Jean-Pierre Lauzier, consulting expert and sales consultant, regularly gives his advice on personal and business development on Isarta Infos. Today, he goes back to the distinction between performance and productivity. He explains how to increase the former.

Performance is not measured by the number of hours worked over a period of time, but rather by the results obtained. In other words, the performance of an individual, team or company is assessed on its ability to achieve a goal in the shortest time frame and with the least effort possible.

Too often, people are blinded by their daily tasks and do not take the opportunity to take the time needed to reflect to find better ways that will help them improve their performance. Starting today, make the decision to stop your many activities to find the answers to “Why”, “Why these reasons”, and “Why these reasons of those reasons”, etc.

For example, why do you work? Why do you do it this way? And so on. Even if you do not immediately get a solid answer to these “why”, keep questioning yourself day after day and sooner or later you will get strong and powerful answers. This reflection will give you the answers that will allow you to update an exceptional performance.

There is an important distinction between performance and productivity. Productivity is the way to do the same activities faster by using ways to increase the pace while performance is to act at best to get the expected result faster: not by working faster, but by working better.

4 steps to follow

To improve your own performance, here is a four-step performance action plan that I strongly recommend that you implement in both your personal and professional lives:
Step 1: Goal setting;
Step 2: Statement of reasons and motives for achieving these goals;
Step 3: Development of a plan on how to achieve the goal;
Step 4: Execution and follow-up.

1. Goal setting

What do you want as a goal and as a result? You have to figure out, before you start, where you want to go or you are going to go around in circles, and that is certainly not how you are going to improve your performance.

This crucial step is, without a doubt, too often either forgotten or even omitted by many. If you are a business leader, it is very important that your employees clearly understand the objectives of your organization, the department and their work in the short, medium and long term.

A clear understanding of these goals is essential to empower people and thereby achieve superior performance.

2. Statement of reasons and motives for achieving these goals

What are the reasons why your goals have been set and why you and your team need to achieve these goals? You need to find strong, sincere, and profound answers to this question, because the stronger those answers are, the greater your chances of achieving your goals.

Do these reasons really matter to you and your team? If the answer is a big YES, you already have half the way done, but if the answer is NO, then there you must question the why of this no and remedy the situation.

3. Development of a plan on how to achieve the goal

What means will you use to achieve your goals? Put your action plan on paper and have it validated by people who have already experienced what you want to accomplish. If you are a leader, involve all members of your team in the development of the plan so they can share their ideas with you.

You will probably be surprised by the excellent suggestions they are able to offer. Develop this plan with all the people who contribute to the achievement of the goals and improve it every day according to the actions that are carried out.

4. Execution and follow-up

Your success is really related to the actions you take, and much more than the knowledge you have. If things do not work out as expected, get up and start over better.

Failure is, very often, an essential step to success, because it tells you the paths to avoid and thus guides you to the right one. Follow up regularly to ensure that you are progressing and come back so that neither you nor your team forget the goals to be achieved, and that you always understand their reasons for being. It is not by saying it once that people understand, but by repeating the message.

And do you, in your work, know your own goals well? Can you tell us what the goals of your organization, your department, are? Do you know the underlying reasons for those goals? Do you work with a specific action plan? Do you improve your actions each week to be more effective?
If you can answer these questions positively, then I am not at all worried about your performance, but if you are not, you’re probably working way too hard to get very ordinary results.

The same logic applies to your personal life:

  • What are your life goals?
  • Why do you want to achieve these goals?
  • What is your action plan to achieve them?
  •  Do you do things every day to improve your performance in order to achieve your goals?

If you want to increase your income, get a promotion, succeed in starting your business, have a more harmonious family life or get a better return from your employees, then make the decision now to be a better person by religiously following these four steps day after day.

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