As I’ve written about extensively, I enjoy my work with professional athletes as it allows me to draw many parallels to working professionals. Both are paid to perform to their best ability with the former being so in a microcosm of the performance time compared to the workplace where projects can take months if not years. One of the attributes of successful athletes and teams is film time. I am always impressed at the volume of video made during a game that is then spliced up per athlete or per play and processed for feedback. It is one thing for coaches or teammates to lament about their version of why something went well or not well, and another thing when the play can be viewed in film in hindsight processed objectively like evidence in legal court room. The same is done for opponents to help athletes prepare for who they will be playing against. The film room is a powerful learning forum.
When I propose this model to professional managers and leaders in the workplace, I often get the quizzical response of how there is no film in the workplace to review. Is that true though? Are our brains not capable of replaying an event that just happened almost in video/film form with our eyes closed? Can we not debrief with someone else who was there and process the sequence of conversations, of who said/did what when and ask ourselves the same questions that athletes do when watching film? Did I say the right thing? Why did I not think of that? What else could I have done? What do I need to work on so I do not repeat any mistakes again? Where can I get help for this?
This week, pick two events a day that you can replay in your mind shortly after they have occurred. Ask yourself those questions. Rinse and repeat each day. See how much better you get with each progressive event with your performance. Try to do a few with a confidant who was also there. They are likely to replay the same event but from a different camera angle, literally and figuratively. Perhaps your view was hidden based on where you were shooting your experience from. Perhaps next time you can position yourself differently or pay more attention to multiple views other than yours to get the best analysis of the event. You will find that high performance is not so much a destination once reached is a permanent state, but rather, based solely on how you perform at each critical event, your game time. Athletes are notorious for being viewed as good as only their last performance. And so should the working professional.