A combination of performance science can be helped by executive coaching
Demands upon leaders and managers are increasing at unprecedented levels and often without corresponding resources to match. If this equation is not balanced then we mostly see a downwards spiral to poorer performance of the leader, his team and ultimate business performance. These demands placed upon a leader include:
- Perform under pressure
- Increase business performance
- Embrace change management
- Balance work and life conflict
- Maintain physiological & psychological wellbeing
- Lead and manage scarce resources
I have seen these demands tip the balance of many good leaders and prove to be costly in many ways. But is there a way to embrace pressure, stress, health, change and success from within often quickly and efficiently? The answer is yes and we can underpin the statement from evidence within the performing science world, most notably sports.
Performing science embraces a combination of neuroscience and performance psychology to achieve success in the intended field. It is an understanding of the hardware and software of the brain and mind if you like. The hardware comprising the brain structure and chemistry developed from genetics and life experiences and software being the psychological makeup of the individual and how these two interacts.
This interaction can be simplified and implemented through the REPEAT Model (Route to Exceptional Performance Each Actual Time) which actions a process and is the perfect methodology for success within executive coaching, business coaching and leadership development. I created this name for the model to highlight that each performance scenario can be approached, implemented and achieved in isolation and can then be repeated for the next scenario on a continual ongoing basis. It has saved my client’s jobs, status and futures.
It is a chain of events that starts with the performance situation, this could be a negotiation, presentation, appraisal, interview etc. The thoughts filter through a mindset philosophy which will assess whether you have a challenge or threat approach towards the situation, each with its own consequences. The challenge mindset actions an approach stance which expects rewards and fires off the neurotransmitter dopamine whilst a threat mindset produces an avoidance strategy anticipating punishment. This highlights the connection between the left and right brain tug of war and related electrochemical reactions within.
Following the philosophy decision comes the understanding of the demands involved namely uncertainty, required effort and danger to self-esteem. Once assessed we look for our resources to defeat the demands. These identify our levels of self-confidence, control and focus on achievement if successful. The answer to this question will determine our following mind/body integrations and whether resultant emotions and levels of cardiovascular reactions will be helpful and the outcome to the situation and its resulting consequences.
This methodology is a simple way to embrace any challenge and view it in the right way, not only for achievement but also good health, wellbeing, brain chemistry and happiness. It is a true indicator of motivational behaviour and an individual’s self-awareness, self-control, self-direction and self-regulation. The true understanding of employee engagement is to understand what is happening to them at a neuro level and to align motivational desires and roles to that level. Fear promotes more fear whereas safety, security, status, autonomy, relatedness, fairness and value boosts performance evidenced by David Rock’s SCARF Model.
In terms of executive coaching, leadership development and business coaching from my experience it is powerful to assess the before and after states of the individual in terms of what they will have, how they will feel, how the average day will change and how their status will elevate. Many of my clients before the process have exhibited stress under pressure, poor health and wellbeing, isolation, lack of clarity, conflicting decision making, fear of the future and living within a silo. Afterwards, they feel totally in control, relaxed and excited under pressure, focused upon critical elements, clutter free, leading by example and not through punishment, able to identify and respond rather than try to predict and control, a healthy life/work balance and discovery of joy back into everything that they do.
These changes and improvements all become available because of a mind process that looks at challenges as a good thing and eliminates fear and threats and knows that the evidence supports this approach. It is a structure and process that can make massive change almost immediately in terms of success through the development of your mental resources to outweigh the demands of the situation. I suppose it is similar to a diet where we all know how to eat but forget the good choices we should make, so we follow a listed plan or process to achieve the desired body weight or shape.
In conclusion, it is exciting to now understand and see the evidence from neuroscience and how it is supporting psychology findings of the past and showing us new ways to control our own mind and ultimate performance. Although the brain will never be fully understood, it is giving us clues to lead better lives and changes we can make for the better.
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