I chose to use the word "healthy" instead of "high" performance. This is because "healthy" is more proportionate to your team's natural best. I don't want "high performers", I want people who operate at their natural best. In the long run this will yield more consistent results. Let's unpack this a bit more. No, you won't get super high spikes in performance, but you won't get low dips either. Without low dips, we don't need high spikes. Healthy performance is more likely to outlast high performance. A team pushed to new highs all the time will burn out and loose the race over longer stretches of time. They will be unhappy and will leave at a higher rate than those who are happy. Conversely, a team operating at their natural best isn't even trying to win the race. They are not concerned with the finite arbitrary goals of hitting the next higher step on a chart of metrics. Instead, they are working towards the vision. This leaves room for the team to be passionate about the vision, which is an ingredient to performing at their natural best. The environment is one of the few things that is in your direct control. You create the environment through your actions. You can't just say it's a safe space, you must demonstrate it. For example, you can practice empathy when someone is failing to meet objectives. Instead of saying, "you are not meeting your goals this month, you need to pick it up or you won't like the next conversation". You could say, "you are not meeting your goals this month, what's going on? is something wrong?". Looking at another example, when someone fails or makes a mistake, let them learn from it and try again. This demonstration results in their feeling safe rather than working under some degree of fear. What else are you doing to create a healthy environment? Do you have a question or challenge you are working through? Please share your experiences below.
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