Are you prepared for difficult encounters at work?

How can you perform in high-stress situations?

It's an unfortunate reality of business life that stressful situations sometimes arise. Often they are out of our control, and can impede business development if their effects are severe enough. 

Most people have developed ways to cope, as success in the professional world involves performance in all situations, good or bad. Recent research has revealed some of the more common techniques, which help business owners or any staff to get through tough times at work or at home. 

The study is provided courtesy of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and found that people often use self-affirmations to get through challenging scenarios. This was especially prevalent in professional situations, where individuals are put under pressure. 

"Most people have experienced a time in their lives when they aren't performing up to their potential. They take a test or have a performance review at work, but something holds them back," explained lead researcher on the study, Sonia Kang, PhD. "Performance in these situations is closely related to how we are expected to behave."

The researchers discovered that people in low-power positions sometimes struggle in certain situations, as they don't receive the same level of validation that workers in high-power positions do.

This all changes with confidence, according to the society. With individuals performing significantly better under pressure when focusing on positive attributes and outcomes. 

"You should reflect on things that you know are good about yourself," advised Ms Kang. "Anyone has the potential to do really well. It's how you respond under pressure that makes a key difference."

The example given by the society was before a job interview, where they recommend people prepare a written or mental list of their positive attributes to inspire confidence. This is easily replicated in the business world as well. The stress of difficult situations could be mitigated be taking note of the positives, like best possible outcomes and how to react to achieve them. 

Ultimately, the study advocates the value of confidence as a business tool, as it can be the difference between success and failure in stressful encounters.