When looking to improve in any given area of your life, it can be helpful to have a tool to help you understand where improvements can be made. This is where performance profiling comes in. It is a strategy to help you understand what it takes to be a high performer. A performance profile is a technique which can be used to understand the key areas for performance and identify areas for development.
This blog will take you through the steps for creating a performance profile and how it can be used to help set goals for improvement. The focus of this blog is on the workplace but a performance profile can be used for all areas of your life such as business, sport, health and relationships.
Step 1: identifying important characteristics
First, identify the characteristics that someone would possess if they were to perform at their best in your career.
- List as many as you can think of
- Be specific e.g. don’t just write ‘confident’. Break this down into key areas e.g. confident in making decisions, confident in dealing with clients, confident in speaking at events etc.
- If you get stuck, do some research – ask your manager what qualities he/she thinks are important to be excellent at the job
What makes a great _________ (fill in job role or level of responsibility e.g. manager)
10. (you can list more if you need to)
Step 2: rank yourself
- Pick the top eight characteristics you believe to be most important and write one next to each section of the wheel (see the image of this blog)
- For each characteristic, rank yourself out of 10 as to how well you are achieving this standard (mark it on the image of this blog)
- 0 = it couldn’t get any worse
- 10 = It couldn’t get any better. You embody this characteristic all the time.
- Connect up the dots to create your spider diagram
Step 3: reflect and plan
Now you have your spider diagram, you will be able to see the areas you are excelling in and the areas that need improvement.
For the areas you scored lowest on, create a table and answer the following questions:
- What does someone who is a 10 in this characteristic do?
- What is one thing you can start doing today to move towards improving this?
- What is one thing you can do over the next three months to improve this?
Step 4: track your progress
Track your progress by reflecting weekly on where you are in achieving your goals for improvement. Take pride in your achievements and note the areas you can improve upon. After three months, repeat the exercise and see if any areas have shifted for you and where there are new room for improvements.
By Hannah winter, sport and exercise psychology consultant and Sandstone Ambassador