Strategies to Be A High Performer in English Communication

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Learn how to improve your English speaking skills and become a high performer. These strategies will improve your English communication and help you achieve other goals in life.

00:00:00:01 - 00:00:45:03
Mary Daphne
Hi everyone. Welcome back to Advanced English. Today we have a native English speaker conversation for you and I'm joined by the one and only Greg. So welcome, Greg. Thank you for joining me. And you know, the reason we do this is predominantly to give you an opportunity to have listening comprehension practice as well as to listen to the pronunciation, the connected speech that's happening, listening to our intonation and our prosody and the emphasis we place on words, and also to learn some new vocabulary and phrases, and lastly, to get a general sense of, you know, different topics that might come across your day to day or some, you know, interesting topics that you can bring

00:00:45:03 - 00:01:11:21
Mary Daphne
up for what we call dinner table conversation. So really, it's about enriching you and your language learning experience even further, right? Not just the lessons, but also these conversations. So without further ado, today's topic is all about how to be a high performer. And this can apply to different arenas in your life. It can apply to your English language learning, for example, among other things.

00:01:11:21 - 00:01:26:05
Mary Daphne
So we're going to get into that. All right. So a high performer, we probably should start off by defining what this means.

00:01:27:01 - 00:01:35:15
Greg
Yeah. You know, it's interesting because performer, when you hear that word, you think of, oh, like an acrobat. Yeah, right.

00:01:35:15 - 00:01:38:10
Mary Daphne
It's like I think of like an opera singer or ballet dancer.

00:01:38:17 - 00:01:42:04
Greg
Any of those, right? Someone on stage performing for an audience.

00:01:42:04 - 00:01:42:15
Mary Daphne
Yes.

00:01:43:03 - 00:02:14:13
Greg
But performance can also mean how you yourself complete a task, right? How how someone completes a task. So, you know, in an office context, you typically will get a performance review. Yeah. At the end of the year or potentially every quarter in that performance review goes through the various sort of metrics that are used to measure how well you did your job.

00:02:14:13 - 00:02:25:00
Greg
Right. So to perform well, to perform a job is to sort of basically is to do something. So a high performer is simply someone who does a job really well.

00:02:26:03 - 00:02:53:14
Mary Daphne
Right? So if you think of like an elite athlete, their high performers. Right. And what does that entail? That's the big thing. So if you're thinking about what's the overall overarching goal here, let's say to be a high performer, you need to back cast meaning you need to think about, okay, in order for me to get to Z, what is my A, B, C all the way through the letters of the alphabet to be able to get to that goal right.

00:02:53:14 - 00:03:15:02
Mary Daphne
And so I think, you know, there are many ways of becoming a high performer, but I think today we're going to just touch upon a few of them so that we can really start thinking about, you know, what are some of the characteristics, what are some of the adjectives, what are some of the, you know, descriptions of a high performer?

00:03:16:07 - 00:03:22:27
Mary Daphne
I don't know about you, Greg, but the first one that comes to mind for me is discipline. Hmm.

00:03:22:27 - 00:03:55:04
Greg
Yeah, that is a good one. I like that discipline. Right? Discipline. When I think of discipline, I think of the ability to, you know, do something regardless of how difficult it is, regardless of how many times you've done it before or. Right. It's the ability to sort of keep commit to something, right? Yeah. I would say discipline is this ability to get yourself to do something irrespective of whether or not you would like to do that thing.

00:03:55:12 - 00:04:17:11
Mary Daphne
Right. Right, right. So if you like, talk to an athlete, there might be days where they're not feeling that great, but they still will get their training and. Right, they'll still do what they need to do. They'll still get in their sleep, even though they might want to go out with their friends or they might want to have that extra piece of cake or, you know, whatever it might be they think about, okay, well, my goal is this.

00:04:17:11 - 00:04:22:23
Mary Daphne
So what am I supposed to do to get there? I need to think about my discipline here with this exactly.

00:04:22:23 - 00:04:46:08
Greg
And for, you know, someone who's not an athlete, just, you know, your typical desk jockey, as they say, someone who works at a desk discipline could simply mean making sure that you turn off your computer at the right time. Yeah, at the end of the day, making sure that you get the right sleep, making sure that you stay active to keep your brain sharp, making sure that you're not sitting all day right.

00:04:47:02 - 00:04:48:27
Mary Daphne
Taking breaks, walking around.

00:04:48:29 - 00:05:06:18
Greg
At the same time, making sure that you stay focused right when you are working, making sure that you're not distracted by things around you. All of those are things that don't necessarily come naturally to you, but you impose upon yourself in order to get to perform at a know a higher level.

00:05:06:22 - 00:05:30:24
Mary Daphne
Absolutely. Absolutely. And it's, you know, things to start thinking about. And with respect to your English language learning, maybe it's you know, I'm going to listen to the Advanced English podcast on my way to work every day. Right. That might be your way of having your discipline about doing something. Yeah. You know, it could be also maybe spending 10 minutes of each day writing a journal in English, right?

00:05:30:24 - 00:05:41:26
Mary Daphne
Or something like that, where you're focusing on a skill and you're you're laser focused into it and you're doing it consistently. So I think that brings me to the next one, which is consistency.

00:05:41:26 - 00:06:03:28
Greg
Yeah, consistency is almost a subset of discipline. Absolutely. Right. In that it's a form of discipline doing something continuously. Right, doing something this put it this way, consistency is often the differentiator between, you know, someone who fails and someone who succeeds.

00:06:03:28 - 00:06:04:22
Mary Daphne
Yeah, definitely.

00:06:04:23 - 00:06:27:06
Greg
So consistency actually reminds me of a meme that I see a lot. I think is very effective. And what we have in this meme is a miner and he is digging toward a pile of gems, but he can't see that pilot gems, right? So you can just see the tunnel that he's made. And it's a very long tunnel.

00:06:27:06 - 00:06:45:25
Greg
He's come a very long way, but he doesn't know if he's close to the gems or not. Right. You see the little gems at the end and a little sort of air pocket. And he is just a tiny, tiny sliver from getting there. And you can see that he's turning around and giving up.

00:06:45:25 - 00:06:46:26
Mary Daphne
Oh, no.

00:06:46:27 - 00:06:53:14
Greg
Right. And so if he had just taken two more swings with his pick, he would have hit the pile of gems and got in there.

00:06:53:14 - 00:06:54:08
Mary Daphne
Oh, my.

00:06:54:17 - 00:07:24:20
Greg
And I think that's a really good sort of metaphor for consistency. Right. The people who succeed are consistent and they keep pushing and eventually, you know, even if they're not getting the results they want up front, eventually over time, that consistency will yield, you know, the outcome that they were looking for. Yeah. Whereas giving up you, you know, you might not actually reach that reward or you might be very close, but because you weren't consistent, you just didn't get there.

00:07:25:06 - 00:07:57:17
Mary Daphne
Yeah, consistency is key. It's definitely one of the most important qualities to succeed in any area of life. And what's interesting I there is a statistic somewhere, but the general sense of it was the percentage of people who give up were actually very close to completing that task or to achieving that goal. So the point here is that, you know, when you feel that urge to give up, that means that you're actually really close.

00:07:57:23 - 00:08:21:17
Mary Daphne
So keep persevering. Like do not give in to that temptation of calling it quits because you're actually a lot closer to that goal than you think. Right. And even if the outcome doesn't turn out the way that you had thought or had fathomed that it would, all of that preparation that you did to get you to that next level is going to serve you in the next thing for the next challenge.

00:08:21:17 - 00:08:35:03
Mary Daphne
So don't think that that struggle was, you know, done in vain or was done without any purpose, because regardless of that specific outcome, it will still serve you in the future.

00:08:35:04 - 00:08:58:12
Greg
Yeah, often just the act of being consistent means that you're developing and getting better at whatever it is that you're iterating on, that you're repeating. Right. So, you know, the most obvious example is an athlete, right? Yeah. They just keep practicing at a sport. They get better and better. You know, if it's soccer, you're getting better, you're dribbling and you're, you know, evasion tactics and so forth.

00:08:58:17 - 00:09:27:02
Greg
So the point simply is, if you if you continue to do something, whether or not you get the desired outcome, you're building up these skills that can be applied elsewhere. And what's cool is that the the experience that you develop from this consistency kind of compounds on itself. So the work output that you get from the first hour or the first day or the first year of of being consistent is then eclipsed, right.

00:09:27:02 - 00:09:42:09
Greg
It's the second year. It's eclipsed by the second year of output. Right? So the more consistent you are, the more yield you get from that for a given amount of effort, which is just kind of a cool element of being consistent.

00:09:42:09 - 00:10:04:24
Mary Daphne
And you see that allows weight training, right? That's why people ask you, you know, they want to ask you per se, but what's your training age? Right. It's very different. It's a different calculus for someone who's been training for five years, let's say at the gym, strength training versus someone who's been training for 20 years. Right. And just the ability to, let's say, put on muscle mass or get stronger.

00:10:04:24 - 00:10:27:28
Mary Daphne
Right. That's going to be a different situation. You cannot really compare those two people and those in those parts of their journeys because they're it's just different. Right. So that consistency does pay off because it builds on each other on itself. Right. So that's the idea there. And I always love that because it's like, okay, your goal for now might be insight, right?

00:10:27:28 - 00:10:42:09
Mary Daphne
Let's say we're digging, we're mining, we might not see the gems, but we're now that we know they're there. Right? And then every week we inch a little bit closer and a little bit closer and a little bit closer. And that's very exciting, right? Even if we can't see the gems. But you can imagine that you see them.

00:10:42:12 - 00:10:42:20
Mary Daphne
Right.

00:10:42:23 - 00:10:57:19
Greg
And even if the gems weren't there. Right. The point you're making before, even if the gems aren't there, when you get to that sort of end point, hey, you're a lot stronger because you've been, you know, hacking away for a while. You know how to use a pick. Maybe you can take that pick and go find another place and maybe there'll be gems there.

00:10:57:19 - 00:11:00:15
Greg
So those are those skills that you develop along the way, right?

00:11:00:15 - 00:11:37:25
Mary Daphne
Like resourcefulness. And the other one is time management, right? Time management is definitely something that I think doesn't get enough consideration, you know, in this world of this hyperconnected, hyper digitalized, hyper go, go, go, you know, we're losing focus. We're getting more and more distracted. We have notifications left and right, messages beaming back and forth. We're just sucked into this information black hole, and it's very easy to just lose track of time or not set enough time constraint around something that we want to do.

00:11:38:03 - 00:11:49:02
Mary Daphne
So with people who are training for something, you know, they might get up a little bit early. They might go to bed a little bit earlier just to fit in something. Right. So, yeah, that is important.

00:11:49:11 - 00:12:30:09
Greg
Time time management is critical actually. And I actually think about it more so as working smart, right? Yeah. Making the most of the time that you have time is our most finite resource, right? You can always make more money. You can always work harder, but you have a finite amount of time. And so if you really want to get the most out of your day, you need to make sure that the time you a lot to a specific task is the sort of minimum you need to get it done right if you let yourself too much time, then you're taking away from time to do something else.

00:12:30:09 - 00:12:49:29
Greg
Yeah. And time has this funny way of sort of expanding to fill the task that you give it right. Or to me actually I said that in kind of the reverse, a task has a way of expanding to fill the time that you give it, right? So if you give yourself 2 hours to write an email, you'll take those 2 hours.

00:12:49:29 - 00:13:20:13
Greg
You know, you'll really. What's the word? Pick nit pick and, you know, equivocate over your wording and so forth, making sure the grammar is just right and you'll probably revise it five or six times. Look, if it's a very important email, maybe that's worth it. Yeah. In most cases, though, you don't need that much time. So if instead you just gave yourself 15 minutes to make that same email, it might not be as good, but it's probably like 80% is good, and so that's good enough.

00:13:20:17 - 00:13:43:05
Greg
And that frees up another hour and 45 minutes to do other things. So I find that top performers are very good at making the most of limited time and also creating time constraints for themselves, potentially even artificially, right? Creating their own barriers for time so that they can get things done quickly, efficiently, maybe not perfectly, but good enough.

00:13:43:21 - 00:14:13:25
Mary Daphne
Absolutely. And I think you really hit the nail on the head with setting these artificial deadlines or due dates, because sometimes, especially if you're you know, you're working on something that maybe is not ever done. Right, it's very easy to just let it let the task expand, given the time that we have. Right. But instead, if you say, okay, by next week or by next month, I'm going to achieve X, Y, Z, or learn this or do that or level up in this way.

00:14:14:08 - 00:14:22:02
Mary Daphne
Then you're starting to think about, okay, I only have this much time to do that. Let me try let me see what I got. Let's see what the output looks like.

00:14:22:04 - 00:14:23:02
Greg
Mm hmm. Yep.

00:14:23:12 - 00:14:50:07
Mary Daphne
So these are a few of the, you know, really important skills to have when you're starting to think about leveling up with your performance to create that higher output, to have more stamina and endurance with the work that you're doing. Right. And thinking about how to become an even higher performer than you are already. And a lot of that has to do with not just working hard, but even more so working smart.

00:14:50:07 - 00:15:12:26
Mary Daphne
And what that looks like. Right. And so we talked about the discipline, the consistency, the time management skills, as well as the time constraints that we need to put in place to be able to achieve that. So I'm curious to hear from you. What are some other skills that are needed or philosophies of life to have and mindset to have?

00:15:12:26 - 00:15:34:10
Mary Daphne
When you're trying to level up and trying to be an even higher performer than you already are. So share that with us in the community and you can share that in YouTube if you scroll down in your comments, in the description, in the comments actually, and then also in Spotify, you can find the community tab and share that in the Q&A.

00:15:34:22 - 00:15:50:15
Mary Daphne
And speaking of Spotify, if you love our podcast and wherever you listen to the podcast, please be sure to leave us a nice review. You can leave up to five stars, so it really helps us out. It definitely puts a smile on Greg's face. So we want that to continue. Right. And mine as well. So thank you so much for joining us.

00:15:50:15 - 00:16:05:16
Mary Daphne
We're going to see you in another conversation and lesson very, very soon. Until then, keep up the awesome work and we'll see you then. All right, bye for now.