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The Pressure Performance Curve

The Pressure Performance Curve

Pressure. It makes diamonds, but it can also burst dams.

The pressure performance curve is a tool developed by psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dodson in 1908. The diagram charts the relationship between pressure and performance in the workplace, as well as many other aspects of life; such as training, relationships, and personal growth.

Many people prefer to stay in their comfort zone. It’s safe, warm, and results in a good level of performance – but staying in your comfort zone all the time is not to be encouraged. Everyone needs to grow.

Taking yourself outside of your comfort zone to the point of growth is akin to reaching a flow state. Flow is being totally immersed in a task that requires your full attention and effort so you are fully utilising yourself.

This is where optimal performance occurs, with sustainable long-term growth.

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