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Be Your Personal Best

Published on 06 August 2018

Be Your Personal Best

Personal Bests are important for athletes, whether amateur or professional. These provide a benchmark for comparison and instant feedback for future adjustments to training. Ultimately, we need to track how we perform so we can track our progress. Unfortunately, performance cultures can be negative (always falling short of targets), unhealthy (causing stress, anxiety and burn-out) and therefore not sustainable cultures. So how can we balance the need to understand performance versus a negative short-term focus?

Firstly, let’s consider, or even think back to, front-line advisors taking calls in the traditional call centre; data and measures everywhere: Adherence, AHT, conversions, CSAT, compliance, Quality scores. An extremely confusing environment for advisors, a confusing environment for team leaders and no doubt a confusing environment for senior management. With so much information available, there will always be something good and not doubt something bad. Sometimes, achieving one target will mean another one won’t be achieved. This can lead to mixed messages and mis-understanding of targets, which leads to a lack of learning and improvement.

Our 2018 theme is “Be your personal best” meaning growth, creating a safe environment to give and receive feedback, capture and apply learning, and lead to continuous improvements. This considers feelings and behaviours as key results, not just metrics.

Environment is key to our personal success, as mentioned we cannot thrive in a confusing environment of mixed messages and a lack of learning, we need a safe environment which “keeps us on our toes” and always on the look-out for new ideas and new ways.

I like to think of the environment not as the paint of the wall, or colour of the carpets but the decorating of your mind. This starts with what we see is what we get. Negative thoughts, negative results, whereas an open mind will learn. We need to develop our own growth mindset and help others to grow theirs. We need to lead with the right positive approach, making the most of our surroundings and conditions to identify the learning opportunities. How we approach each day will have a deciding factor on what we take from the day. We all know someone who has the “Not bad” approach, 2 negatives in the first 2-words – if this is how we think, we will miss learning opportunities. If you feel good you will have a good day, so feel amazing and see what happens.

Once we have clarity of thought, clearing our mind and becoming focussed on learning and understanding different perspectives we can define our purpose. This will then lead to us finding like-minded people, who will help strengthen the cause, our motivation and our determination. People whom we can learn from, share ideas and challenges. Communities are groups of people working together towards a common goal. As the great African Proverb states “Go fast go alone, or go far go together”. Being your personal best will bring the best out in others, and we go further, faster, together.

To help our movement away from just data and metrics we need to understand the outcomes we are looking for. What are the feelings and behaviours we want, and more importantly what are the ones we don’t want. This is what you want, not what you don’t want. Remember there is often more than one way to achieve your outcome, have a plan but be flexible and adaptable to change.

I’ve always liked the Jim Ryun quote:
 “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going”

By developing positive habits, daily actions we can keeping moving forward. Too often we can be great starting a new idea, then run out of steam. By having the right growth mindset, support network and understanding of the outcomes we want to accomplish, our daily routine will help to keep us on track. “Quality is not an act, it is a habit”, Aristotle
Watch the “Be your personal best” keynote from our Customer Strategy & Planning Conference here.

Date Published: 06/08/2018

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