‘MUST DO BETTER!’
How though can we do better and improve our business performance?
Before the National Curriculum, I am confident that many people can relate to the standard comment on their school report, ‘Must do better!’ or ‘Can do better!’ Today we constantly see in the media headlines around politics, business, and sport emphasizing the need to do better such as:
- “Must do better: Ed Ball’s end-of-term report”
- “Scotland’s enterprise agencies must do better”
- “New Tesco boss says must do better in tough UK market”
At work, bosses are constantly reminding their employees that they ‘must do better!’ Yet what does ‘must do better’ mean and how many people actually know how to do better? Of course, some people may be cruising, are aware of what they should be doing and so may need a jolt. Yet there are many people who just don’t know how to improve their business performance.
For these people, if they did know how to do better they would then choose to use strategies to achieve better performance. There tends to be the natural assumption that people will naturally have built into their personality all the ingredients necessary to improve their business performance. Unfortunately and too often many people keep a lid on reaching their potential and so this assumption then becomes short-sighted.
Another standard response is to be put on an expensive training course to hone skills. Skills are important but if we think about our own training courses how much is really implemented from the training room? We also have to think about the attitude of the delegate… are they there because they want to be or because they were told they had to be? This can make a difference in how much is absorbed.
There are countless articles, white papers, and books on improving performance, and certainly Steve Covey’s ‘Seven Habits of highly effective people,’ or Brian Mayne’s books on ‘Goal Mapping’ are interesting reads. However, it seems to me that the real light bulb moments – those sparks of insight, wisdom, creativity, and understanding that really make a difference to performance come from coaching.
It is through performance coaching that action plans and strategies can be built and ways of overcoming blocks to performance can be decided. Coaches can get to the heart of the matter with a performance coaching approach. Milestones can be created that help bolsters confidence and measures for business performance can be determined.
People also want simple and practical tips that can be used immediately. Using an NLP strategy of building on what works and so using some of the ideas from the masters that have already been named, I have put together five tips to improving business performance.
1. Improving awareness of self and others
Improving performance is a result of having a higher self-awareness. Knowing you’re and your colleague’s likes/dislikes, learning styles, values, thinking styles, and how you impact each other makes a difference to individual and team performance. Research shows by understanding the factors that create an individual’s ‘winning edge’ and then concentrating on improving these factors can make a massive difference. Only when someone has a clear understanding of their potential can they achieve it
2. Possibility consciousness
We filter information according to our beliefs and values. This means that we may hold distorted information about our self and others which can lead to distorted opinions, attitudes, actions, and results. It is important to fine-tune beliefs by constantly testing what we think is our reality. We do this by looking for evidence and having an open mind. Just because something hasn’t worked yet does not mean that it can’t in the future.
3. Being on Purpose
Not everybody is motivated by the same things; it’s a myth to think that if you throw more money at someone they will perform better. Discovering our own motivation strategies enables someone to maximize performance through the ability to generate enthusiasm. There are a number of psychometric assessments that can help with this
4. Maintain a Positive Focus
The ability to focus on business activity is obviously fundamental. We can easily get distracted which moves us away from our priorities and sets us off course. By focusing on ‘why we can achieve something as opposed to why we can’t allow us to develop solutions even in adversity. It enables an individual to achieve self-mastery of mind and emotions
5. Involve evolving
Too often we rely on our own tried and tested methods and do not think to change our thinking. Sometimes we need to think more inwardly with greater intensity. When we do seek advice it tends to be from more senior colleagues and we do not consider consulting junior members. There is a wealth of information around us that can help us improve our business performance; it’s being conscious and open to it that is often the problem. Receive feedback from different situations.