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What if… your performance fails “suddenly”?

TWP blogHave you ever been in a situation where your professional life seems to fall into pieces? You have been around for some time, you have been successful so far, you were even used as a role model for others, but suddenly the winds changed? Nothing goes right, whatever you try fails, and even those who supported you before now turn their backs on you.

Well, if you haven’t, congratulations! I hope your life continues without this experience. However, in case you have been in a similar situation, like I have, or even worse, in case you are in this difficult situation right now – here are a few ideas for how to get yourself out of this dip of misery.

  1. Get yourself out of the center of attention – sometimes the best move is to take a few days off if you can.
  2. Think about what led to the situation: What could you have done differently? Could you or should you have done more of certain activities? What other influencing factors do you recognize?
  3. Gather hard facts (e.g., data, reports, stats) about your performance.
  4. Obtain observational feedback from colleagues who know you and who can assess the particularities of your work environment.
  5. Once you’ve done # 2, 3, and 4, work on your personal list of what you would like to achieve professionally: What is important to you? What fills you with joy? Where have you been most successful before?
  6. Think outside the box – what would be best for you? Stay with your current employer or move on? If you should move on, what comes next? If you want to stay, think of other ways to improve your performance; the protocol What? How Much? By When? can be a useful guide.

The most important message though is: Do not doubt your abilities and capabilities! They are still in you, and you’ve proved yourself many times before – you simply need to re-discover them again! Good luck and all the best in your future career path!

Claudia Irmer is Senior Results Consultant at Cohen Brown Management Group and an expert in behavioral embedding. Claudia covers continental Europe and Russia.


by Claudia Irmer


A while back I attended a training course on perfecting coaching skills for a specific target audience: executive managers. It was an illustrious circle of high-profile and skilled individuals who were there to learn from one of the leading coaches in this area.

During one of the sessions an attendee—let me call him John—shared the difficulties he has at his workplace: his boss tends to give him a task and expects him to complete it quickly, but then she interrupts him all the time. John was helpless as to how to deal with her. As we were having a break and enjoying our coffees, he turned to me: “Claudia, I’ve come to know you as an empathetic yet straightforward person. How would you handle this situation?”

Admittedly, this is a tricky situation. How do you tell your boss to back off, so you can finish the tasks she gives you? One thing was clear to me from the beginning: he needed to speak with his boss! But the point was how he would phrase it – “winging it” would not be helpful as his future career was at stake. I then remembered the scripting technique we teach in our Structured Time and Workflow Management programme.

I shared the following steps with John:

  1. What are the key points you want to convey to your boss? Jot them down.
  2. Rank them in the order of priority.
  3. Script your message to each of the key points in the 1st person; conform to these rules:
    • Be truthful.
    • Be simple, clear and articulate.
    • Speak from the heart.
  4. Rehearse!
    • You need to hear yourself say, out loud, what you have scripted.
    • The more often you practice your script, the more confident and professional you will feel.

John and I did the scripting exercise and rehearsed it several times – and the next time we saw each other, he shared the successful use of his script!

Claudia Irmer is a Results Consultant for Cohen Brown Management. Within the European Team, Claudia covers the territory of UK, continental Europe, and the Middle East.







Fact of life!

Fact of life!

Pareto’s Principle is a fact of life that applies across the board from business to your personal life.