J.P. Pawliw-Fry Profile

  • Famed performance coach, Dr. Pawliw-Fry teaches teams how to consistently achieve in high stress situations.

  • A pioneering researcher in emotional intelligence, Dr. Pawliw-Fry has applied his findings to raise performance levels for the Orlando Magic, the Canadian men’s Olympic volleyball team, and multinational companies like Johnson and Johnson and HBSC.

  • Dr. Pawliw-Fry is the co-founder and acting president of the cutting edge training organization, the Institute for Health & Human Potential.
  • During the peak of the 2008 Financial Crisis, multiple global financial organizations reached out to Dr. J.P. Pawliw-Fry for advice on how to make lasting change in their organizations. A pioneer in emotional intelligence, his research and decades of experience as a trainer and coach prove that anyone can learn to excel under pressure.

    Dr. Pawliw-Fry is the co-author of the New York Times best selling book Performing Under Pressure. He has served as a performance coach for the Orlando Magic, the Canadian men’s Olympic volleyball team, and executives of the NHL, NBA, NFL and the US Olympic committee. For over 20 years he has served as acting president of the Institute for Health & Human Potential, a training organization that he co-founded in 1998. The IHHP is responsible for some of the earliest research, training and coaching programs related to emotional intelligence. Over the years, Dr. Pawliw-Fry and his company have risen to international prominence for their numerous successes improving organizational culture and performance in companies like Johnson and Johnson, PWC, Goldman Sachs, and HSBC.

    Dr. Pawliw-Fry has studied and trained at Queen’s University, Harvard Medical School’s Mind/Body Medical Institute and the Stress Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. He was one of the highest-rated professors at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where he taught executive education.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Organizations face big challenges: whether it is an accelerated rate of change, the threat of disruption, ambitious targets or aggressive competition. They can only overcome these challenges with exceptional leadership.

      For over twenty years, JP’s curiosity and passion for helping people manage their emotions has driven his research based approach (his organization surveys over 38,000 people a month) in developing science based skills and tools required to build a culture of exceptional leadership. His work with leaders from Fortune 500 companies such as Goldman Sachs, Intel, Coco-Cola and Johnson & Johnson, as well as the US Marines, Olympic athletes and NBA and NFL teams has provided him with considerable opportunities to test his science based tools in environments of high pressure. He knows what works when leaders face their most significant challenges.

      As a provocative and highly captivating speaker and thought leader, JP brings engaging stories and a lot of fun to every keynote. He challenges groups to think differently about human behavior and leadership and how to manage the pressure that is overtaking so many organizations and individuals today. JP provides real tools to help teams leverage the power of the science of emotional intelligence to embrace pressure and manage the disruption and challenge they are facing.

      JP is the co-author of the New York Times best seller, Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When it Matters Most, published in 65 countries with multiple translations.

      When he is not travelling the globe, JP can be found reading, out dancing, or cherishing time with family. It is no coincidence that he loves working with professional and Olympic athletes as he is himself an avid and enthusiastic athlete. JP loves to participate in a variety of sports including running, volleyball, hockey, and swimming and considers himself a ‘professional’ rugby fan.

    J.P. Pawliw-Fry Speaking Videos

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    J.P. Pawliw-Fry's Speech Descriptions

    No matter how good you think your team might be, Dr. Pawliw-Fry challenges you to
    ask “How can I get better?” The highly recognized expert in emotional intelligence shows organizations how to deliver a gold-medal worthy performance under Olympic-sized pressure by optimizing their #1 asset: their people.

    Dr. Pawliw-Fry teaches audiences to step outside their own head and tune into what other people are feeling – especially when stress runs high. His energizing presentations also emphasize polishing communication techniques and creating an environment where team members can honestly voice their grievances and concerns.

    Are you an Exceptional Leader?
    Why Meeting Your Biggest Challenges has Everything to Do with Leading Under Pressure

    Your organization, like many others, is facing big challenges: whether it is an accelerated rate of
    change, threat of disruption, ambitious targets or aggressive competition; your people experience
    these organizational challenges as pressure. If not managed skillfully, this condition can result in
    diminished performance, lower engagement, and an inability to deal with change. It doesn’t have to be
    this way.

    Research is clear that some leaders are better prepared to handle and lead their people through these
    challenges more than others. In this powerful keynote, based on the NY Times best-selling book,
    Performing Under Pressure, The Science of Doing Your Best When it Matters Most, your audience will
    learn how to leverage pressure to help them get to the other side of performance and succeed in
    achieving their most challenging goals.

    In this cutting-edge keynote your team will learn:

      • What exceptional leaders do differently from the average, to help their people manage change
        and perform at their best.

      • How to build a culture ready to take “smart risks’ and innovate.
      • Specific tools to leverage pressure and help others get to the next level of performance.

    The Science of Emotional Intelligence:
    The Missing Ingredient Behind Building a Highly Engaged Organizational Culture

    Why would anyone want to be led you? This is the single most important question a manager or leader
    needs to ask themselves if they want to unlock the potential and creativity of their people. The reason
    your employees get up in the morning and choose to be engaged and productive has nothing to do
    with a manager’s level of IQ or technical capabilities, it has everything to do with their manager’s level
    of Emotional Intelligence (EI).

    The research is clear that Emotional Intelligence is the single most important driver of an engaged,
    results-driven, highly effective workforce, especially in environments that are undergoing significant
    change and disruption.

    In this interactive keynote, your team will discover:

      • What the brain does under pressure and specific tools & strategies to effectively manage
        situations of tension and conflict.

      • Self-awareness: understanding the impact of your leadership style and how to win the hearts and
        minds of your people by connecting to the emotions that drive their behavior.

      • Engaging stories from the frontlines of leaders who are stepping up and winning in the most
        challenging, pressure-filled circumstances.

    Why the Conversation You are Not Having is Holding You Back: Getting to The Last 8%

    When facing a challenging conversation, most managers adequately cover the first 92% of content
    they want to cover. When they get to the more difficult part of the conversation, more often than not,
    they avoid the last 8% of the conversation. What’s missed is the critical information and feedback an
    individual or organization needs to improve performance, grow and achieve objectives.

    Having the “Last 8% Conversation” is one of the key differentiators of world class organizations and
    while having them is not easy, it is a skill that can be learned and mastered.

    In this powerful keynote, your team will learn:

      • What is a “Last 8% Conversation” and why most people avoid them.
      • How to have these conversations in a way that the other person can hear us.
      • How to navigate the difficult emotions that typically prompt us to avoid the Last 8%

      • How to inspire your team to be more courageous and skillfully step into having the conversations
        they need to have.

    All Change is Personal:
    Why Leading Through Disruption and Change is About People Not Technology

    If the Hippocratic Oath main directive is ‘first, do no harm,’ then the brain’s is ‘first, keep alive.’ Yet the
    usual approach most organizations take in managing change and disruption does not take into
    consideration this neurological reality. Leaders bring their ‘five-point strategies’ or get overly focused on
    the latest technology and completely miss that real change happens in the mind, and more specifically, in
    the operating systems (the brains) of their people.

    To get your organization to successfully adapt to external disruption and the new world of work, requires
    managers and leaders to accept that all change is personal and that until they start managing from this
    point of view, their people will not step into uncertainty and take the risks required to achieve successful
    change efforts.

    In this provocative keynote, your team will hear about other organizations that have succeeded in adapting
    to change and disruption by leveraging the operating system of the brain.

    Your team will learn:

      • How to identify the traps leaders fall into as they attempt to manage the pressure of change.
      • How to create an environment of risk-taking and learning to adapt to disruption.
      • Concrete tools to help leaders manage their emotions, thoughts and conversations to lead more
        effectively in the face of change and uncertainty.

      • How to help your organization take action and approach the pressure associated with change and
        disruption with more confidence and enthusiasm.

    Mindful Leadership
    How to Use Mindfulness to Navigate Today’s Demanding, Complex World

    From the moment we wake up, we are bombarded with emails and inundated with requests. Distractions
    today are stronger and more pervasive than at any other time in human history, diminishing our
    ‘attentional strength’. Yet leaders are expected to slow down, focus and make thoughtful decisions in a
    volatile, uncertain world. How is this possible? The answer is Mindfulness.

    Mindfulness is a practice that builds our attentional strength, increases our ability to deal with the ups and
    downs of work life and increases resilience. In the same way that we go to the gym to build strength and
    endurance, Mindfulness is like strengthening for our brain. It is the antidote for a multi-tasking world
    where leaders need to make important decisions, be present to engage people and inspire their teams to
    the next level of performance.

    In this progressive keynote, your team will learn:

      • The science of the brain under pressure.
      • An introduction to the practice of Mindfulness; its performance and health benefits.
      • Tools to slow down and be decisive when important decisions need to be made.
      • How to use Mindfulness to become a more effective leader that others will want to follow.

    Performing Under Pressure:
    The Science of Doing Your Best When it Matters Most

    Why are some people able to deliver under pressure while others fall apart? This program, based on
    the ground-breaking New York Times bestselling book, Performing Under Pressure, The Science of Doing
    Your Best When It Matters Most
    , answers this question. After studying more than 12,000 individuals from
    around the world, over seven years, IHHP learned what the top 10% performers do to succeed under

    In this innovative, case study driven program, you will learn:

      • How to better manage pressure so instead of becoming a ‘derailer’
        it becomes a competitive advantage to grow your career and help your
        organization drive performance.

      • Research from our study of 12,000 people and what the top 10% did to
        excel under pressure.

      • Three pressure insights that will help you avoid the sabotaging effects of

      • Stories of leaders and organizations who have managed pressure
        effectively to get to the other side of performance.

      • How to build your ‘COTE of Armor’ (Confidence, Optimism, Tenacity,
        Enthusiasm) to help inoculate you against pressure and increase your
        confidence as you walk into any pressure situation.

    What People are Saying about Seeing J.P. Speak

    Rating Entries

      “Best keynote presentation I have been to in years! Very different than the usual: extremely interesting and powerful – yet highly entertaining. It is not often I hear someone who can really ‘put it together.”
      Ernst & Young

      “JP is excellent!!! He is very engaging & this work is completely aligned with our cultural transformation
      work. JP further reinforced our learning and provided some “science” to it as well!!”
      Farm Credit

      “I do not say this lightly – the most powerful keynote I have ever heard. JP was charged with setting the tone for the rest of the the week – he clearly over-delivered.”
      – Pat Brennan, Pfizer    

      “Simply the best program we have ever heard – critical information that will make a difference.”
      US Navy

      “Fantastic! Very leading edge thinking. JP has huge energy and passion. Our leadership team couldn′t get enough of him – I could listen to him all day!”

      “Awesome presentation! This will change my life. Thank you for all of your passion, enthusiasm and integrity and for making this our best meeting ever!”

      “The skills our team learned regarding motivating and inspiring our employees, while at the same time addressing under-performers will definitely help us drive increased performance from our sales team. The program was also inspiring to each of us personally – this was the best training program I′ve ever been through.”
      Concentra Medical Centers

      Partial List of Clients

      AdamsEastman Kodak Company
      AlcanEli Lilly
      American ExpressErnst & Young
      AventisGeneral Motors
      Barrick Gold CorporationHoneywell
      Bell CanadaHostess Frito Lay
      Bermuda TelephoneJohnson & Johnson
      Boston Consulting GroupKraft
      Canada ForumLansa
      Charles SchwabLucent Technologies
      CIBCMercedes Benz

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    Books by J.P. Pawliw-Fry:

    Nobody performs better under pressure. Regardless of the task, pressure ruthlessly diminishes our judgment, decision-making, attention, and performance in every professional and personal arena. Co-authored by noted psychologist Hendrie Weisinger and our own J.P. Pawliw-Fry, Performing Under Pressure will introduce you to the concept of pressure management, offering the latest science on how your brain responds under pressure, and many empirically tested strategies to help you overcome the sabotaging effects of pressure. For this book, we have undertaken a multiyear study of over twelve thousand people to answer the question: what is it about the top 10 percent of these individuals that helps them handle pressure more effectively and be successful?

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