Are you and your team thinking like high performers?

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Body, Brain and Belief

Body, Brain and Belief

In 2014 we explored the foundations of high performance. We highlighted that in order to maximise your performance you need to maximise your energy. And your energy comes from three broad categories – Body, Brain and Belief.

This year we are going to focus on the “belief” aspect. We will look at practical tips to help you and your teams to improve your mindset for high performance.

Know why you do what you do (your “why”)

One of the foundation steps in creating a high performance mindset is to know why you do what you do. It’s important to know this at the business level, at the leadership level and at the individual level.

In his book “Start with Why” Simon Sinek discusses that while it’s important to know “what” you do and “how” you do it, the most successful companies perform by having a strong connection to “why” they do it. And when your staff and clients know and engage in your “why”, keeping clients and staff becomes much easier and therefore more profitable.

How to determine your “why”

Whether it be from the point of view of the leaders who started the business or why the employee joined the business in the first place, it is important to make sure people have the tools to determine their deeper “why”.

From the standpoint of the leaders who started the business it’s important to ask “why did they start the business” And when they get that first answer, the next step is to ask “and why is that important” and then continue to ask that question of each answer until you get to a deeper reason. One financial planner I spoke with about started her practice s to help all females have access to financial security and when probed more about why that was important to her, it was to carry on her mother’s legacy and actively make a contribution to the financial well-being of as many women as possible so that they don’t have to suffer financially like her mother did.

That’s far more powerful than just “I provide financial advice”.

From the employee’s standpoint if the mentality of an employee is “because I needed a job”, that won’t be a very effective “why” to connect with and he or she probably won’t be a very engaged employee which will lead to sub-optimal productivity and therefore will adversely affect the bottom line of the business.

It is then important to help them think further about this by asking “Why did they need the job?” and once you get another response then repeat the process by asking “Why is that response important to them?”.

Once you start getting to responses which are more around deeper values rather than things like technical skills, you are tapping into the passion of what gets them out of bed in the morning. Once you have that it is important that it becomes a habit to remember this.

Connect employee’s “why” to the business “Why”

Once the employees are connected to their “why” they will generally start to show an improvement in their productivity quite quickly. When you can take it a step further and connect this to the “why” for the practice, the results will really start to improve.

When employees feel they are part of a bigger picture and are connecting to why you are all in business together engagement will then start to go to another level. Think about a company you know where you really love the product or service and therefore you feel significant brand loyalty to that company. Maybe it’s to a particular car, or an airline? Chances are it’s because the staff exhibit a high level of engagement. A large part of that engagement generally comes from the passion associated with the product or service they are providing.

Use the interview process to probe deeper as to your future staff member’s “why”

Many times in interviews we hear the standard question – “why do you want to work for us”. But if we can take this line of questioning a few layers deeper about the real “why behind doing what they do” you may even save yourself the pain of hiring someone who isn’t connected to you and the “why” of your business in the first place.

Relate the “why” to service to others

Of course given that financial planners are in a service profession, a “why” connected to a deep desire to serve others in a specific way will obviously be beneficial.

Relate even simple tasks to the “why”

All tasks, even administrative tasks such as addressing letters and envelopes without spelling mistakes, are more likely to be done well when you know your “why”. In many cases something as simple as spelling and grammar creates that first impression with a potential client. Many a client has decided to go elsewhere when their name has been incorrectly spelled.

If you explain the dollar value of potential lost revenue to the business and the effect it has on the ability of the business to live up to its “why”, it’s easier for people to see the bigger picture therefore be more engaged in doing a great job for themselves and for the business.

So try to start this year by focusing more on your why rather than the how and the what and notice the great results you will have in terms of employee and client engagement – and that can only mean good things for your bottom line.

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