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Positive Pressure

Written by Alex Freytag on October 29, 2015


Positive_PressurePressure is often seen by employees and managers as negative. But what if it isn’t?  What if people thrive on pressure? 

High performance demands a certain amount of pressure. Imagine you’re training for a 10K race. If you put no pressure on yourself, you don’t train, you don’t hire a coach or plan your calendar to prepare for the race, you will undoubtedly perform poorly. Conversely, if you put too much pressure on yourself, over-train and stress out, perhaps injuring yourself, you may not show up at the starting line. 

Think of it as a bell curve; you need to establish the optimal level of pressure that will result in the highest level of performance.

The Same is True in Your Organization

If no pressure exists, and not much is asked of your employees, you will have a low level of performance. At the opposite end of the spectrum, if there is too much pressure in your organization and employees are afraid, then they are not nearly as concerned with high performance as they are with not getting yelled at or fired. 

How do you create a high-performance organization where you can apply some pressure but not so much that you create a culture of fear?

The Scorecard is One EOS Tool That Will Help You

Every EOS scorecard includes a WHO column—this lists the name of the person with the greatest influence over that measurable. They own that number and report on it in your weekly Level 10 meetings. When a measurable is off track, you have 3 options: 

  1. Ignore it thus applying no pressure.
  2. Ask whose fault it is and look for someone to blame thus creating a culture of fear.
  3. Ask “what is the real issue and how do we fix it” thus applying positive pressure. Doing this will cause your employees to prepare, participate, identify issues and discuss solutions, debate, learn and grow.

Are you challenging your team in a positive way? Are you applying positive pressure?

Next Steps

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