How to Create a Performance Environment – Part 1

I live an hour from the mountains. They are a gorgeous site…when I stop to look. Many people allow their surroundings to fade into the background. It becomes too familiar.

This is a normal attribute. We have a Propensity to Attenuate (PTA) for things that don’t change. They become invisible and automatic (do you remember how you got to work this morning?). As part of our survival instinct, we are predisposed to focus on the novel and unexpected. We direct our energy and brain power to center on the new stimulus.

This fact provides an important lever for boosting our energy levels at work. Studies demonstrate how colour and workspace design contribute to results (did you know that you can lift more weight in a blue room?). Having something new in our space that we like raises energy levels.

So here’s the tip: Change something. Add something that makes you smile. Get rid of something that’s been weighing on you. Throw out meaningless team awards and add a striking piece of art.

I work alot on my phone. To make that an inspiring space, I regularly change the home screen wallpaper. Each time I turn it on, a fresh image of my dream car makes me smile. In my office, I discard nicknacks that I don’t notice anymore and add a pile of shiny new stones on the desk to handle when I’m thinking. That promotes a sense of happiness, which research shows promotes learning and innovation.

When I work with leaders, I carefully observe their working space. Strong leaders surround themselves with things that inspire. There isn’t a thick layer of dust on their memories. Items change over time. Even small changes can create significant boosts in energy.

What will you change today?

Thoughtfully Yours,

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Jeff Skipper
Jeff Skipper is an expert in accelerating change. Clients such as Shell, Goldman Sachs and The Salvation Army have engaged him to achieve dramatic results during strategic transformation by wrapping complex change in motivating mission. He has been quoted in Fast Company, Forbes and HP’s enterprise.nxt. Jeff holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and is a Certified Change Management Professional.

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