What Rock Climbing Can Teach You About Work Performance

Over the years, rock climbing has taught numerous lessons that can be applied elsewhere in life: How to push your limits, overcome fear and go well beyond your comfort zone; how to persevere and push through even the toughest obstacle (crux); how to lead a group and manage risk; how having a strategy is always beneficial and to not be afraid

Just like in climbing, anxiety and stress can pump you out and force you to fade out in the boardroom or during your presentation.

Don’t let go

Have a plan

Know when to rest

Don’t’ be Afraid

Learn This: The Over-Gripping Myth

Improve endurance by learning the science of stress

As you move ever higher above your last piece and further outside your comfort zone, you grip the rock for dear life, even though you know the route is well within your ability. Yet here you are, only halfway up and too pumped to continue—everything feels way harder than it should. Most climbers have experienced this unfortunate situation: When you get scared, you hold on too tight and waste precious energy. The perceived solution: Focus on relaxing your hands to stop over-gripping the rock, thus lasting longer. While this does seem to make logical sense, over-gripping is actually not a significant factor in this perceived fatigue. Studies in applied physiology, neuroscience, and sports medicine point to stress itself as the culprit for accelerated fatigue. Anxiety can trigger the release of a certain hormone that can make you feel more pumped and tired than you actually are. Here we’ve provided some tips and tricks to conquer your fears and prevent the dreaded pump.

Physiology of Anxiety

When we attribute poor performance to over-gripping, the situation is usually the same: We’re uncomfortable and experiencing a stress response. When we get stressed, whether out of fear, competition, anxiety, or any other worry-inducing factor, we experience a few common physiological changes. Our heart rate increases along with breathing. We switch energy systems from the slow-burning aerobic system, which runs primarily off stored fat, to the faster anaerobic system, which runs primarily off carbohydrates. Our core body temperature starts to rise, and we start to sweat more (another con in climbing). All these changes are mediated through one primary hormone: epinephrine (also called adrenaline), which is necessary when intensity suddenly increases, like powering through a crux.

If the only type of stress we experienced was the stress of exertion on the wall, and the only time we experienced it was during strenuous moves, then epinephrine would only ever be positive. The problem is that fear and anxiety cause stress before we even leave the ground, and therefore cause changes that are less positive/adaptive and more damaging to our performance. A study published in the Journal of Exercise Physiology in 2000 corroborates this: Novice climbers had significantly higher heart rates not only during a climb, but before it even began. The most likely reason for this is anxiety. An increase in mental stress causes an increase in epinephrine release, which then increases heart rate. The novice climbers began the climb with a body already in stress mode—the same physiological state more advanced climbers might only experience during a crux. This means that instead of moving smoothly through the easy sections and reserving stamina for the tough ones, precious energy gets wasted due to an unnecessary increase in epinephrine, caused solely by anxiety.

Read the entire article here:

http://www.climbing.com/skill/learn-this-the-over-gripping-myth/

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Photo credit: Black Diamond Catalog (2012)

Best Article I’ve Read This Week: Match the Right Communication Type to the Occasion

Karen Lachtanski
Contributor
PR Director at My.com

Picking the right communication tool requires considering the task at hand, the recipient, a message’s urgency and how important it is to eliminate a possible misunderstanding. Comedians Key & Peele perfectly illustrated the potential for miscommunication in a video about texting.

An exchange might begin as an email conversation, transition to a messaging app and end up as a phone call. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Consider the following communication options and the benefits and pitfalls of each:

Phone calls.

A phone call is great when a businessperson needs to reach someone right away. But it’s an interruption and one that often occurs without knowledge of what a recipient is doing. Is that person having dinner,  watching a movie or reading a bedtime story to a child?

Consider where someone is before dialing and whether the message is urgent or the conversation could be scheduled so the other party is prepared to take the call. Since there are other, less intrusive options available, phone calls should be used sparingly.

Read the full article here:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/238579?newsletter=true&et_cid=51269&et_rid=23512865

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Best Article I’ve Read This Week: Movement is medicine: Exercise and intelligence

by: Dr. Chris Telesmanic

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the benefits of regular exercise go far beyond what was thought of conventionally. Of course exercise can help you lose weight, feel better, increase strength and reduce risk of injury. It also increases bone density, reduces anxiety, combats depression and prevents heart disease. But these are just some of the effects we have mentioned in previous columns. What’s truly amazing is these effects only scratch the surface of what can be gained by exercising regularly. There is one more effect which we are coming to understand more fully, and that is that exercise actually makes you smarter. There is a steadily growing mountain of evidence that proves that regular exercise is directly linked to improved brain health and function.

At some level, this has always been known. It was Plato who said, “In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity. Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together. With these two means, man can attain perfection.”

What we have come to learn about brain health and function is that…

Read more here:

http://hanfordsentinel.com/features/health_and_fitness/movement-is-medicine-exercise-and-intelligence/article_a5d1dc36-ddd6-5f0f-bcfa-b94d1d384cd3.html

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Best Article I’ve Read This Week: The Power of Carefully Chosen Words

By: Nancy Duarte

This past Saturday, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson—best known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films—delivered an impassioned introduction to the HeForShe campaign at the UN Headquarters in New York. Since then, Watson’s speech has received heavy circulation on social media and been hailed by the press as “powerful,” “game-changing.”

I couldn’t agree more. Watching Watson use her star power as a vehicle to promote global gender equality reminded me that each of has an opportunity and responsibility to stand up for the causes we believe in, whatever those may be. By following a few basic communication guidelines, Watson showed us how to do it effectively.

She knew her audience. Watson made clear from the very beginning that her speech was intended for the men and boys who could become advocates for change. She appealed not just to their sense of right and wrong, but also to the impacts of gender inequality on men’s lives as they suffer the consequences of “being imprisoned by gender stereotypes.” She explicitly invited them to “step forward” and become part of the solution.

Read the full article here:

http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20140924214952-172811-the-power-of-carefully-chosen-words-what-every-speaker-can-learn-from-emma-watson

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Best Article I’ve Read This Week: 5 Easy Ways to Become a Better Public Speaker — Fast

by:

Carol Roth
Contributor
Entrepreneur and author

Speaking at events is a great way to enhance your status as an expert and generate PR for your business. However, becoming a great speaker is an art, not a science. The good news is that with some tips and some practice, you can leave a lasting impression that you will want people to remember.

Here are some easy ways that you can become a better speaker.

1. Memorize concepts, not content.

You may think that the best way to give a flawless speech is to memorize the content word-for-word.  But trying that can create a lot of problems for speakers. Memorization not only lends itself to sounding over-rehearsed (aka not natural), but also, if your mind goes blank at any point during the presentation, you will lose your place and potentially create an awkward silence. Or worse, start to panic.

Instead of memorizing the content, focus on the concepts. Do this by creating bullet points of the content, stories, data and key takeaways that you want to get across in each part of your presentation. Then, speak naturally about them. If you remember all of those key points,….

Read the full article here:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/236611?newsletter=true

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