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How to Develop Habits of High-Performing Employees

how to develope the habits of high-performing employees

video transcript

Dr. Teresa Peterson 0:02
Hi, everyone, Teresa and Kristen here, excited to chat with one another and with you virtually about this concept of high performing team members, and the specific things that distinguish them from their peers, you know, what makes a high performer, a high performer, there’s certainly a lot of different angles, we can view this through. But Kristen and I are really pumped to dive into the umbrella of self awareness and what that means how high performers exhibit and continually explore self awareness. So Kristen, one of the first things we started talking about was impact and you had so many amazing things to say about impact. Yes, so So hi, everyone.

Kristin Sauter 0:51
Welcome when Hi, from Germany, actually,

it was good fun. Anyway, yeah, impact? Exactly. So one of the things we we see in high performers really is, you know, their, their self awareness around, you know, the values that they are holding, you know, the beliefs that they’re having about themselves, but others about the world, you know, really, the needs that they have, you know, and it’s, it’s an it’s not something they can know, somehow, you know, it’s all about this really taking time to to, you know, and feel us a fearless audit about themselves, you know, what are the things that they do on a daily basis, you know, that might impact them, and what, one way or another, but also might impact other people really, really doing the self awareness audit on a regular basis, and really understanding the way they behave the way they believe, you know, and the needs that they have, and why seeing those needs are not, what might that mean, in terms of the impact for themselves, the impact on others. So that’s what we mean by impact is really coming back to during fear as ordered on a regular basis and really understanding, you know, why am I today? What are the things that might get in the way? You know, again, talking about behaviors here talking about, you know, understanding what do I need today, in order to perform the best way I can. And, you know, being not being afraid to voice these things for themselves and others,

Dr. Teresa Peterson 2:42
ya know, no, I love that so much Kristin. And when you talk about, you know, whether we call it a fearless audit, a courageous audit. When I think about impact, and the people we have worked with leaders or team members were really impactful. They don’t see themselves as static is like I became a high performer. Now I’m just gonna wrap up in a blanket and ride this thing out, right? That it’s this ongoing commitment to doing the work right to having that audit of yourself, the reflection of yourself, to seeing where you need to grow, right to see areas that you might be able to help others. Because as we were getting ready for today, that was one thing I feel like I hear a lot in our work is high performers, this one person who works in isolation, and just can move all of their widgets from one site to the next in the shortest amount of time, as opposed to seeing a high performer as perhaps the biggest competency builder of the group, right, someone who helps, who knows how to leverage their influence to raise everyone up quite a bit. We talked about curiosity, which is definitely a value here at sarin Olson, Inc. Kristin, what do you see even in your work with your coaching clients? What is coming up related to curiosity or how you think that fuels that understanding of impact or self awareness?

Kristin Sauter 4:18
I think I see a lot with my clients specifically, you know, when we talk about curiosity, I mean, it’s something that somehow or want to, you know, have as OBE be a curious leader or be acuities personal human being in general, you know, but curiosity is really it comes back to curiosity for themselves, you know, and it starts you know, who am I what do I need what is important to me, plus then periodicity also about other people, you know, really taking the time to understand okay, how do my team members actually like to work? You know, how do they like to communicate even more You know, what’s important to them? What is the boundary that they hold? And that’s important and that they want to value? You know, what are their values? Actually, you know, I’m really taking the time and also the courage sometimes to, to learn these things about our team members, you know, our Yeah, all POS really, but also about ourselves again, you know, so a curiosity is really goes to fund ways. It’s, it’s never just one way it’s about learning about the world, really, and the people around us ourselves. That’s yeah, that’s how I see it. And that’s what my clients actually, they get really excited about when we talk about, you know, how can we get, you know, curious without us actually, and then they get to practice that, you know, and find out, you know, what is my, my PA, Sarah, you know, you don’t want to know, and really getting to know the person even a little bit more, you know,

Dr. Teresa Peterson 5:59
that’s making me think of, you know, Curiosity is so invigorating, right? It’s so energizing to get curious, it’s I just saw a statistic, but 40% of our actions and behaviors are just from autopilot, right? And that’s not counting, walking, and all of those things, breathing, those types of things, but like, just our actual behaviors. 40% are autopilot, which is not a curious zone of the brain. So like there’s something inherently, biologically so invigorating about curiosity. I mean, I’m kind of excited just hearing you talk about it to me. Like, yeah, let’s get curious with each other again, right, we’ve worked for each other with each other for a while. So it’s time. Another one we talked about Kristin, was that really high performing team members are skilled at conversations and communication. So we talked about things like knowing how to build and sustain trust through conversations, understanding avoidance, and having the skills to have those types of conversations regularly, which is clearly something we’re really passionate about. Oh, we could say, and if you haven’t read, don’t feed the elephants by Serena Wilson, this would be a great reminder to do so. But Kristen, how often with your coaching clients, do you see conversations, whether it’s people often default to I need help with difficult conversations, and most people need help with conversations in general, right? Oh, and this is making me think I was working with a team. And at the end of the session, they said, when we think about difficult conversations, and we focus on the word difficult, it feels awful, and like something to avoid, and kind of miserable. But when we focus on the word conversation, it feels like oh, I probably have some skills to get close to this. So like what has come up for you, when you think about your own journey with conversations or your work with clients? What are you seeing there?

Kristin Sauter 8:08
Yes, I love what you just said because it’s exactly that people and especially the clients that I work with and stuff. Let me share a particular example one of my very first clients she really wanted help with with a conversation or a meeting that she had coming up with her boss around a project that she was leading and really needed some guidance there. And it was exactly that focus was and I love that what you just said our focus was very much on the difficult part instead of learning or focusing on on building the skill of holding what seems like an upcoming conversations but really understanding okay, what is the fear actually this holding or the worry that you might have on assumptions even about the person about yourself, the conversation, the project, whatever, you know, the outcome of that conversation. So we’re really setting herself up for success to do that self awareness piece that we talked about earlier, so that she could test her assumptions. That was one part but also helping her to, to think about some wording that makes her already if you know feel much more confident about herself, you know, it’s because sometimes the so called difficult conversations, they they make us feel so like wanted to go intro and I like you know, cover or something. But really it’s what I realized especially also with that client is you know, it’s the is the is the wording is how to how to voice the things that you know in a very respectful but in a very not demanding isn’t the right word, but you know, being confident you know and what you need from Your manager from your peers and so on, you know, really get having that self awareness is so critical when it comes to conversations to that, you know, once you know that part, I think it has become for her at least much more easier. And the conversation went really well, because she was able to voice what she needed from him, you know, and I feel like the project has worked really well for her. And she, you know, had really great results. So there was a big learning for her. And so yeah, that’s coming up very often people go into conversations, and it’s exactly what you said earlier is whatever, when they really focus on difficult, you know, and curiosity comes in here to is understanding, okay, how do you like to work on this project? What would you like to add here? For you, as well really, you know, learning those skills, and I think high performing team members, they can voice those things they can get curious with other people. Sometimes it’s just take, it’s taking a learning, it’s a learning process. That’s what it is.

Dr. Teresa Peterson 11:10
Yeah, I love that, that you’ve given me a lot to chew on there, but and how rewarding it can feel to take that risk to advocate for yourself or to step up and say, This is what I need. Right? And that it can’t all be on the team member, the leader has to know how to receive that. And meet that moment. Right. And it sounds like in that situation, they did, and it worked out. And so that feels good. Just knowing that happens somewhere in the world right now, does.

Kristin Sauter 11:44
I always talk about you know, even Utah, I know you worry about going into this conversation, and it might be a very difficult one. Yes, it might. It might be, you know, but I always ask the client on what could be a positive outcome or impact you’re having on yourself, but also on the other people? How might other people benefit from you showing up and in a very different way going forward, you know, going into voicing addressing things, you know, that might get in the way of, you know, people’s performance? For example, you know, so, so, staying curious with the other person not pointing fingers, it’s about staying curious, you know, and pointing out what you see what you hear things like that, you know, so really, I think everything comes together here with difficult conversations, you know, in terms of self awareness, the impact that we’re having on ourselves and others, so yeah, and I think a lot of people have this big aha moment. Oh, no, I see how me showing up differently. And conversation might have a very, very different impact going forward for myself and others.

Dr. Teresa Peterson 12:54
I really, I love this practice. This is something I don’t think we do regularly enough, but in in getting ready for a conversation to pause and say, What is a positive outcome? Right? I mean, ideally, maybe you find a win win, or it goes how you’re hoping it would go, but also the positive outcome of doing something you’ve never done before. Right? Of setting that healthy boundary of, of changing how a process is going to flow for the team going forward. Right? I mean, like, There’s something so beautiful about because our brain prioritizes, negative possibility, negative outcomes. The brain wants to keep us safe. So it likes to give us lots of reminders of all the ways it could go so wrong. So I love. I love that so much, Kristen, like the intentionality of being like and just pause, like we hear all the ways this could go so wrong, what’s just one way? It might go? Right, right, or one way, it might have a positive outcome. Let’s just pause and consider the possibility. I think that’s so powerful. That’s a real gift you’ve just given us I’m not sure that’s something we’ve done consistently. So I like

Kristin Sauter 14:15
to my clients to really ask them up here because it might feel that one what is the one typical and negative thing? Because that’s on their mind? Various you need to get this out, you know, talk about the same time, what could be the benefits? And yeah, sometimes if it’s a leader, that believer is about, you know, going into a conversation, like, Okay, what could your team members learn from you by practicing, you know, by you seeing doing these very things, you know, how can they maybe adopt this behavior or the adopt, you know, how to go into a difficult conversation so that’s the also impact that they talk about, you know, and it’s exactly then, you know, we could go so far but that Add us like, you know, how do you set up the team up for success? Even? You know? And how do you build on a wire man that’s full of trust where we can have difficult so called difficult conversations. So again, I could go so far

Dr. Teresa Peterson 15:24
know that you and I’ll come back to a few of these later on our own after the the last one I want to make sure we talk about because it’s a little counterintuitive. I think for some of the folks listening potentially, or what we see regularly is, we often hear this concept that high performers work a ton of hours that they’re, you know, work is their number one, I spend more hours here than anywhere else, this is my most important thing, and that they are dedicated to the point that I would call unhealthy, right? That they are, have no identity outside that as a worker, or they’re only celebrated for or rewarded maybe for an unhealthy amount of hours worked an unhealthy amount of, of hours, I think on a regular basis. And one thing that you and I were talking about that we see, and folks we would consider high performers are those healthy boundaries, and healthy life balance. You know, I, I think that’s that, like all of these is a topic all in itself. But we know with the amount of burnout folks are experiencing that that singular focus on work on churning out a product on perfectionism, which is a horrible kill for yourself care vibe, that those are issues that are coming up regularly and leading to negative social outcomes for people being isolated, negative health outcomes, when we’re when we’re sitting at our desk, we’re not up we’re not connecting, we’re not moving. You know, I think we’ve all had times when maybe I was a high performer, but it wasn’t taking very good care of my body. I was just kind of shoveling food in at my desk while I was working. And therefore that wasn’t sustainable for me as a human. Long term. So Kristen, what do you want to add? What’s your perspective? What do you hear from clients on this aspect of really bodying self care as a key component of being a high performer?

Kristin Sauter 17:41
So Willie, I have a I have a client on right now that talks a lot about you know, saying yes, to her to herself more and note, you know, I know that can be daunting, especially if there are worries that comes with that, you know, but at the same time, again, it comes back to this whole idea of asking, Okay, what would be a benefit of saying yes to yourself, and one day be identified as saying yes to your family more, as well. So but it also means saying yes, to your family more or to, to other team members, or or you know, peers. So, really, I think, high performers that really take self care as, as one critical aspect to that they work on, you know, I feel like that, yeah, in itself, self self care, we all universally, I would say it’s a challenge that I see, more often than not, it’s, you know, saying yes to yourself more and your needs and what you need and setting healthy boundaries for yourself, as much as that will benefit. So many people run those not trust ourselves. So really looking at something, again, it comes back to impact, you know, when I look after myself more, and be sure that I’m healthy, that I feel located or feel good about myself, you know, then it will show to the world and to the people around you that, you know, you feel that you feel good about your work that you know, you can’t you don’t have to mask anything, you know, yeah. I don’t know if that makes sense. But I feel like you know, it all comes back to impact again, you know, just the impact that we have, and also also know those around us.

Dr. Teresa Peterson 19:36
Yeah, well, and even as you’re talking it made me think about, you know, seeing self care as a way to give to yourself and then also to give really good things to others because we’ve all I mean, I’ll speak for myself and certainly everyone in my life have had a time where you’re only having these outputs, you’re not having anything coming in for you right and then What you’re able to give others isn’t great after a while, because you’re you’re coming in, in the morning, potentially to work or you’re logging in, and your tank is already at half, you know, you haven’t replenished or even close from evening before or the weekend. And so, self care is that beautiful, proactive use of taking care of yourself to write and, and to take care of yourself in ways that will ultimately allow you as a human for you, but for others, right to give more to contribute more fully, without being burning the candle at both ends, or is there is there a German equivalent to like, burning the candle at both ends? What’s is there German, I always love culturally, if anyone listening, you know, this is my Midwestern, you know, burning the candle at both ends. But I’m always love what other cultures use to describe like, when we’re wearing too thin or burning more than we have to give kind of okay, if you think of it Kristin,

Kristin Sauter 21:04
I will think about if there’s another German listening in here, maybe they want to think about anything right now. Yeah, but I think it’s really, um, we’re just saying it’s like making this a higher priority and making it even understanding, you know, what does? What does? What is the was the, although, you know, what good is coming out for everyone. When I give myself, it’s almost like a lot of people want to allow and give themselves permission, you know, yes. To self care, which, in a way, if that’s one thing you have to do, yeah, no, then absolutely. I wish we didn’t have to give ourselves permission to feel good. But maybe, then it’s, you know, it’s simply a given that this was part of life as well.

Dr. Teresa Peterson 22:01

Kristen, as we get ready to close, when you and I were chatting about this today, and a lot of other days, too, we felt like the bottom line came down to culture, do you want to share some thoughts on that? So really, um, so I think all of this, I think high performing, you know, team members,

Kristin Sauter 22:25
teams really thrive best when, you know, it’s been when they’re when they can be who they are, you know, their culture, you know, when when the organization invites a culture of trust, or, you know, psychological safety, where we can have difficult conversations and are encouraged, you know, to have the conversations where we are encouraged, you know, to do self care, where we are asked curious questions, you know, where now this is, this is almost like part of the DNA of the organization, you know, so really, it all comes down to is all of this what we just talked about encouraged in one way or another? Yeah, people can thrive and then can and teams can be high performing. Yeah, I think you have to add to that, that I missed.

Dr. Teresa Peterson 23:23
I think, I think everything you said was beautiful. And the culture, the culture is what allows people to, yes, exhibit all these things, practice all these things. And we tend to think of high performers again, as like the one or two or handful of people instead of thinking what I would, what I would love to see organizations do more is how do we create the conditions where many people can be high performers, as opposed to focusing on a handful who may be performing at a high level, and maybe doing it in unhealthy, unhelpful and collaborative ways that sometimes are damaging to the larger culture? Right. So how do we, how do we provide the environment where so many people can exhibit these high performing behaviors be like, cultivated, nurtured in this way,

Kristin Sauter 24:17
in a way, individualism jumps to mind, you know, how invited us human beings, you know, and where we can thrive? And no matter what parameters or settings? No, no, they are. So really, um, yeah, I think I think those this is just really the core of it, you know, am I allowed to show up and do all these things that we just talked about today?

Dr. Teresa Peterson 24:46

On behalf of my friend and colleague, Kristen, from Germany and the team at sarin Olson, Inc. Thanks, everybody, for tuning in. we’d love your feedback. We’d love your questions. We’d love if you

Have any cultural ways of describing the concept of burning the candle at both ends I just love to hear from you wouldn’t we Christen okay we’ll see you soon everybody bye bye

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


Website | + posts

Kristin Sauter, a Co-Active Leadership Coach, is a native German who brings an international perspective to her coaching through her past work in the UK, the United States, Germany, and points in between. Kristin’s work with Sarah and many leaders across the U.S. has allowed her to build a deeper understanding and appreciation of people-focused leadership, what Kristin terms “PEOPLESHIP.” Kristin shares her passion and advocacy for mental well-being in her coaching with the belief in unashamedly sharing experiences and exploring healthier paths to emotional fitness using the principle of Positive Intelligence.

Dr. Teresa Peterson
Director of Learning and Development | Website | + posts

Dr. Teresa Peterson is the Director of Learning and Development for Sarah Noll Wilson, Inc. In her daily work, she serves as Sarah’s key content collaborator. Teresa enjoys facilitating, researching, and is passionate about applying best practices for learning to make our experiences meaningful, engaging, and accessible for all types of learners. Teresa holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of Northern Iowa and brings over twenty years of experience teaching, facilitating, and leading to our team. Our clients love Teresa’s grounded energy, depth of thought, and ability to listen deeply.

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