Performance cues are anchors or triggers that help you do the right thing at the right time to excel in your performance.

If you would like to find out how to introduce performance cues into your goal setting, then come to the next IMPACT Goal workshop:

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Performance cues

A skater uses performance cues to help focus

Skating through your performance

I have great admiration for competitive figure skaters.

Imagine the concentration you need and the stress you would feel as you wait to enter the ice rink for the final of the Winter Olympics.

Remembering to do the right thing at the right point in each one of your jumps must feel overwhelming.

Elite Athletes use anchoring in situations like this to help focus on a specific step in their performance.

These so called “performance cues” are reminders to concentrate.

A performance cue should be a simple and positive action that helps you focus on what you need to do next.

In this example, the skater could use the phrase “blast-off” just before a jump in order to remind herself to explode into action.

You can find out more about Performance Cues in Shane Murphy’s book The Achievement Zone.

Murphy, the former sports psychologist for the US Olympic Committee, gives a solid grounding in performance excellence.

Though out of print, it is worth tracking down a copy.

The Achievement Zone
8 Skills for Winning All the Time from the Playing Field to the Boardroom
by Shane M. Murphy

Performance Cues in Everyday Life

Performance cues do not need to be confined to the world of elite sports.

They are something that you can use to help you perform at your best in any circumstance.

I have a couple of performance cues that I use before doing a presentation, which I will write at the top of my final notes.

The first is “KAV”: this reminds to speak to my audience in kinaesthetic, auditory and visual language in that order when I open my presentation, because that covers the mains ways in which people process information and is supposed to be engaging.

The second is “Pause”, because it is easy for me to race in a presentation and I want to slow down and have longer pauses, to lend greater gravitas.

Another is “Eye Contact” to remind me to make eye contact with my audience.

Using Performance Cues to Energise

Performance cues are particularly good when you want to draw on your deep reservoir of energy and resources.

There might be a time of day when you feel lethargic and need a boost of energy, so having a performance cue anchored to a boost in energy such as “Let’s go!” could help energise you.

Or to lighten your mood.

For example, they could be a reminder to smile and to have fun before you go into a stressful situation.

It is worth thinking about a handful of situations where a specific short intervention can make a difference and then practising using it.

If you would like to discuss what performance cues would help you move towards your goals, then come to the next IMPACT Goal workshop or contact us:

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