There were only 3 days left before I had to have the program ready for my team. I had been putting off working on the project until it seemed like the last minute. I could feel the pressure building up internally and I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to deliver.
Working to deliver results is something we all face, whether we are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a sales professional, a clerk at the grocery store, an elite athlete playing basketball or a mother trying to raise her teenage children. The pressure to perform well and get tangible results can sometimes be overwhelming. Often times we struggle with our performance because we focus too much on the outcome, which might be a good bottom line, hitting our targets, serving a never-ending line up of people, scoring a basket, or keeping kids happy.
Here are three things you can do that will help you get better results even though you might not think that they could.
Don’t worry about the results! Focus on the Learning: You do need to know what you are trying to achieve as your ultimate goal, however when we look at other aspects of our task such as learning we usually get better outcomes. For example, if when you are trying to do something difficult like make a sale or serve more customers in an hour, or keep our teenagers engaged, try to think differently. If we were to ask ourselves, what is this customer thinking right now, what are they feeling, what do they really want to achieve today, we will have a better outcome than if we focus on closing the deal. In sports if we are focused on understanding how the ball is moving as we catch it, or the puck is spinning as it hits our stick, or guessing what the person in front of us is going to do next as a consequence of their last action, we will perform better. It might be counter intuitive to think that by not focusing on the results we will have a better performance but ask any athlete if looking at the scoreboard is going to get them points.
Have More Fun: Having coached sports teams and corporate teams, I know that when people are having more fun, they get better results. This does not mean that they have less intensity, just that the outcomes are better when we are enjoying what we are doing.
Have Clarity about why you are doing what you are doing? It seems strange to think that many people don’t know why they are going into work each day. As leaders we often think that people come to work because they love working for us. The truth is that people work for a variety of different reasons. Some work to make money to pay the bills and take an annual vacation. Others work because they want to quit work one day and retire. There are people that work to get out of the house, to further their career, or to be of help to people, or be alone, depending on the job. When we understand why we work, we perform better. When we understand why our job is important, we accomplish better. When we know why our organization does what it does and we can align ourselves with that reason, we achieve more.
I was able to get my project finished in time, I found some really interesting information that made it easier to get excited about it. Once I was having more fun, the work wasn’t a burden and I achieved my goal. Performing at our best all the time can seem like a challenge unless we move the goal posts and focus on those factors that might not seem important but make the difference like Learning, Fun and Clarity!
Dave Fuller, MBA is an Award Winning Certified Professional Business Coach and the author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy. Got a weird story to tell dave? Email firstname.lastname@example.org