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Lotus in Bloom

Reducing the stress of tendering

Tenders are stressful and being exposed to the judgement of others is rarely a comfortable experience. It could mean losing a valued contract and can feel like one more thing on top of an already overloaded and overwhelming day job. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Stress can get in the way of performance 

People don’t always perform at their best under stress. They become irritable. They start to show avoidant behaviour (it’s not my job) or helplessness (this isn’t my area of expertise; I don’t know how to do this). Under pressure, it’s easy to start blaming each other for lack of progress, criticising individual contributions rather than supporting each other.

Research* indicates that stress can lead to people shifting their perspective away from the team to a narrower, more personal focus – which is the opposite of what is needed to create a compelling and high-scoring bid. It is therefore important to reinforce and support the team perspective to mitigate the impact of stress.

Failing to manage stress effectively can impact the likelihood of tender success.


Stress isn’t always a bad thing

We try to avoid stress, but it can be helpful. It creates a sense of urgency and it can put an edge on performance. The physical reactions that underly anxiety and excitement are the same – the only thing that differs is how we label our experience.

You can shift stress to excitement. A bid can be your organisation’s moment in the sun. It’s a chance to showcase all that’s good and innovative about your services or solutions, to retain an existing contract or win new business and validate your business model.

So how can you engineer this shift?



Introduce resilient practices

A toolkit of resilient practices will help you perform well throughout the bid process. These might include:

  • Clearly assigned actions and timescales for completing drafts

  • Good communication between everyone involved in the process

  • A clear structure for the response to eliminate blank page syndrome and ensure that all key points in the question and evaluation criteria are addressed

  • A nominated person to co-ordinate the bid and offer support and advice

  • Steady, consistent progress as opposed to a last-minute rush

  • Building in time for a peer review to bring a fresh pair of eyes to each answer


Get the right support

There is a lot you can do to ensure your team rises to the challenge of a bid rather than getting ground down by it, but there’s an even easier way of ensuring this. That’s to get the right support throughout the process to help you to create a clear focus, construct the best possible answers and upload them to the portal in plenty of time. And that’s where we come in.

If you would like to find out how Impart can help you to make your next bid less stressful, please click here.

* Driskell J.E., Salas E., Johnston J. (1999) Does stress lead to a loss of team perspective? Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice. Vol 3, No 4.

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