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In a previous video, you completed an assessment by rating your performance on each of your job responsibilities. You'll need that worksheet again for what we are about to do. If you ever played the game leapfrog as a child, you'll know that the rules are very simple: someone in front of you crouches down, and you jump over them. When making improvements to ability, we want to do the same. We want to jump over being just good, and get to invaluable. Let's say I've discovered that I need to do a better job of meeting deadlines.
I don't just want to meet expectations; I want to leapfrog right to exceeding expectations, such as getting assignments in early. This is a clever but simple way to get the greatest benefit as quickly as possible. We will do this by following a simple four step process. The first step is to identify an area that you want to improve. Review your list of job responsibilities, and identify the ones where you're performing below expectations.
Now choose one of those areas to improve. The next step is to ask yourself, what would I need to do to perform above expectations in this area? Let's say I rated my performance below expectations in communicating with my coworkers. What will it take to perform above expectations? Perhaps I need to be more consistent; scheduling regular meetings, being more clear in my instructions, and immediately notifying them whenever there's a delay in the project.
Answer this question for each area you rated your performance as below expectations. The third step is to identify which area of the invaluable cycle -- systems, accountability, or motivation -- will help you perform above expectations? To continue our example, if I'm not communicating well with my coworkers, is it my lack of a system that's causing that? Is it my lack of accountability to someone else? Or is it a lack of motivation or desire on my part to communicate? Let's say that I've identified an accountability issue; that I don't have someone to report to about how well I am communicating with my coworkers.
This leads us to step four, which is answering the question, what is my next step? In my example, my next step is to talk to my manager, and commit to reporting weekly on what I'm doing to communicate with my coworkers. Now I've used the invaluable cycle to begin leapfrogging over performing just at expectations to performing above expectations. Now it's your turn to practice. Identify an area that you want to improve.
Ask yourself, what would I need to do to perform above expectations in this area? Identify which area of the systems, accountability, and motivation cycle will help you perform above expectations, and identify your next action step for improvement. Use the leapfrog method of improvement regularly, and you'll see continual progress in enhancing your ability.
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