On a webinar I ran last week one of the attendees asked a great question, “My biggest issue is what Seth Godin calls the lizard brain… I’m the chief procrastinator. How do you get over that?”
I answered at the time with these three main reasons why people may procrastinate:
1. An inner knowing that it isn’t the right time to do that.
2. Self-sabotage due to emotional baggage of some sort around things like ‘not deserving’ and/or ‘fear of success/failure’ (all way more common than you think by the way!). Be aware that this can fool people into thinking that it’s not the right time.
3. The activity is something that’s not your natural strength and so you don’t enjoy it and it takes you out of your flow.
While I believe these three points apply to many, afterwards I started thinking about the third point and how procrastination might differ around the Talent Dynamics Square.
With the highly creative Dynamo energy profiles (Creator, Mechanic and Star), their problem is usually not starting things but finishing them! In fact, because they tend to underestimate how long things take to do, they have a tendency to over-commit and just not have enough time to get something done.
Of course those with high Dynamo energy also can get easily distracted by doing the ‘new and fun’ stuff, so that they move from activity to activity without really getting much done. Even though they hate having their freedom constrained, working to a plan – even if a loose one – and learning to delegate will help them spend more time in their flow in the end. When Dynamos get focused on their priorities they can achieve great things.
Those with high Blaze energy (Supporter, Star and Deal Maker) love variety and hate paperwork – they’d much rather be having an interesting conversation with one of their many friends!
A great idea for them to overcome procrastination is to set aside time early in the week and/or early in the day to get this done while their energy is strong. Leaving it until the end of the week is not a good idea as they’re much more likely to want to go to a party or networking event instead.
The more grounded Tempo energy folks (Trader, Deal Maker and Accumulator) are actually very good with planning their activities and anticipating how long things will take, in fact they are likely to overestimate how long things will take. Where they may procrastinate is at the beginning of a new project.
For a start it is new and it’s not always so easy for them to get something off the ground as those with primary Creator and Star profiles. What really helps here is firstly to ensure that they understand the context within which the project or activity is taking place. That helps those with high Tempo energy to feel more comfortable and this comfort is important for them to work well.
Secondly, breaking up a big idea or project down into the specific tasks and deadlines before they start helps them to see in enough detail what needs to be done and they can satisfy themselves that it is achievable. Just be careful they don’t get too bogged down in the detail to even begin.
Finally what about those with high Steel (Lord, Accumulator and Mechanic profiles) energy? Well they really shine when they have something already existing to work with so starting something new can be even more challenging than for Tempo profiles!
Here though, what will probably help the most in overcoming procrastination is to focus on what they can get finished first and get those activities out of the way and out of sight – they love a clear workspace! Because getting things finished feels so good to those with strong Steel energy this motivates them to keep going. Breaking down larger projects into very small chunks that can be ticked off a list helps to avoid overwhelm too.Of course, everyone can step into the Spirit energy to remind them of the purpose of what they are doing. What is the big ‘Why?’ that makes doing something worthwhile in the first place?
This really helps for those times that you might just need to suck it up and get something done.
Remember though, where possible, let others do the things that take you out of flow. After all, it’s only by helping someone else get into their flow can you really get in yours…
January 16, 2013
Beginning of the year is a time of hope and excitement. Not just in our personal lives. Businesses and teams get inspired and energised by the year’s goals and visions too.
Yet as we may painfully discover, great visions may fall short not because we didn’t dream enough or strive enough but because accomplishing a lofty vision requires a change of our conduct, an upgrade in how we think, interact and operate on a daily basis. For a grand vision to be feasible we need to raise our standards – individually and collectively.
For an aspiring olympic athlete, high standards means a regular focused practice and meticulous approach to nutrition, regular mental training and enough time for recovery. It means having the vision in mind and translating it into productive daily habits that best support its accomplishment. It means saying no to things that may be attractive and comfortable in the moment but detrimental in the longer run.
Dan Gable, legendary U.S. wrestler and 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist, named “Sports Figure of the Century”, emphasises the importance of high standards for high achievement. He states that “I’m a big believer in starting with high standards and raising them. We make progress only when we push ourselves to the highest level. If we don’t progress, we backslide into bad habits, laziness and poor attitude.”
Pushing ourselves to highest level does not necessary mean we need to work harder. It means working smarter and more deliberately with the end in mind but feet on the ground and running – like Dan Gables indicated, not tolerating distractions, bad habits, laziness and poor attitude that limit our progress and spoil the journey towards our aspirations. Often times raising standard actually means doing less by focusing on what makes the biggest difference.
Raising our team standards need not take long, nor be complicated. For instance, agree to come to meetings on time and prepared. To bring constructive mindset and language to problems and disagreements. To listen inquisitively before advocating our own view. To threat colleagues with respect. To stop complaining and giving reasons, and take responsibility for the produced results – yours and the team’s. To plan in advance and then test and measure your progress and learn incrementally from both successes and missteps.
If you care about high performance and accomplishment of your shared vision for this year, I’d encourage you to sit down as a team and openly begin discussing where you can raise your standards to reflect your higher aspirations. Start simple. You may discover some obvious rules, routines or behaviours that might be small to make but can go a long way.
Be specific. Explore both what you can start doing to raise your standard and what you need to stop doing or stop tolerating because it constrains you or does not serve you anymore at this level of your game.
Raising the standard of how your team and your business operate is like upgrading from a three-star inn to a five-star hotel. It takes some commitment. However, soon you notice that at almost the same effort you create very different results and experience.
January 12, 2013
As part of any performance management you need performance indicators. How ‘key’ these might be depend upon your business and your team. We can agree the performance indicators for a multinational business are very different from a local cornershop but what about between departments or teams? Even people?
A performance indicator is a defined value used to measure against. With it you can track ‘how you are doing’. As such it is often something that is seen at the end of the process but it should be seen right at the start.
The problem is that in order to ‘measure’ we have to ‘do’ so we naturally put the performance indicator after the action (that’s where the excitement is anyway), if we put it the other way around we would have nothing to measure. However, this attitude risks several things:
1. The performance indicator is removed from the original objective.
2. The performance indicator is confused with other metrics (there’s A LOT you can measure out there!)
3. The performance indicator doesn’t change despite your business, team or project changing radically.
4. The performance indicator doesn’t give you anything more than success or failure.
You might have noticed I have only mentioned the word ‘key’ once, that is because you can have performance indicators which aren’t ‘key’. To achieve business growth the indicators need to be critical to your future plan. They figure right at the beginning before you ‘do’ anything because if these indicators don’t happen resources will be wasted and the plan is unlikely to happen.
Getting Performance Indicators Right.
In order for everyone to understand how critical these performance indicators are they need to know:
1. Why the plan is being put into action?
2. What are the critical performance indicators that will be needed? An important point here is for the team to be involved in deciding what needs to be measured. Not only will there be a range of different ideas that might not have been thought of but also so the team can ‘own’ these measures as critical to the future. They will know what actions will need support.
3. Who is responsible for which performance indicators? This isn’t just about balancing out the tasks but providing the right skills, talents and experience to ensure that the critical actions are undertaken. You can use the Talent Dynamics profile test to help work out who will be good at what.
4. Where and when will these performance indicators will be tracked? There is no good hiding away what will be measured and when. Allow the team to ‘own’ the measures, to stay motivated and allow them to support each other.
5. How will success be measured? If the performance indicator is fallen short of, this doesn’t mean a failure. If I wanted an 100% increase in sales but only got to 95%, in what world would I call that a failure? What the performance indicators show is the degree of success achieved and what happened that made it such a success or why performance did not meet expectation.
There is another step however…
6. What needs to change in order for a greater result to be achieved? Performance indicators should never remain static or fixed. Unless they are put to use in answering how something can be done better, a great part of the value of measuring the actions is lost.
Performance indicators are critical to your business because they are the key to your business growth!
January 8, 2013
Kick start your new year with a 121 session with a Talent Dynamics Master Trainer. Find out which of the 8 profiles you are and learn what it takes for you specifically to get into and stay in Flow in 2013 and beyond…
We have set up a Facebook competition which we will draw next week! All you have to do is like and share it and your name will be automatically entered into the draw!
Click here to like and share the post
The draw will take place on Wednesday 16th January and the winner will be notified via Facebook.
January 8, 2013
New Year – New Profile Purchase Price!
I wanted to let you know that we have some very good news to kick start 2013 with.
We have decided to make the profile test even more accessible and have set a new price point, which is not for a promotional period but is the new price point at just £50!
Yes, thats right, we have halved the price permanently!
Contact your TD Consultant to find out more about how you and your teams can get into and stay in Flow in 2013 using the Talent Dynamics Profile Test!
January 8, 2013
Heidi Droscher Performance Consultant in Denmark
Thanks to Danish Performance Consultant Heidi Droscher, we now have the TD profile test and report translated into Danish! Contact Heidi directly to find out more about running TD workshops in Danish.
Click here to be the first to
take the Danish Profile Test.