The Normal-Pressure Model: At the core of Analys’ approach

The Normal-Pressure model, a unique and scientifically proven framework, is at the foundation of Analys’ approach. It puts in context various behaviors and better reflects the complexity of the balance between a person’s profile, the skills required by his or her position and their behaviors in action.

The Normal-Pressure model is based on the principle that human behaviour varies in accordance to the level of stress people are exposed to.

  • Performance zone: the comfort zone where the individual performs optimally.
  • Transition zone: the individual begins to feel unhinged.
  • Crisis zone: the individual is outside of his comfort zone and he experiences stress, due to high perceived levels of ambiguity, pressure, intensity, saturation, negative relationships and/or lack of expertise.


In 2004, Analys conducted a study with eight managers evaluated by a total of 105 people in a 360º evaluation process. This study supported the hypothesis that there is a real distinction in a manager’s performance depending on the tension level. Managers are considered less competent when operating under pressure compared to when operating in a normal mode (Phaneuf, and al., on 2004).

Analys obtained similar results in 2006 during a study with 82 executives, demonstrating that personality explains performance better when an employee is under pressure than in a normal mode (Boudrias, et al., 2006).

Based on the results of the 2004 study involving, a more elaborate study was conducted by Analys from July 2005 till February 2007 using the 360º evaluations of 1,674 managers evaluated by a total of 12,749 employees. The results demonstrated that all the managers’ skills were perceived as weaker when evaluated on a stressful situation compared to a normal situation. Furthermore, the ability to manage interpersonal relations is the skill that dropped the most when the managers are under pressure.

The results also put in evidence the proportion of the time a manager spends in normal versus pressure situations. The higher the managers’ hierarchical position, the more time they evolve under pressure. 47% of the first level managers spend the majority of their time under pressure compared to 86% for high level managers.

This information emphasizes the necessity of addressing an individual’s behaviors in pressure mode and not only in normal situations. From evaluations to coaching, Analys can provide a more nuanced approach to their clients and help their development in a wider range of situations.



Boudrias, J-S, Phaneuf, J., Guertin, C. & Forget, A. (2006). Liens entre la personnalité et la performance de cadres supérieurs : Une étude multicritères et multisources, Congrès de l’AIPTLF, 14e Congrès de psychologie du travail et des organisations
Phaneuf, J., Berwald, M., Boudrias, J-S, & Guertin, C. (2008). Les gestionnaires sous pression : Comment réagissent-ils?, Congrès de l’AIPTLF, 15e Congrès de psychologie du travail et des organisations
Phaneuf, J., Guertin, C., Boudrias, J-S, Morin, A., Forest, J., Rioux, P. & Madore, I. (2004). Un nouvel outil d’évaluation multi-source permettant d’apprécier les compétences de façon contextualisée, Congrès de l’AIPTLF, 13e Congrès de psychologie du travail et des organisations