The Recognising That You Are Always On Stage Approach

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The nature of work has changed over the past couple of decades. Transparency has taken over, especially in the age of open plan offices. Employers, customers and colleagues will make judgements about the way people behave.

Looking at your professional life, it is important to recognise that:

You Are
Always On Stage

Perhaps this seems unfair, but it is still the case. So it is vital to be super professional.

Everybody is human, however, so it is good to create times when you can take a breather. Taking time out during the day means you can be fully present when it matters.

This also highlights a paradoxical point. Whilst you are on stage, it should always be about focusing on the other people and their needs. It should never be about you. It is always about helping other people to succeed.

Let’s explore how you can continue to be professional when you are on stage.

Recognising When
You Are On Stage

“My turning point came 10 years ago when I was rejected for a senior role,” said one person.

“The positive feedback was that I was superb with clients. But my colleagues weren’t impressed with some of my behaviour in office.

“They did not like me showing my frustrations or arguing in meetings. My view was that I was just being honest, but I hadn’t realised how it affected people.

“My bosses wanted me to retain my passion, but to channel it in more constructive ways towards colleagues.

“So I had a decision to make. I could ignore or listen to the feedback. I chose the latter route and got the senior role within 12 months.

“The tough messages were the turning point. They taught me to think about how I behaved in front of colleagues.”

Try tackling the exercise on this theme. What are the situations where you are on stage during the day? People may look at how you behave when you:

Arrive at the office.

Work at your desk.

Participate in team meetings.

Meet customers.

Deal with crises.

Or whatever.

When do people make judgements about you? Try completing the following exercise.

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Preparing Properly For
When You Are On Stage

You have charted the key moments when you are on stage. How can you be super professional at these times?

Peak performers, for example, manage their energy and prepare properly. Here are some steps that such people take.

They stay ahead of the game by planning the next day, week, month or year.

This helps them to shape the future. Certainly unexpected events will occur, but it is important to make things happen, rather than wait for things to happen.

They organise their time in blocks and make the best use of their prime times.

They organise activities in blocks of time. This enables them to give the tasks their full attention.

They are also aware of their prime times. These are the times of the day, week, month or year when they have most energy. They try to protect and make full use of these times.

They rehearse what they want to achieve and then rise to the occasion to deliver the required results.

They tend to relax, rehearse and refocus. They then go on stage and do their best to deliver results.

Peak performers recognise it is vital to manage their energy and relax off stage. These breaks may only be for 10 minutes between meetings, going out for coffee or whatever. Creating such spaces enable them to take a breather and prepare for the next time they are on stage.

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“But what about the unexpected?” somebody may ask.

Surprises do happen. As the old saying goes, however: “Spontaneity takes a lot of planning.”

Peak performers rehearse everything. This gives them more freedom to be spontaneous or deal with the unexpected when it does happen. They are then able to be calm, clear and deliver concrete results.

“Sounds a lot of work,” somebody may say. Agreed, but rehearsing how you will tackle challenges provides the greatest chance of success.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme.

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Being Super Professional
When You Are On Stage

Being on stage calls for being fully present. It means giving full attention to the person, task or challenge.

Peak performers often have a chosen ritual they use for clicking into action and going on stage. It is almost as if they say:

“Right, time to move into action. Time to be super professional and be fully present now I am going on stage.”

You will have your own ritual for making this happen and moving into action. But now comes a point that sounds paradoxical.

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Trusted advisors do this all they time. Preparing properly, they are then fully present when meeting with their clients. They help to make the other person feel the centre of their world.

You will have your own way of making this happen. If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to focus on how you can continue to be super professional when you are on stage.

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