“You play where you’re strong, as a team, and as a person. Not where you’re weak.”Banu Hantal
In this episode, Banu Hantal Kellner talks about optimal performance. Her work is directly related to helping executives perform better and become better leaders. Her definition of “optimal performance” is based on how much of people’s strengths and internal resources they can power up if they can take advantage of their unique talents, experiences, and perspectives. Everything they have can be used in the most impactful and beneficial way.
Banu believes that strengths can be very tricky. Because if something comes naturally to a person and they’re great at it without really putting any effort into it, people usually take it for granted because it doesn’t feel like “hard work,” so they don’t usually see it as a strength. On the other hand, one of the most relevant ideas of her work is that optimal performance might look completely different in every person because of their strengthens, who they are, and how they operate look completely different.
According to Banu, one way of reaching people’s best performance is a better use of the investment of our time and effort into what comes naturally and is accessible to us. It doesn’t mean we’re not supposed to improve ourselves; it’s a continuous process, and there’s always something to improve. But we get better results by focusing on strengths.
However, one of the problems she mentions is that society still rewards and punishes people in terms of their productivity, not even by looking at the results, but by grading them on busyness, about how much they look like they’re working, directly related to the definition of “hard work.” This supports another of Banu’s beliefs that the current system is mismatched to the needs of knowledge workers and their performances because it’s based on the structure of the Industrial Era ideas.
In this interview, Banu provides key factors to improve people’s performance at work and become high performers, such as working on the coping and self-regulation system. Another factor she mentioned is mental flexibility; not being so rigid can give you the chance to look at problems from a different perspective. The last aspect she said is finding what we’re good at, levering that, and striving for excellence without falling into perfectionism.
Once again, she highlighted the importance of not attaching our self-worth or value to our work, claiming that what we tie our worth to it’s crucial because when we lose it, we’ll feel unworthy. As long as we have an equation “my worth depends on this,” it’s always a game to lose. She leaves us with the message of not having to be perfect to be worthy. We are human beings, reflections of many different things as our ancestors’ DNAs, the environment we grew up in, whatever happened, like a complexion of things that made you “you,” and you’re just worthy by nature, by definition.
In this conversation, you will learn:
- Optimal performance
- Sense of worth
- How our Nervous System works
- …and more!
Enjoy the interview!
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