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The components of performance

In this step, let's break performance down into three areas. Assessing what can and cannot be changed.

Performance can be broken down into 3 areas:

Mindset – attitudes, beliefs, thoughts and feelings.
Environment – the physical and non-physical space around us. Teamwork – working with others.


After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. People with a fixed mindset believe that abilities are fixed, and are less likely to flourish. However, people with a growth mindset believe that abilities can be developed.

Almost every area of human performance can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities.

Top tips – concentrate on the task at hand, set clear goals and gather feedback on your performance.


The environment that you operate in influences performance. This relates to the physical space around us such as offices, meetings rooms and desk space.
The non-physical environment is also key to consider and is easier to manage. Novelty, unpredictability and complexity in our work can help to focus our attention.
Make sure you share your ideas with others and take a stand for what you believe in.
Top tips – set yourself challenges, introduce complexity and take a stand for what you believe in.


In workplace settings it is very important to work as part of a team. HR professionals need to support teams so that they can communicate effectively, listen to each other and agree shared goals.
Allow each team member to participate fully and equally. Teams need to get the most from different personalities and have a degree of freedom to choose how they approach tasks.
Top tips – get to know other team members, take risks and support others.

How can you do this?

The key to working with these three areas is knowing what you can and cannot change. Making a few changes can improve your performance. In sport, athletes refer to these as aggregate gains.
One small change on its own might not make a big difference. But if you make a couple of changes in the three areas then that can often make all the difference.

Here are some questions to help you:

Mindset – what do you want to achieve long-term?
Environment – how can you challenge yourself?
Teamwork – how can you communicate effectively?
  1. In summary think about how you can maintain a growth mindset, remaining open to new ideas and feedback on your performance.
  2. Make sure you consider changing the environment around you so that you can focus and try out new things.
  3. Effective communication is key, listening to the needs of others is often a great starting point.

Your task

Remember that in order to ensure that you frequently perform at your very best the changes that you can make need to become daily habits.
A great way to do this is writing down and answering the questions above. Then return to these questions in a few months time. Notice what you have been able to implement on a daily basis and how your ideas might have changed.

Having a personal development plan that is regularly reviewed is a common and worthwhile activity that many HR teams promote and support.

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HR Fundamentals

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