Mental preparation and imagery are well-known performance enhancers. After-action evaluations and debriefings are essential tools used to improve performance in any area, from the military to business, for soldiers as well as sales people. Both of these well-established, powerful tools are yours for free to enhance your own performance and survivability. Here s one way you can tap them.
For some of us, our days are usually full of one incident after another. Others spend some shifts just wishing someone would speed so we can write at least one citation. But whether your day is full of calls or none at all doesn t matter. If you had a busy day, pick one incident. If you had a coffee-and-donuts day, then either imagine an incident or pick one from the past. It doesn t matter if the incident was stressful or not, nor whether it involved force or not.
Visualize the incident in detail, including the actions of all the participants, including yourself. Now call on all of your training and experience and debrief yourself on your performance. What could you have done better in the beginning, the middle and the end? What could you have said or not said? How could you have positioned yourself better? How could you have anticipated a worsening of the situation better? How could you have performed whatever you did better? And so on.
Then visualize yourself going through the incident again, only performing as your self-debriefing would have you perform. The effect will be powerful, and the cumulative effect of doing such debriefings over months will be evident in your performance.
This whole thing doesn t take but a single minute. Yet it pulls together two powerful tools that top performers in any profession use all the time. And, it s completely free.