The Art of Strengths Coaching

R is for Relaxed Relentlessness  

There are many ways to do fine work. One approach is to pursue the path of relaxed relentlessness.

Great workers sometimes take this path. They do this by taking the following steps.

They clarify the real results they want to achieve. 

They clarify the strategies they can pursue and put in the hard work required to create the platform for delivering the results.

They then, when appropriate, combine being relaxed and yet relentless on the way towards delivering the desired results.

Great athletes, for example, start by clarifying their picture of success. Bearing in mind what they can control, they look ahead and clarify the results they want to achieve. This may mean, for example, aiming to do their personal best.

They clarify the key strategies they can follow to give themselves the greatest chance of success. Putting in the hard yards required to pursue these strategies, they deliver consistently high standards and perform superb work.

Great athletes perform at their best when it matters. They do this by combining being relaxed and relentless, especially during key moments. They then sometimes go into their equivalent of the zone and deliver achieve peak performances.

Looking back, can you think of a situation when you aimed to combine relaxation and relentlessness when working towards achieving a goal? This could have been in your personal or professional life.

You may have done this when encouraging a person, doing a creative project or tackling a challenge. You may have done it when playing a sport, managing a crisis or doing another activity.

How did you clarify the results you wanted to achieve? How did you, when appropriate, aim to combine relaxation with relentlessness? How did you translate this into action?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation when you combined relaxation and relentlessness on the way towards achieving the desired results.

Describe the specific things you did then to combine relaxation and relentlessness.

Describe the specific things that happened as a result.

Looking ahead, imagine that you want to follow similar principles in the future. You may want to do this when following a passion, doing a creative project, tackling a challenge or performing another activity.

Imagine that you have already created the platform for doing superb work. It may then be worth exploring the following steps that some people take to deliver the desired results.   

Great workers relax before going into their equivalent of the arena. They are calm, controlled and centred. They then click into gear and give their best to achieve the goals. They aim to flow, focus and finish.

Different people combine these elements in different ways. One approach is to focus on the following steps.

Relaxation
And Rehearsal

Different people relax in different ways. A person may breathe deeply, follow certain rituals or buy time to think. Being relaxed calls for being positive and fully present. It does not mean being sloppy.

Imagine that you have followed your rituals for relaxing. You may can then rehearse following your chosen strategies for achieving the goals.

Sometimes this may mean doing the actual physical rehearsal. Sometimes it may mean doing mental rehearsal. Sometimes it may mean doing both.

Different people rehearse in different ways. Here is one approach that some people take to mentally rehearse pursuing their strategies.

Rhythm And
Reality Checks

Great workers click into action when entering their version of the arena. They then follow their chosen rhythm, which is often based on their successful style of working. They follow this relentlessly to deliver the required results.

Such workers also do reality checks. They clarify: a) The specific things that are working and how they can do more of these things; b) The specific things they can do better and how. They then implement these ideas and do their best to achieve the goal.

Relentlessness
And Results

Great workers are often relentless and demonstrate elements of OCD. By this I mean Obsessive Compulsive Discipline rather than Disorder. They tend to be obsessively disciplined in the activities where they excel.

Such workers keep doing the right things in the right way and maintain high standards. They keep doing the basics and, when appropriate, they add the brilliance.

Good decision makers also have the ability to adjust course if things go awry. They stay calm, buy time to think and plot the way forwards.

Different people use different approaches to make decisions in such situations. One approach they use is to focus on clarity, creativity and concrete results. This involves working through the following steps.

Great workers clarify their chosen strategy for tackling the challenge and rehearse what they will do next. Going back into the arena, they click into action and regain their rhythm to do good work.

Such workers sometimes separate the phases of being relaxed and relentless. Sometimes they combine both elements, however, and go into a state of relaxed relentlessness. They are then more likely to flow, focus and finish on the way towards delivering the results.

Let’s return to your own life and work. Looking ahead, can you think of a situation when you may want to combine relaxation and relentlessness?

You may want to follow this path when doing a creative project, performing in a sport or doing satisfying work. You may want to do it when building a business, leading a team or pursuing a dream.

Looking ahead, how can you clarify the real results you want to achieve? How can you relax and rehearse? How can you follow your chosen rhythm and do reality checks? How can you be relentless and do your best to deliver the results?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation in the future when you may want to combine relaxation and relentlessness on the way towards delivering the desired results.

Describe the specific things you can do to combine relaxation and relentlessness.

Describe the specific things that may happen as a result.

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