Boosting Performance During Disruptions

As a former player, coach and now an author of leadership books, Ryan Walter distills hockey greatness into wisdom that applies to us all. If you’re feeling the pressure of external influences, if you think your business might be about to go into sudden-death overtime, consider these insights to help you stay in the zone with your team when the pressure is highest.

1. Anticipate the victory

Walter identifies six key areas of thinking, one of which is called “future negative thinking,” in which we fixate on bad things that haven’t happened yet. “This is where you lose the sale before you get on the call — where your NHL team loses the Stanley Cup before you even play.” Of course, smart leaders still consider future negatives, as they have to plan to avoid them. But Walter suggests that, if you want to think about the future, set aside a time to do that specifically to avoid it taking over your thoughts the rest of the day. “Twenty minutes — think of everything, then get out,” he suggests. Any longer and you’re absorbing doubt rather than anticipating victory.

2. Focus on achievements

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Illustration of a hockey player skating with the puck. By Evgenii Matrosov /

Read More:

Power Play

How to give your team the advantage — every single shift.

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Written By

Wade Guyitt is copy editor for Your Workplace, and is also a freelance writer and editor working from Kingston, ON.


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