High Performance in an area cannot be accomplished solely by yourself.
You cannot produce high quality work consistently over a long period of time without a team that supports your success.
Because of this, Influence is one of the most important High Performance Habits as it is integral to sustaining high quality output. “People only like to work with leaders who make them think bigger and grow more”, Brendon shares.
The question you need to ponder is: How are you influencing the people around you?
To clear up any misconceived notions in advance, influence is not manipulation. Influence is defined as, “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.” Manipulation is influencing someone in an unfair or unscrupulous way, which is not what we will be covering in this newsletter.
Simply, influence is helping people to see what you see and helping them to become invested in a project's completion through their contribution. This sentiment is echoed by Brendon when he states, “People support what they create.”
The three facets of influence you will read in this Newsletter are: Teaching people how to think, Challenging them to grow and contribute, and role modeling the way.
Teach People How to Think
Training other's thinking is less about mind manipulation and more about asking proper questions. “Think of it this way...”, “What would happen if we tried…”, and “How should we approach this?” are all ways of training thought patterns. By asking questions, you can spark new patterns of thought in the minds of your team. Questions are great for this because a new type of question opens the door to new types of answers and thought.
The key to this facet of influence is to exhibit the same thought patterns yourself as you try to open your team's brain to new avenues of thought. Don’t expect others to be open minded if you are not open minded yourself. The key to influence is to help your team see what you see so that you can begin bringing that thought or idea into reality. Once they “see” it, they may have other ideas on how to realize it. Listen to them as they may have a tactic you previously may not have considered.
Specific & Framed Challenges
“High Performers challenge the people around them to rise to high levels of performance themselves” Brendon shares. Being a high performer is infectious only when you challenge those around you to raise their levels of performance. Without learning how to properly challenge your team, over time, you may begin to resent them because you have to carry the lion's share of the load and fill in any quality gaps your team leaves.
The way around this is to challenge those around you. A quick story I read in Grant Cardone’s book The 10X Rule is a reminder of this. The story starts with a sales team setting a sales target at the beginning of the year. As the year progresses, they revisit this goal and compare it with their performance so far. With its current trajectory, the team was not projected to reach its goal. Most people would change their goal to make it something more attainable based on their current performance.
In contrast, High Performers challenge their team to raise their performance to a level that helps them to achieve their initial goal. The way to do this is not through attacking their character but through specific and framed challenges.
Challenges must never attack character but should always encourage others to improve their performance through specific, framed challenges. “Do more”, “Do better” and “Work faster” are not specific challenges. See below for an example:
“Instead of being lazy in the morning, we are going to start our days with more work”
This is an attack on character (Lazy) and unstructured. (What does more work mean?)
“To meet upcoming project deadlines, we are going to start our days with project work”
This is better but could be more specific
“To meet the upcoming project deadline, we all are going to start our days with 60 min of work on project XYZ.”
This challenge addresses their performance and is specific and framed.
Role Model the Way
High Performers don’t require more from others than from themselves. They produce excellent work and intentionally interact with their team to influence them to perform at a higher level. High Performers practice what they preach and understand that the team’s high performance is contingent on them.
Whenever they see a gap in the team's performance, they think, “How can I influence my team to cover this gap with my work practices? ”
If there is a leadership gap they ask, “How can I encourage this team member to be more of a leader with my actions?”. If there is a collaboration gap, they ask “How can I foster a collaborative environment with my work practices?”
High Performers lead from the front and encourage others to follow because of the way they behave.
What are 3 ways you can challenge those around you to raise their level of performance?
What are 2 actions you can take TODAY to exhibit the patterns of behavior you want to see from your team?