Life, Business, Executive, Success, Confidence, Leadership, Motivational, Personal, Career, Transition, Wellbeing* Coach (*or simply insert the latest buzzword).
It’s possible to wade through endless pages of coaching classifications that range through different yet distinctly identical descriptors. Admittedly “Performance Coach” possesses inherently similar characteristics and isn’t a particularly common phrase parse that springs to mind when potential clients type into the authoritative power of Google searching for a prospective coach. Similarly introductions as a “Performance Coach” are occasionally met with a mix of bewilderment and curiosity, and then, with clarification I describe how performance lies at the heart of our professional and personal lives. Every single action is ultimately a culmination of our capability, knowledge, communication, mental and physical wellbeing at each moment in time.
My Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) inner-geek revels in linguistics and lexical semantics where individual words are deconstructed, analysed and the relation between each component scrutinised to seek meaning. The Oxford English dictionary is a classic starting point for exploration:
Performance (noun) pəˈfɔːm(ə)ns
The action or process of performing a task or function.
The capabilities of a machine, product, or vehicle (or person?).
An act of performing a dramatic role, song, or piece of music.
(Oxford English Dictionary, 2016)
The process of performance links into our professional and personal lives as the ability to execute any task or function. On an individual level from the moment you wake up until you return to sleep at the end of the day everything depends on the success of your performance. Each interaction with your work colleagues, boss, team members, friends, family, neighbours and the stranger you pass on the street is intricately linked to your actions. These transactional responses stem from deeper emotions, values, motivations and beliefs around identity. From a business perspective it’s employee performance that instigates change, creates impact and supports business strategies, delights customers and generates profit. Whether your business commands multi-million pound profits, provides essential services or specializes in a particular product it’s the performance of every employee that contributes towards your business success and achieve your goals.
Our unique human capabilities are displayed in every conscious and unconscious action and verbal and non-verbal form of communication. Performance underpins everything from the moment you cross the office threshold to chair an important meeting, carry out daily work tasks, converse with a client, manage team members or carry out millions of other daily activities. A performance gap generally emerges between current levels of performance and desired levels of performance that are created from internal mindset expectations often in comparison with the perceived external influence of a specific individual (a boss, work colleague, mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife, friend or society in general). Performance is the intrinsic lynchpin that links how we manage our internal thoughts and execute external actions.
Digging deeper into “performance” the words reveal a French heritage from the fourteenth century where each individual element supports a holistic coaching context.
per: thoroughly & entirely
form: to bring about, construct or make dreams come true
-ance: attached to verbs to create abstract nouns of process or quality
The entire perspective of “per” draws from a wide range of complementary scientific disciplines and methodologies of psychology, sociology, physiology and economics. This approach supports a delicate balance of interconnectedness between a range of factors; knowledge, self-awareness, sleep, stress, nutrition, relationship, health, biomechanics, movement, mindset and energy management. The human species is a complex biological creature; an interwoven mass of billions of cells with cell membranes to enmesh a delicate balance of chemicals and it’s impossible to isolate specific conditions or syndromes to a single cause.
Finally in our 21st century more VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world the “default mode” has slowly but surely become normality for existence. The majority of the population functions at a basic level automatically working through items from the to-do list so life morphs into a never-ending tick sheet. Ultimately everyone is responsible for his or her competences, capabilities and knowledge to perform every second, every minute, every hour, every day…
Think about your current performance in both your professional and personal lives:
What are your true capabilities?
What do you want to be capable of achieving?
How can you maximize peak performance?
The following books delve into performance and offer an informative read to explore the concept further:
Expert Performance Chapter in Mastering Coaching by Max Landsberg (2015).
Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success by Matthew Syed (2015).
Capability at Work: How to Solve the Performance Puzzle by Paul Matthews (2014).
About the author:
Anna-Marie is a performance coach whose philosophy and ethos are reflected through her consultancy business Reach for More. She is an accredited Analytic-Network and mBraining coach and certified in eDISC and iWAM psychometric profile tools.
Anna-Marie specialises in coaching outdoors and loves to head into the great outdoors with clients before, during or after work. She is a qualified Mountain Leader, certified in Wilderness First Aid and a member of the British Mountaineering Council with more than 10 years of international expedition experience. Learn more at http://www.rfmcoaching.com.