How Well Are You Performing?


I read an interesting article on LinkedIn this morning. It detailed a study where clips of classical music performance competitions were shown to people with and without the sound. More often than not, people viewing the silent clips could more easily pick the winners. The study found that “characteristics such as engagement, passion, and energy resonate most strongly — those are the factors others use to assess the quality of their performances.” That struck me as being true in our professional lives as well. If you can bring passion and energy into your work, you’ll be performing well.

Some are fortunate because they are in a position they find fulfilling, interesting and that naturally energizes them. They’re likely already performing optimally. What if you find yourself lacking some oomph? Fortunately, I know it’s possible to re-engage and create some passion and energy where it has been lacking. It’s a matter of tapping into individual strengths.

There are dozens of assessments that can pinpoint your particular strengths or they can be self reported. Regardless of how they are measured and defined, it’s readily apparent we function better when we’re playing to our strengths. We feel like we’re contributing the best we have to offer and we’re fully energized. When you’re “in the zone” you know your passions have been engaged. It’s important that managers or supervisors become aware of their employees’ strengths and strive to position them for success. Don’t try to force a highly analytical introvert into a sales position for a creative company. Instead, use them as an analyst. Likewise, you might have a gem of a client attractor buried in the finance department.

There are times when you don’t have the flexibility of moving bodies though, particularly in very small organizations. In that case, drawing out an individual’s strengths and applying them to their current role can be of value. Back to the sales position. Maybe this analytical person loves preparing the sales presentations because of the research and compilation of facts and figures that is required. They may even be excited to share this information with others because they’re proud of the work they have completed. The mechanics of effectively presenting the information can be learned through practice. Coaching and training can provide the support this person needs to grow into and flourish in their position instead of being allowed to flounder and fail.

Contributors don’t need to wait for their boss to redirect them. Think about how you can bring your unique talents to your position to make it more satisfying. Be creative. Test out new ways of doing things. Most important, look inside at your current attitude and thoughts around your work. Have you “checked out?” If so, why? Changing your perceptions around your work and bringing more of the real you into your position might give you that energy boost you’ve been wanting. Your performance will naturally improve.

Are you feeling passion and energy in your current position? How might you bring your best into your work to make it more engaging and satisfying?

Photo credit: gcoldironjr2003 / Foter / CC BY-ND

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