Dog Days are Over*: How to Stop Being a Poor Performer

Are you a poor performer?

Everything you do boils down to how you perform. Good performers are efficient and productive. They get the job done and produce results quickly. Poor performers, on the other hand, are constant complainers. They make lots of excuses and are unreliable.

In many cases, be it in your school or in the organization you belong to, there are individuals who aren’t performing and delivering what is expected of them.  An example would be the movie “The Devil Wears Prada” where Andy Sachs, portrayed by Anne Hathaway, lands a job as an assistant to the infamous yet powerful fashion magazine editor named Miranda Priestly.  In the beginning of the movie, Andy would probably be pegged as a poor performer. While she has the brains and diligence for the job, she has zero background about the fashion industry and has no clue with what her boss and job expect of her. She struggles with her tasks and industry jargons she doesn’t understand. Ultimately, her cluelessness slows her and her co-workers’ work.

This can be said about poor performers in various settings.  Poor performance greatly affects how you are perceived. Overall it places a strain on the relationship with whomever you are working with. To avoid these and get you back on track, here are some ways that can help you get out of the pit that you’re in:

Seek specific and immediate feedback
When you do something, make sure that you ask for a feedback. This will help you in assessing your work. The gap between your performance and what is expected of you will be explained. Ask for your strong and weak points. Through this, you will be able to validate yourself and be directed to what you should be doing to achieve your goals.

Confirm that you are in the same page as others
Make sure that you understand everything and everyone that concerns your work. Miscommunication with the people you work with may lead to more problems rather than results.

Do an upgrade
Sometimes, all you need is guidance to improve your work. Don’t just bank on your current knowledge and skills. To improve and to do much more, you have to grow and learn new things. Read and read. Enrol yourself to training programs and attend various seminars that would aid you in your development. I’m sure there is a lot out there. You just have to look and participate.

Keep track of you work
Document your work. This will help you monitor if you are progressing with your performance. Take notes during discussions or when you are given instructions; this way, you will not miss or forget important details of your work. Your notes can also serve as reference–your dos and don’ts–in your future works.

Self-awareness is the key
Generally, people don’t notice a lot of things about their own performance. We tend overestimate our abilities even if in reality we’re just okay or we’re not really performing well. Being self-aware will help you boost your ability to monitor your own skill-development and check the status of your performance so you can adjust accordingly.

Find a motivation
One factor that affects your performance is your desire and commitment towards your work. If you find something in your work that makes you happy, focus on it so that you’ll create a motivating environment. As they say, “Make your passion your job so you never have to work a day in your life.”

Go and ask for help
If nothing works, there is no harm in asking for help. There are people who are willing to help you. Know the no one is great in the beginning. Hard work and continuous self-development can be done especially when there are people to support you. Now that you’ve read these tips, it’s time to make sure that the dog days are over and be the good performer that you are.

* Excuse the reference to the Florence and the Machine song. Quite fond of the Pentatonix version. ♥
References:
8 Rules for Dealing with Employees Who Are Bringing Your Company Down 
Unskilled and Unaware of it (Article #147 – Written by Alan Bellows)
How to Deal With Poor Employee Performance
Can You Really Help Poor Performers
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