We spoke to Ingrid Farmer about how the Performance Pie helps her to be ready to perform. A former Performance Champion at the IOD, Ingrid has recently taken up a new role at the Institution of Civil Engineering working for the International Director.
You can read about the performance pie here http://www.theperformanceroom.co.uk/so-what-really-affects-your-performance/
Tell us why the Performance Pie, Ingrid?
It’s like an anchor that I can keep coming back to – sometimes very visibly, sometimes subtly. It’s always in the background. The Performance Pie is integral to the way I work.
How has it helped you?
I was already doing a lot of good stuff but the model gave me the confidence that what I was doing was important. It brought it to the conscious and stopped the paranoia of ‘well this feels right, but is it making a difference’. I read about it in Perform (the book Perform: how to get better at what you do by obsessing over the right things – available from PlanetK2!) and it reassured me.
Can you give us an example?
When preparing for my interview, Katherine, my Pro member coach in The Performance Room, really helped by simply:
- focusing on the knowledge and expertise that I had that – the technical part of the pie – which meant I “deserved” to get the job
- thinking about the ‘environment’ – the contextual part of the pie. For the presentation that meant standing, sitting, how many people – try sitting at a table, using a paper slide deck to two empty chairs etc.
And for day to day performance?
In terms of daily habits, I use the journey into work to think about mentally preparing for the day, and for considering what I want to practice. I’m constantly checking in with the sense of physical readiness (my energy).
Which other bits of the Performance Pie have been useful for you?
The emotional piece has been important – building that support all the time so that when people are blunt with their advice I know they are coming from a position of caring. Knowing when people are rooting for me really helps.
The tactical piece (how I use my knowledge and skills) is the part I probably use the most – thinking about choosing my mindset, so as not to get drawn in.
And what about motivation at the core of the pie?
I have had a tough year but the core of the performance pie was important – particularly maintaining my sense of control. Knowing that my reaction to events is within my control is something I keep coming back to.
So what next?
I’m going to miss not having a common performance currency with colleagues, which I had at the IOD. Talking the same language meant instant understanding. It means that when you’re talking about planning and preparation the conversation goes way past the task/activity preparation and into a level of granularity that is most helpful.
But I now know the Performance Pie well enough to enable me to perform better whatever the challenges and conditions I face in my new role.