Its not uncommon to come across clients both as individuals or teams whose performance is not where it needs to be due to feelings of being completely overwhelmed.

These feelings can be caused as a result of a number of factors such as external challenge, perceived imposed change, stretch goals or losing sight of the process and focusing prematurely on the desired outcome.

If you can relate to feelings of overwhelm you may find the following two illustrative WIN-WIN examples useful…

Emily’s team were demanding an answer and she felt as their new manager that she needed to provide one…and quick! ‘I am so useless’!  ‘Such an idiot’!  She paced quickly back and forth across her office, heart racing, paralysed with fear and feeling completely overwhelmed. ‘I have no idea how to fix this’!

Had Emily practiced the WIN-WIN technique regularly, she would have known what to do…

WIN – What’s important now? ‘I will calm myself’.  She sat down at her desk, placed her hands on her lap and took 3 – 4 long, slow breaths.  Her heart rate began to slow.  She focused on the pressure of the chair underneath and her palms resting gently on her lap. ‘I am here, I am present’ she repeated to herself until she felt calm and more relaxed. Now she was in a position to refocus and respond rather than react.

WIN – What’s important next? Emily realised that she needed to use the skilled team around her; get along side them and demonstrate that she truly valued them. She called a meeting and explained that while she had a possible solution, she felt that it wasn’t the optimum idea.  Emily shared her idea and invited her team to add to it and offer alternatives.  Within 20 minutes that team had collaboratively created a clearly improved solution and the team felt more united then ever before.

With ten minutes to go in the county final, Patrick found his team a point behind their opponents and time was quickly running out.  Feelings of absolute dread crept in.  ‘What happens if we lose’?! ‘This is going to be a disaster’!  His mind was racing as he  found it more and more difficult to focus. Feelings of complete overwhelm swept over him. He felt lost and completely helpless.

Had Patrick practiced the WIN-WIN technique throughout the year he would have known what to do…

WIN – What’s important now? ‘I will to calm myself’.  He took 3 – 4 long slow breaths while focusing on the pressure between his thumb and index finger as he pushed them together. This immediately brought him back to the present moment and his heart rate began to slow. Now he was in a position to refocus and respond rather than react.

WIN – What’s important next? ‘I need to trust the process and the result will take care of itself’. He remembered that energy flows wherever we focus.  Patrick knew that his role was to focus only on the next moment whether that was in attack or defence. Moments later, he did just that and won a crucial tackle.  His teammates responded to his example and they went on to win the game.

Joe McDonald, founder of create10 is an experienced professional coach and trainer. Providing one to one coaching in business, sport and life. Also, impactful team workshops and online courses.  Email: for bookings and see for more information