In the context of the workplace, pressure obeys the same laws of physics as energy: it cannot be created or destroyed, it is just transferred from one body to another. One person feeling the crunch one week will eventually transfer this crushing feeling to someone else sooner or later. The only tool you have to arm yourself with is your own mental toughness.
A lack of mental toughness leads to a lack of fight. Adversity will overcome and you (or your co-worker, we’re not here to point fingers) will pack up and quit. Some people are born with resilient minds, others develop them later on in life.
In the same way you can’t blame someone for not knowing what you know, you shouldn’t come down on an employee or co-worker because they fail to deal with tense situations.
Here are four ways, as told by Forbes, to help yourself and others fortify your mental toughness.
1. Focus on the mission
This is just a really cool way to say “don’t cry at your desk, do some work instead”. You need to remind yourself that you want/need to be excellent at your job and part of that is self-motivation. Think of small affirming aspects of the task at hand: do you believe in it? do you want it to be good? do you feel proud of it?
2. Hard body, hard mind
It’s no secret that the body and mind are continuously link. Fluctuations and adversary in one leads to a similar feelings in the other. Exercise is a proven stress-buster and improving concentration. Try tackling vexing problems after a hardcore gym session, you might find it more manageable.
3. Emotional control
The temptation to let your heart slip down to your sleeve is ever-present in high-pressure situations. Part of mental toughness is dealing with the urge to explode emotionally. Practice breathing exercises and restrain when that top lip starts to quiver.
If you find yourself crumbling under the pressure when you have someone else to blame, figure out how to rely on yourself. Govern yourself and only feel responsible for you and you alone. From there you can build the mental toughness to start to managing other people.