Clearfit workers

Upcoming Webinar: Harness the ROI of Your Top Performers

Clearfit workers

How do you get the best out of your employees?

Join us on our latest webinar – Harnessing the ROI of Your Top Performers on Thursday Jul 21, 2016, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT. We’ll show you how to use Clearfit’s new predictive analytics platform to increase revenue by leveraging your greatest asset: your people.

You’ll learn:

  • How Clearfit’s Predictive Analytics can identify the critical personality traits of your top performers
  • How to increase your return on investment by finding more of your top performers and close the performance gap
  • How to ensure your current employees are in the right position so you can tap their full potential
  • And much more…


Here’s your chance to drive real results to your bottom line by tapping into people insights. We hope to see you on the webinar!


Learning faster

This Simple Approach Will Help Your People Learn Twice as Fast

Learning faster post

Imagine this: a new piece of technology comes along that could dramatically increase your team’s productivity. That’s great news, but it means the people on your team need to learn something new. And learning takes time, sometimes lots of it. Unfortunately, some recent research reveals that the way most of us are taught makes learning something new more difficult than it could be.

Bad Forehand

Let’s take a simple example from one of my favorite sports, tennis. I remember a time when I needed to work on my crappy forehand, so my coach booked some lessons to focus on that. We put in gruelling sessions where I hit forehand after forehand, trying to perfect new techniques. This approach makes perfect sense—if you believe that practice makes perfect.

Problem is, recent research has poked a big hole in the practice-makes-perfect adage. According to that research, a dramatically better way for me to improve my forehand would be to mix up the lesson with other shots, like backhands, volleys, and serves. I’d be hitting a lot fewer forehands, but I’d be learning new forehand techniques way quicker.  (Oh, all those games I could have won if my coach knew this.)

The Mix-up

Researchers call this mix-it-up approach to learning “interleaving.” As a recent article in PsyBlog puts it, “interleaving has been a secret largely confined to researchers.”

One particular study applied interleaving to how students learn math, something that most people find really hard to learn. They compared the typical teaching approach of focusing on a specific math technique, to an interleaving approach that involved learning different techniques during the same session. (Both groups were taught for the same amount of time.)

The results: the interleaving students did 25 percent better when tested the following day. More impressively, when tested a month later, they did 75 percent better, revealing that interleaving has long-lasting results.

Variety Show

In a day and age when innovation demands constant learning, this bit of research is timely. So, next time your team needs to adopt new skills, try some interleaving. If you’re a health care leader who wants to introduce a new medical device to your practice, perhaps your training session could involve multiple devices, or at least a variety of techniques for the same device. If you’re a sales leader who wants to teach your team new closing techniques, perhaps you could practice opening and rapport-building tactics along with new closing approaches. The point is to not fall into the trap of thinking that the only way to learn something new is to focus all your learning time directly on that item.

If you haven’t already read What to Why, the free 20-minute eBook changing how leaders build top teams, which I coauthored with ClearFit founder and CEO, Jamie Schneiderman, you can download it here.





Could This Psychological Trick Unlock New Performance Levels for Your Team?

Could This Psychological Trick Unlock New Performance Levels for Your Team?

One of the jobs of a leader is to find ways to boost the performance of their team, ideally to the limit. But what is that limit? How do you reach it, and how would you know if your team hit their full performance potential? These are tough questions to answer, but an experiment conducted by Kevin Thompson, the head of exercise science at Northumbrian University in the UK, provides a surprising clue on how a leader could find the answers.

Here’s how the experiment played out. Professor Thompson first asked a group of trained cyclists to ride the equivalent of 2.5 miles on stationary bikes—and to do it as fast as they could. After conducting several sessions, the athletes established what they believed to be their performance limit.

False Performance Limits?

But had they actually reached their limit? To try to find the answer, Thompson ran some experimental sessions. In one version, he asked a group of cyclists to race in front of a computer screen that showed two avatars. One avatar represented how fast the cyclist pedaled on their stationary bike; the other avatar represented a cyclist travelling 2 percent harder than the cyclist’s personal best. The cyclists were asked to try to catch the faster avatar.

So what happened?

Perhaps not surprisingly, the cyclists failed to catch the faster avatar, and were only able to match their previous best. This result would seem to support the idea that the athletes had truly achieved their limit. But let’s turn to another version Thompson ran.

A Little White Lie

In that version, Thompson told the athletes a little white lie. He said that the faster avatar was only going as fast as their best effort. And here the results were different. The cyclists managed to match the computerized avatar, in effect beating their best effort by 2 percent, which in the cycling world is a huge improvement—the kind of difference that can mean standing on the podium or not.

A Stretch Too Far

After running other variations on this experiment, Thompson discovered that when he tried to stretch the improvement, asking the athletes to race against an avatar going 5 percent harder, the athletes couldn’t keep up—even though they thought the faster avatar was only going as fast as their personal best.

The Leader’s Discretion

While Thompson conducted his experiment on athletes, there’s the possibility that what he discovered could be applied to improve all types of performance, not just athletic. Of course, because the path to pushing the boundaries involves some trickery, every leader will have to use their discretion on whether—and how—they might apply the psychological trick Thompson used in his experiment. However, if you find a way to convince your team that they have already achieved greater performance levels than they actually have, hoping to see them achieve these new levels, remember that Thompson only saw results when the subjects were being pushed just a little bit harder than their previous best. Going for too much could backfire.

If you haven’t already read What to Why, the free 20-minute eBook changing how leaders build top teams, which I coauthored with ClearFit founder and CEO, Jamie Schneiderman, you can download it here.