Whilst we all generally want to perform brilliantly, high performance can often feel elusive or be misconstrued. The reality is we all work hard and seek to do our best (in an environment that just seems to be getting tougher). So, is it time we looked differently at what and how to achieve ‘high performance’ individually and collectively – particularly at a time when so many of us are working remotely?
Jim Loehr and Tony Schwarz have dedicated their working lives to the topic of high performance but recognise so many approaches ‘deal with people only from the neck up, connecting high performance primarily with cognitive capacity’. They’ve developed an integrated and proven theory (tested on thousands of executives) around what achieves high performance – depicted as the performance pyramid (Fig.1).
“Physical well-being is [the pyramid’s] the foundation. Above that rest’s emotional health, then mental acuity, and at the top, a sense of purpose. The Ideal Performance State—peak performance under pressure—is achieved when all levels are working together”. Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, HBR
Tapping into the pyramid: 12 ideas to support effective remote team working & high performance
Level 1: Improving physical capacity to support effective remote team working
All too often our working routines may feel relentlessly single-minded – pushing ourselves too hard mentally and emotionally (like powering through without a lunch break) but rarely giving space for what we need physically like movement and exercise and rest. While it may feel like we are ‘getting more done’ the reality is we are undermining our performance.
Ideas for how to address this in a remote team working environment:
- Idea 1… Introduce ‘walk and talk’ meetings – be it face-to-face or a telephone meeting. Agree with a colleague that you’ll both conduct the meeting whilst out walking.
- Idea 2… Leave the slide show behind – host at least one session a week where you don’t rely on a presentation or screens but focus on interaction with others (this makes ‘walk and talk’ meetings more feasible too).
- Idea 3… Role model your own energy renewal to support the team belief that it is important to take breaks. Acknowledge if your own behaviours are role modelling a ‘long hours, no break’ culture.
- Idea 4… Introduce (and role model) a ‘well-being hour’ where each week people can take an hour out of their working day to do something they enjoy e.g. going for a run, playing the guitar etc.