Staying Calm Under Pressure!

This week has been another fun week coaching regular clients and running a Mental Resilience workshop for a leading European manufacturing company based in Cheshire. They had booked a very nice venue to hold the workshop for 26 of their staff.

I have found that preparation is critical if I want to be successful in my business and so I always go the day before any major training or speaking days to ensure that I view the venue before, make sure I know exactly where the venue is and how long it will take me to get there in the morning.

There is just too much risk setting off early in the morning hoping that the roads will be clear with no major hold ups or accidents on the roads. You leave yourself open to being late for an event or even missing it altogether. I can’t think of anything worse than a company setting aside a day for 26 staff to attend a workshop only to find that the presenter hasn’t turned up.

Because of this I always book a hotel near the venue where the workshop is being held and then go over to check the venue out. This also gives me the opportunity to see the size of the room and the table setting and I can change this if it doesn’t look right. I can check that my laptop connects to their projector or digital TV correctly and that the sound works well in the room.

This also gives me the picture of the room I need so I can visualise myself delivering the workshop, seeing things going really well and the attendees enjoying it. As many of you know this is one of the techniques I coach to build confidence in people so there is no harm in me applying these techniques to myself.

The following morning I arrived an hour and a half before the start time and set my laptop up, checked all the tables, prepared my basketballs for the ball spinning exercise in the afternoon and checked the workbooks.

When this was all completed I had a chat with the Sales Director and everything was good to go. So I went out to the coffee shop within the venue and checked my slide printouts and generally got myself in the right positive frame of mind.

I arrived back in the presentation room with 10 min to go and all the delegates were sat down with coffee or tea and were chatting away. So I went over to the podium where my laptop was and used the remote control to switch the projector on and that kicked into life, then I casually pressed the power button to my laptop and nothing! I tried pressing harder and nothing! I checked that the power lead was connected and it was. I thought that my laptop had somehow died.

There were now 8 min before the start time and I had to make some quick decisions and stay calm. I knew that I had a spare battery in my car and I hoped that somehow it was the battery which had drained of power rather than my laptop had died.

So I casually walked out of the room then to the car, found the spare battery then back via reception, asked the duty manager to come with me and casually walked back into the room. As I walked in we had 4 min left before the managing director would introduce me. The duty manager checked the power lead and extension lead and all seemed fine. He tried a different socket still nothing – I feared the worst.

At this point I removed the battery and changed it for the spare one and the laptop burst into life! We then connected my power lead directly into the power socket and the power surged through the computer meaning I would be ok for the entire day. It turned out that the extension lead was faulty.  I remember I was about to check that the power connected indicator was showing on my laptop when the sales director walked in and I had to go over to speak with him, and then I forgot to check when I got back to my laptop!

There are great lessons to learn here. Firstly it’s often the smallest detail which can hurt us the most. What if it had been my power lead which was faulty and not the extension lead? I usually have a backup laptop with me but on this occasion I didn’t. I have often said that I need a backup of everything I use when running workshops, two laptops, two remotes to run the slideshow, two speakers, and now I know that I need two power leads because if it had been my power lead I would really have been stuck.

Luckily for me it was the extension lead, but I will use this experience to never again rely on all my equipment working and carry backups with me of everything electrical.

What did please me was that my Inner Chimp stayed calm throughout the process and I did start the workshop on time!

Have a great week and remember the small details – I know I will!

Warm regards


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