Preparation is the key to keeping calm under pressure

June 14, 2012
Preparation is the key to keeping calm under pressure

There isn’t any situation so bad that you can’t make things worse by allowing yourself to panic. One way or the other, everyone in business is sure to learn this lesson eventually.

You may be giving a presentation when your carefully designed PowerPoint presentation screeches to a halt as your computer freezes. While it may be a tempting distraction to send your mind racing with counterproductive thoughts about how disastrous this is, the better option is to take a deep breath and move forward with confidence.

Of course, this is easier said than done and sudden disruptions can often leave a person feeling shocked and incapable of acting.

The key to overcoming this sort of situation is to create extensive contingency plans before entering into any situation where you will find yourself “on the spot” and have to think on your feet to adapt to events as they unfold. The more “what if” scenarios you have worked through in your head beforehand, the lower the chance that you will end up encountering unexpected problems.

For example, if your company has made you responsible for overseeing the set up of a new foreign subsidiary and you have to give a big presentation on your progress, you don’t want anyone to surprise you with in-depth questions about local tax structures that you aren’t prepared to answer.

You want to have spent the preceding days carefully preparing, going over every detail of the situation with experts in the field. You want to have lined up a top-quality international tax consultant immediately after you were assigned the task, to ensure that you have sufficient time to investigate and resolve complex issues.

Working with a firm that offers financial project consulting services should be a key part of any executive’s strategy for mitigating risks and maximizing opportunities. Relying on the advice of professionals helps a company’s leadership team prepare for contingencies and keep calm under pressure.

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