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PERFORMANCE UNDER PRESSURE©

Uniquely designed programmes proven to enhance performance under pressure. Choose your sector here:

Gaining clarity in critical moments – the Gazing Principle

Three key takeaways

1. Taking a deliberate step backwards, mentally, will increase the likelihood of being able to think clearly in high pressure situations 
2. Thinking clearly will help a person take in all the necessary information and gain a better understanding of the situation, allowing them to make better, more strategic, decisions  
3. High achievers and performers have a critical ability to clearly assess the consequences and potential risks of their actions whilst under pressure; this ability helps them to make more considered decisions and then act with focus on the specific task, whilst keeping the bigger picture in mind.

We’re all very familiar with the idea of “Fight or Flight”; the response to acute stress which dictates how we deal with a perceived threat. The principle is often talked about as though it’s nothing more than pure instinct – you’ll simply do one or the other automatically when faced with such a situation. This need not be the case though, gaining clarity in life altering moments can make a huge difference to both your response and the outcome.

Thankfully, life changing moments are few and far between for most, but for those that are involved in life and death situations as part of their job, making the right decision under extreme pressure is something they’re faced with on a frequent basis. You may think that the more often they face such situations the better they’d be able to cope with the situation, but often learned behaviour has more of an impact than we’d like to believe.

Training time-served firefighters

A recent, award-winning, study at Cardiff University Honour for study which revealed ‘intuitive’ fire commanders has shed more light on how important it is to gain clarity before making critical decisions. Using helmet mounted cameras, the psychology team studied how commanders dealt with fast-moving emergency scenarios. What they found was that regardless of the type of incident, fire commanders’ decisions were likely to be intuitive or reflexive – they weren’t necessarily taking a moment to work through all the options. Professor Rob Honey, School of Psychology at Cardiff University said: “This ground-breaking research has led to major changes in the way commanders address major emergency incidents. The findings showed that a relatively short period of goal-oriented training had a marked impact on the nature of decision-making..." The training has since been rolled out to fire commanders nationally and forms part of the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles, which guide decision making for all blue light services at major incidents.

Applying this to everyday life

Whilst we may not deal with threatening or life changing events frequently, we all experience complex situations where we’re likely to make an intuitive of reflexive decision. The Gazing Principle focuses on developing the mental skills needed to take a step back and view the situation from a wider angle, gaining a clear overview to ensure you can perform when under pressure. Taking a step back and shifting attention between overview and detail means keeping the long-term goal clear whilst effectively prioritising immediate tasks and objectives. The ability to deliberately control and shift attention in such a way and in critical moments provides a wider frame of reference on which to base good decisions. This in turn means that when high pressure situations do arise, you’re able to step back and make clear, informed decisions based on all the information to hand – rather than choosing simply on past experience. These skills are vital in everyday life. Whilst the situations you’re faced with may not be comparable to fire fighters, surgeons or pilots, they’re still critical to you – be that a key sales pitch, a job interview or parenting – and the decision you make can still have life-altering consequences.

 

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BACKGROUND

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1.Definitions and Interpretation

1.1In this Cookie Policy, unless the context otherwise requires, the following expressions have the following meanings:

“Cookie”

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Our Site is owned and operated by Gazing Performance Systems Limited, a limited
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Registered address: Harwood House, 43 Harwood Road, London, SW6 4QP
Main trading address: 80 Crown Road, St Margarets, Twickenham, Middlesex TW1 3ER
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3.www.ico.org.uk

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5.1 A cookie is a small file which, with your permission, will be placed on your computer's hard drive. Cookies allow websites to respond to you as an individual. Thanks to cookies, web sites can tailor their operation to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

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Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not.

A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website..

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Changes to this Cookie Policy

6.1 We may alter this Cookie Policy at any time. If We do so, details of the changes will be highlighted at the top of this page. Any such changes will become binding on you on your first use of Our Site after the changes have been made. You are therefore advised to check this page from time to time.

6.2 In the event of any conflict between the current version of this Cookie Policy and any previous version(s), the provisions current and in effect shall prevail unless it is expressly stated otherwise.

7. Further Information

7.1 If you would like to know more about how We use Cookies, please contact Us at gazing@gazing.com, by telephone on 020 8568 0298 or by post at 80 Crown Road, St Margarets, Twickenham, Middlesex TW1 3ER.

7.2 For more information about privacy, data protection and our terms and conditions, please visit the following:

7.2.1 Privacy Policy

7.2.2 Terms and Conditions