Sunday, June 09, 2013

The 4 Ps on the Path to Performance

Who has time for complicated theories? Even those of us who love rich complex thought, especially combined with clever wordplay, have only a little time for it. It's the square of exquisite dark chocolate in our diets, not the leafy greens that keep us healthy and moving.

This morning, I'm going to offer you a simple way to think about how you are getting the results you are getting. Most of us don't think about performance (except in phrases like performance review). We think about getting things done and satisfaction and relationships. But. . . . whatever you do in a day is a performance and you can decide where you would like to perform better (which is a more direct way to think about where you would like to get better results).

The four Ps of performance:

Pain:  I know. It's a terrible place to start. But pain is an indication that there's something that needs to change. And working through pain extends your endurance and ability.

Problem: All pain is a problem but not all problems create pain. Problems can also drive curiosity and exploration and the desire for bigger boxes or wider frames. They're often the key to innovation.

Purpose: It's hard to push through pain or even to solve problems if there's nothing you want at the other side. Purpose means knowing what you value and what you want to change. Sometimes it means setting goals and sometimes it means finding the one goal that is big enough to drive you for the whole of your life.

Persuasion: This is an out-of-favour word but it fits here and I like it better than influence. Persuasion owns the process: it says there is something specific I want you to believe, to think or to do and I am going to find a way to get you there.  Without persuasion, your performance is limited to the things you can do on your own. That just doesn't cut it for most of us: we need other people to participate in our success and that means persuasion is part of our performance.

There's nothing here about technique.  Technique is part of both problem and purpose: it's what you learn to do what you want to do. But you can master technique without changing your results enough. Performance suggests not just being capable of success: you want to do something with that capability.

NLP: Now Learn the Ps that drive Performance

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