flappers need to be coached to understand the impact of their behavior on the situation and others around them and develop more appropriate responses.

Most jobs come with a certain amount of pressure, which in my experience is a good thing, especially in Sales – it keeps people stretched, challenged and focused on the job. Putting your people under pressure can therefore bring out the best in them and play a crucial part in their development. Working on developing a cool response to pressure situations will yield even better results and assist in developing your people.

The Brigadier