What do we really mean by People at their Best?
“When are you at your best?” It’s a question that often comes up in coaching. So often it’s suspicious!
We find that the question helps to understand the behaviours and the feelings that individuals are experiencing and where the gaps might be in their current situation.
The goal of many of our development interventions is often stated as simply wanting to get the best from people. But what does that mean?
Could a shared understanding of being at your best in work lead to faster identification of issues to resolve and more focused development interventions, whatever they may be?
As business psychologists, we like to keep up to date with the latest research and understand what can benefit our clients. One of the areas that we have seen have great impact is the notion of working to strengths – first understanding them and then working out how to make the most of them.*
Certainly for Totem, understanding what each of us does well and gets a kick out of doing has really helped us allocate work more effectively and be more productive. Yet there are still days when we’re not necessarily at our individual best – we all have those days, when we are distracted or just ‘not in the zone’.
Unpicking what we mean by being at our best will help us to quickly remedy distractions or other limitations. This will be useful on an individual basis, in coaching or in designing development interventions for clients.
Our research* started with two questions – one that we ask our coaching clients quite regularly and one that is asked of us quite regularly:
When are you at your best?
How do I get the best from my people?
The consistency of the language and descriptions people use in describing best made us question if there is something underlying that – a shared meaning of what being at your best when at work encompasses.
If we can clarity and understand what we mean by being at your best – it becomes an accessible tool for management conversations and prioritising organisation’s development investments.
Keep checking back on our research, because we really feel this concept has got legs and we’re curious to see where it leads.