Unwinding Stress: No Edibles Required with Cindi and Geoff

What if we are thinking about stress all wrong? Cindi and Geoff help us get straight in an episode sure to lower your blood pressure and focus your thinking.

Show Notes

In this episode, Cindi and Geoff dive into the myth that a little bit of stress helps your performance. The conversation touches on the idea of procrastination and deadlines, where the stress of a time constraint can encourage task completion but may degrade performance. Cindi and Geoff also look at individual stress sensitivity and expertise as intervening variables that allow people to handle challenges without flipping out.

Finally, the hosts play a parlor game to see if they can track every habit back to a stressor and talk through strategies for managers to help employees unwind performance-draining work habits.

Episode Highlights

• Stress in any dose can degrade performance, even though stress is ubiquitous. The same goes for deadlines, even though they are essential.

• Managers can help prevent people from excessively inflating stress and anxiety.

• Most habits form as a response to stress and anxiety.

• Managers require tools to help employees manage their stress so performance and quality-of-life aren’t negatively impacted.

Episode Quotes

“You have to be careful about high-drama people in organizations because they run around cranking up everyone’s anxiety.” – Cindi Baldi

“We want to encourage managers to build the kind of organizations where people feel like they’re able to relax more into very challenging work.” – Geoffrey Tumlin


Malcolm Gladwell, The Art of Failure. New Yorker, August 13, 2000.

Judson Brewer (2021). Unwinding Anxiety. New York: Avery.

Keywords: Stress, anxiety, habits, performance

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