During the 2016 Olympic's I watched Tom Daley's preliminary dives with absolutely astonishment. He masterfully delivered each and every one of the six rounds, ended top of the table with the highest Olympic score. Yet the next day in the semi-finals his ability to deliver had gone, he finished a disappointing last place and did not make the finals. From a service delivery perspective this issue of maintaining peak performance is often seen as a given when interacting with customers. So what are some of the lessons we can learn?
Engaging training is essential - although this may seem obvious it is amazing how many times staff are trained poorly. As a trainer I know I am often judged on the performance of the last trainer. Role play is an essential first to step to understanding performance yet many trainers seem to get this wrong and many staff hate it! Engaging an individual, a team or staff group in processes, skills and techniques relevant for their performance is the essential first step.
Praxis - Linking training to real world performance. This needs to be supported by managers so that performance can be improved. Nothing is worse than sending staff on training and then not having an opportunity to perform. Confidence drops very quickly and then so does knowledge gained through training. Whereas, if opportunities happen quickly to test the skills and knowledge needed to perform, staff are able begin to flow with situations where they need to provide a service.
Performing in the moment - Having been trained and had opportunities to practice, both confidence and skills improves and the ability to perform in the moment becomes possible. When this happens staff are able to hit peak performance and deliver optimum results even when faced with challenging situations.
Reflective practice - an overlooked essential! Achieving peak performance often relies on reflective practice whether this is individually, with a coach or a group. The ability to look back at past performance and review where improvements and opportunities could be developed is essential. This ability to reflect becomes harder the better someone gets so finding the right kind of reflective questions is essential to continuously developing peak performance.