I just got back from an incredible weekend of personal and professional training and development. One of the main distinctions we delved into was the world of “reasons” versus the world of “performance.”
Most of us operate in the world of reasons. Why things work or don’t work in our lives becomes more important than the outcome itself, so we rarely get to the source of what causes our results. What’s worse is, when we don’t achieve what we set out to do, we feel like we (personally) failed. We don’t look at it as a failure in performance, we look at it as a failure of who we are, and that’s where the danger lies.
When I don’t go to the gym, I feel bad – like I’ve failed. If I don’t go for many days in a row, it gets worse. I become upset with myself and resigned that I’ll never really embrace exercise, lose weight, look great, etc. I decide I should just give up altogether since I’m just not one of those people that happen to enjoy exercise.
However, when I consider this from the world of performance and I take myself out of the equation, I’m able to look at the whole picture objectively and see that my actions simply didn’t match my commitment (my goal), and that the results are what they are. I’m living in a world of reasons, not performance.
I see this in the construction industry all the time. Contractors often live in a world of reasons – reasons why something didn’t get done on time, that the estimate was higher than expected, or why they didn’t communicate something of importance to the homeowner. But the reasons make no difference. Over time, contractors just get used to those reasons being “the way things are,” when in reality, evaluating the actions they could’ve taken to perform at a higher level would vastly improve their client’s experience.
Where else do you see people operating from the context of reasons vs. performance?