There are many things that affect your performance at work, but where do habits and behaviors fit in? There are many ways to measure and analyze yourself and the environment that you work in and all will have a part to play in the success you have in your role along with your level of stress and well-being. Some things will be out of your control, but you may be surprised at how simple insight into yourself and your team can make such a big difference to achieving your goals.
A salesperson cannot be successful if the product they sell doesn’t work, nor can a financial group manage revenue without a financial system, so let’s focus on people rather than the things around us. We believe everyone fundamentally comes to work to succeed and so what is the difference between those individuals who succeed vs. those who fail?
As an example, maybe you or your team works on a high volume production line of some sort. We can imagine that the daily role may be quite repetitive and perhaps even mundane. Would habits play a part of whether someone would be good at, or enjoy this role? How about a startup environment where absolutely every aspect of the business is new, unknown, or in development? Are certain behaviors going to be beneficial to enduring this free-form process?
Two of the nineteen behaviors that Shadowmatch focusses on are ‘Routine’ and ‘Discipline’. We think it’s highly likely that these would have a big impact on the two roles mentioned above. Some people have a strong habit of Routine, so they find strength and comfort in knowing that the day follows a certain pattern. Others have no set pattern of routine behavior; in fact, some people become stressed and have to put effort into behaving that way. Discipline is a related behavior: people with strong Discipline habits crave structure, rules and order (and will easily create it where it does not exist). At the opposite end, some people have to work without policy constraints and regulations.
For both of these habits you can start to see which habit (or lack of) would be best suited to which environment; practically speaking someone with a habit of Routine will work more easily in an environment that is repetitive, and an absence of habit would be essential in a startup role. What affects our performance is when we inherently have (or lack) the key habit that is required to perform at our peak. It is possible to alter, or perhaps more accurately ‘flex’ our behavior to try to match the environment, but unfortunately that takes a toll on our well-being. The worse the match between the individual and the environment, the more effort and stress is required to try and ‘fit’. Over time, this becomes ‘draining’ as our individual habits are very difficult to change and will always want to return to their starting point.
Knowing and understanding this is a big part of understanding how you can affect performance. As a quick test, look at an example of our feedback report, review the different behaviors we measure and try to identify which of these are strongest in yourself (or team). Then go through them again and apply each one to the environment that you work in. Looking at the two lists side by side will give you some initial idea of the fit and level of stress/effort you’re working at.
This is a VERY rough test which you should not take specific action on, but hopefully it gives you an idea of some of the practical and fundamental principles that we ignore every day that impact us over time. It also highlights the fact that you may have habits that you are not making the most of.
If this sounds intriguing, then the next step is to take our Behavioral Challenge and see officially if you know what habits are key to the performance of your team or role. You may be surprised at what you don’t know!