FINDING YOUR FLOW TOOLKIT
EXITING THE MOMENT
Engaging Moments of Performance will be written in a 3-part series. This week we will focus on Step 1. Planning & Preparation (Entering the Moment). Next week we will focus on Step 2. Execution & Feedback (Performing in the Moment). On the third week we will focus on Step 3. Evaluate and Learn (Exiting the Moment).
Exiting every Moment of Performance (MOP) is a treasure waiting to be mined. Win, lose, or draw, data emerges in every experience providing the keys to unlock future success.
But how often do you take the strategic time to place your attention in this Short Past (SP) dimension? For most of us we rarely take this time—even briefly—to reflect, measure our efforts (quantitatively and/or qualitatively) and capture the lessons.
Once you have exited the arena, there are several types of feedback you might consider. Let’s review them briefly:
External/quantitative feedback references something that you can count: a scoreboard, an evaluation, an exam, etc… with clear numbers. This type of feedback is standard fare for many peak performers. But like any one type of feedback it tells only part of the story.
Perhaps you won the match, made the sale, aced the exam, nailed the presentation, but did so knowing that you left some of your game on the table. While this type of feedback is useful—and often builds your resume—it is incomplete.
Qualitative feedback is another tool that most of us rely on from time to time, but perhaps not as consistently as we should. External/qualitative feedback usually comes in the form of one or more people observing and commenting on our performance.
Perhaps you have mentors, colleagues, friends, family members, or even a personal coach, who provides this type of feedback. In contrast to many professional athletes who pay large sums of money for someone to find a chink in their armor, the majority of us shy away from it. Fearing feedback is the loser’s mentality: welcoming feedback is the mark of a champion.
While this may provide another source of information, there are deeper—internal insights to be captured and analyzed after every MOP.
This type of feedback requires measuring your own behaviors, strategies, tasks, etc… This includes the actions that we control—where we can always win. Counting how many sit ups you do in a day, the number of times you complimented others on their work, the number of pages you read, the number of hours you have prepared for an exam, the number of minutes in meditation, whatever—internal/quantitative feedback gives you the control—helping you to achieve the internal victories needed to achieve your external goals.
This type of feedback requires that you make your own judgments about an outcome. It can be as simple as:
- What did I do well?
- Where did I struggle most?
- How can I improve next time?
Such questions, while not quantitative, provide a personal “gut check” for your ongoing process of improvement.
There is one final feedback concept that is important to consider:
The Proactive Mindset.
Reactive vs. Proactive Feedback
Reactive feedback is never initiated, only discovered. While still valuable, it’s often ignored because the performer fails to own it. By contrast proactive feedback is sought by those who are looking to improve and confront the hard realities. Great performers do this with great enthusiasm—separating who they are from their performance—looking deeply and critically at every piece of data
Multiple Sources of Feedback: Putting it all Together
Ideally, getting the most from feedback requires multiple types and sources of feedback—each giving you a more complete view of your performance.
The purpose of any Post Performance assessment is to review both quantitative and qualitative outcomes—inside and outside you—doing so with a proactive mindset.
To help you with this I’ve attached a Post-MOP Evaluation checklist with 15 questions you might consider after each performance. Each question represents one of more of the 12 dimensions of focus we discuss each week.
Consider this a “snapshot” of your Flow Assets and Flow Liabilities. By taking just a little time after each MOP (5-10 minutes in most cases) you can accelerate your learning and reach your performance goals with greater speed and efficiency—in every life arena.
Remember, evaluating your performances needn’t be a long and drawn out ordeal. I suggest that you use both the Pre Performance Planning and Post MOP Evaluation sheets for a minimum of three MOP's to initiate the practice. Both of these exercises can be completed in just a few minutes. However, the more time you take to answer these questions, the more prepared you will be and the more you will get from every performance in the future.
EXERCISE AND PRACTICE:
- Identify 3 MOP’s that you wish to conduct a post performance assessment.
- Use the Post-MOP Evaluation to capture your feedback and learning.
- Notice the difference in your next performance. Repeat and ritualize!