I have learned and grown immensely as a person and a professional over the last 10+ years of training, coaching, and consulting in the field of human performance. A few key lessons from the last 10 years are driving some major changes in the way I approach my work.
Training resilience, mental performance, and leadership skills to individuals is POWERFUL...And not sufficient.
Leaders have an exponential impact on the resilience, performance, and well-being of their people/team...And leaders don't always know how to help (and sometimes do more harm than good)
Mental skills and concepts need to be consistently reinforced to have the biggest impact...And I can't always be the one to reinforce them
These lessons are driving some changes in the way I train, coach, and consult:
I now focus on making training accessible
...By moving a bulk of individual training to a digital platform
I now focus on making change sustainable
...By empowering and supporting sport coaches and leaders...
If you've felt your motivation dwindle over the course of the pandemic (or really any time), this science can help us figure out why and what to do about it.
As humans, we have some basic needs. You know this. If I asked you what our physical human needs are, you'd probably say things like food, water, sleep, movement, etc. We need those needs to be met before we can thrive.
Turns out, we also have some psychological needs that need to be met in order for us to thrive:
When these 3 basic psychological needs are met, our natural motivation flows. We are happier, healthier, more engaged, and perform better.
In 2020 in particular, we all lost a large sense of control over our lives - literal restrictions on what we can/can't do are only the start of it. We also feel loss of control when things are just UNKNOWN or constantly changing.
I feel like motivation is getting a bad rap these days as some uncontrollable beast that comes and goes as it pleases.
I get it - especially after 2020. But I'm not giving up on motivation just yet, and here's why.
From my digging into the science of motivation, I've learned to think of the ebb and flow of motivation as a dance. Am I leading? If so, how? Am I trying to force the dance or am I moving with my partner? If we lose sync, is it because they're off course or did the music shift and I wasn't paying attention?
This metaphor helps me see a shift in motivation as information to be danced with. Maybe the information is telling me I let my mind and focus wander from my high, hard goals that make my heart thump.
Maybe the information is telling me I've been driving too hard and need to refocus on my recovery. Maybe the information is telling me my environment is shifting and I feel lost. Maybe it's telling me I need to refocus on my relationships.
Whatever it is, when we can...
Think about the last time you thought about providing feedback to a teammate or coworker. Did you hesitate?
Most people will say yes.
If we're aiming for flow state - either in business or sport - we must shift our mindset to see feedback as imperative to success.
Sometimes we receive the immediate feedback we need from the environment or process itself (a missed shot is feedback to adjust form; a disengaged audience may be feedback to adjust your presentation style).
Sometimes though, we need that feedback from those around us.
The best way to start? Shorten the feedback loop. Feel yourself hesitating to provide feedback? Challenge yourself to give it immediately. Worried you'll mess up? You might, and that will provide you with immediate feedback to improve your feedback in the future.
Risk is often an inherent part of performance - whether you're in sport, business, the arts, or leadership. But sometimes we downplay risk to make ourselves feel more comfortable which can switch off this necessary flow trigger.
Risk can be uncomfortable and make us feel vulnerable...two things we often shy away from.
In performance, though, we want to embrace the risk. Aside from being a catalyst to growth and resilience, risk is necessary to achieve flow state.
Without risk, our physiological systems don't activate in the right way to get the rush of neurochemicals and hormones that align with our highest performance states.
The next time you feel yourself downplaying the risk or vulnerability within a performance, flip your mindset. Recognize that your best performance is only possible because that risk is present.
This is one of the most beautiful elements of sport or any performance. Operating on the edge. Seeing the risk and being...
You've probably heard of "flow state" or "being in the zone"...but have you heard of "group flow"?
Regardless of whether you've heard of it, you've probably experienced it.
It was that moment your sports team seemed to be playing as one unit - communicating without speaking, anticipating movements as if you were reading a teammates mind...
It was that moment your work team got "on a roll" in a meeting and seemed to be planning, creating, or producing as if you were one brain - sharing the lead, building on ideas fluidly...
Group flow is real (like, measurable by science).
And, because of that we also know some of the "triggers" that make group flow more likely. These are those ten triggers.
Science shows is that by pulling on any one or combination of them, we can increase our likelihood of entering group flow.
Stay tuned this week as I introduce and explain a few of them. Find out which triggers you could use more effectively improve...
Hi, I'm Piers.
I am a human performance professional with 10+ years' experience providing coaching, training, and consulting to improve resilience, leadership, performance, and culture. I have diverse experience working with people in sport, military, and other high-risk occupations and want to use this blog to share the individual skills and concepts that can change lives as well as the lessons I've learned along the way. I hope this space adds value to your day, enjoy!