What goes on
Leaders in the world of work often say performance when they actually mean results. The best think of their performance at work as the stuff they do to get the results they want. Few people really understand what affects their performance. They’ve never sat down, thought about it or mapped it out. So being confident that they can perform when it really matters becomes a game of chance – and playing Russian roulette with your performance is unlikely to deliver long-term success.
If you’re OK with your performance at work being a gamble, you’re in the wrong place. If you’re serious about getting better, read on.
Five performance truths
The brutal reality of high performance life – this is what you need to know
- 6 factors affect your performance – technical skill, tactical nous, physical energy, mental strength, emotional support and your environment. We call this the performance pie. We’d love it if you called it the performance pie too.
- Your knowledge, skill and how you apply them in your job is fundamental to your performance. Without solid technical and tactical components, you don’t stand much chance of performing well.
- Mental and physical energy is key to your performance. Having the right attitude, being confident and managing pressure are all-important. So is having the right level of energy and fitness to do a great job.
- Great performers have support teams and they know how to use them. They know the emotional part of performance is critical. So they make sure they have the support they need in place and they make full use of it.
- The worlds best understand that the context and surroundings they work in also impacts performance. So they do all they can to create the right environment and learn how to deal with it when it’s not ideal.
Three things to do
- Start by understanding what affects your performance. Know what your performance pie needs to look like for you to perform well and deliver the results you want.
- Once you’ve done that, pick out the bits you’re strong at and the bits that you’re not so great at right now. There’ll also be bits that will feel more important for you – stuff that if you don’t get right really hits your ability to perform.
- Plan what you’re going to do about it! It’s all very well knowing stuff but in reality it’s pretty useless until you do something with it. Start making some changes on the quick wins – the stuff that’s easy to do that you know will have an immediate impact for you.
Katy is a marketing manager. Her world is demanding and ever changing. She has some big targets to hit and a never-ending to-do list. Some days she felt great and had loads of energy and focus, and some days, well… Her performance was up and down, it was frustrating for her and people around her and her results were inconsistent. Poor Katy.
After a eureka moment in the bath (and some help from The Performance Room), she started to understand what really affected her performance and what she needed to do to be a more consistent performer. And she started to do some stuff differently. The physical part of performance was a really quick win for her – she started to sleep a bit more, eat better and walk to work every day. Instantly she felt more energised and focused through the day. She was more patient and less irritable. She got more done, with better quality and started delivering results more consistently too. Relationships with her workmates improved. The people she managed even started to like her. Which was never Katy’s intention, but she had to live with that.