How to Put the Right Amount of Pressure on Your Team

In its most positive form, stress results when an employee tries to do the same old things in a new environment. Those out-of-date behaviors produce subpar results and the growing gap in performance creates tension. It’s exactly the kind of stress you want, because it counteracts the powerful inertia of habit. If you’ve been around the management block a time or two, you’ve probably also seen the other side of stress. As stress gets too high, instead of increasing momentum, it can counter-intuitively start to decrease it. You can immobilize people with too much stress: You stifle the creativity required to come up with new ideas, trigger fear of taking a wrong step in a high-stakes situation, or unleash frenetic but ineffective activity.

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