Recently I had a conversation with David Clancy on the Art of Healthcare podcast. David is a physiotherapist who has had the opportunity to work with multiple world class athletes and teams. He is also the co-host of the “Sleep, Eat, Perform, Repeat” podcast, which looks at what makes high performers tick.
There are three main traits that all high performers display.
Presence – the ability to be present in a situation. Bringing your full focus to bear. Distractions rob us of our ability to take in all the information presenting itself. It might be a tone of voice, or a subtle physical reaction, or something not quite right with a test that we don’t pick up on because we aren’t fully focused. Sometimes this makes no difference. Sometimes not seeing that turns what could be a great outcome into a shitty one.
A learning mindset – every day is a school day. We are presented all the time with opportunities to learn and grow. They may be from things that go well, or they may be from “failures”. The opportunity is there AND to make use of it we need to recognise and grasp it. There are lots of reasons we don’t, time pressures, fear of failure, imposter syndrome, blame culture to name a few. The difference between high performing clinicians and the rest is that they act on more of these opportunities.
Curiosity – high performers stay curious. They are constantly interested in new information. This shows up in two ways. Deep curiosity on a topic. Finding out as much as possible about a subject. AND Broad Curiosity. Looking at a range if topics, even those seemingly unrelated, and then being able to take the learnings and principles and apply them to your area of interest. High performers do both, depth for expertise and breadth for innovation.
To hear how to apply these to your practice have a listen to David and I chat this week