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High performance culture is only many painful conversations away

One thing we know about the brain is that emotional and physical pain to the brain is the same. This means we have to take our job as leaders very seriously and create safety inside of our organization for our people to speak up, challenge the status quo, reward each other and present their problems to you early.

Ray Dalio, American hedge fund manager, and philanthropist wrote the inspiring novel, Principles, in which he highlights the concept that pain and reflection lead to progress.

We tend to get through adversity and challenges after they happen, by Dalio discusses the importance of reflecting on your pain at the moment when you’re experiencing it. While this is easier said than done, one way you can do this is through journaling. By writing down the good, bad, and ugly and detailing life’s truths and challenges, you can better understand what you’re going through and come up with ways to adapt and overcome.

High performance from a team perspective

When you are going through adversity, show the courage as a leader to bring the team together and reflect on the pain you’re experiencing. Going through those challenges and speaking up will actually bind and unite the team more because vulnerability is a massive trust builder. If you schedule this effectively you can integrate a system inside your organisation to share their challenges.

Google Co-founder, Larry Page, was able to do this in his early days at Google. By going around and sparking conversations with team members, he was able to create a culture where employees felt challenged and were able to speak up about issues that may be bothering them but are uncomfortable to address.

As a leader, as yourself: Do you want your staff to crack the glass? Or shatter it all over the floor?

While cracked glass can still be repaired, if it’s completely shattered, the damage is often irreversible. By addressing problems and having those difficult conversations with team members when adversity is happening, instead of after the fact, you may have more success in developing a solution that helps you to build a high-performance culture.