How to Show Up in Ways that Ignite High Performance in Others

Your presence – the way you show up – impacts team performance.

Positive emotion promotes high performance.*

Know impact:

Leaders who don’t know or don’t care about their presence can’t promote high performance in others.

Notice how people feel as you interact with them. Are they engaged, fearful, hopeful, worried, or inspired? What are you doing when energy goes up in others?

Manage endings:

Successful leaders manage last moments.

The most memorable moment of an experience is the end.  

Begin with bad news, end with good.**

Don’t use good news to buffer bad. Jump into bad news quickly. End with the good stuff because endings have more weight than beginnings.

  1. Express gratitude.
  2. Notice progress.
  3. Identify next steps.

Manage the last five minutes of the day.** Go to a teammate – at the end of the day – and ask two questions:

  1. What did you accomplish today? Things that went poorly speak louder than things that went well. Build positive emotion with brief – end of day – reflections about accomplishments
  2. What’s your plan for tomorrow? Plans produce energy.

Gratitude at the end:

I know a leader who walks the halls at the end of the day expressing gratitude.

I know this because his team told me. They say things like, “He’s a good guy. At the end of the day, he expresses gratitude to everyone in the office.”

Leave people with more energy when you walk away.

People remember and judge experiences by the peak-end rule. Daniel Kahneman describes it in his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow.

How might leaders show up  in ways that promote high performance?

*There are some exceptions to the connection of positive emotion and high performance. For example, highly detailed work that requires searching for problems is best done in a darker mood. Also, fear of losing often results in greater intensity at the end of an activity.

**When: The Scientific Secret to Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink.