Performance through time travel

A technique I call mental time travel.

Education is about more than just remembering facts. The best education equips us with skills that make a difference every day of our lives, long after schooldays are a fading memory. One of the most important skills we can develop is how to be at our best. I work with leaders of all kinds of organisations looking at how they can raise performance, whether it’s the performance of their team, or their own. It’s one of the conversations I seem to have most often.

What a difference it would make if learned how to do this at an early age. Think of all of the situations in which we could apply it? From exams to job interviews and presentations, not forgetting supporting good causes and our communities. Regardless of the topic the pillars of our personal success toolkit are remarkably stable, and with some insight about them we can transfer these strong pillars from situation to situation, giving ourselves the best chance of success each time.

Positive education helps children make these all-important insights through a technique I call mental time travel. It is based on the feedforward techniques of Dr Almuth McDowall who found through her research that while feedback can actually decrease performance (even when done well), feedforward is much more successful. By feedforward she means learning those conditions that are necessary for us to achieve success, almost regardless of what the actual challenge is. It is a coaching technique I have used many times with organisational leaders – and to great effect. Once we understand the pillars of our own successful performance, we can recreate it when needed, and take on challenges that may otherwise seem too daunting.

In this animation I show how that evidenced-based approach can be adapted for children and easily brought into the classroom. It is just one of the ways Positive Education can help in the work of providing children with for skills for life.

It is an integral part of Everyday Magic – a course for teachers bringing the power of Positive Education to the classroom. Please feel free to share it with colleagues and friends.

It is also available on youtube.

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