Like professional artists and athletes, taking action and moving your life forward to greater success is self-determination and involves mastery of the basics before fancy moves can be successful. For an athlete, the basics are hitting, shooting, throwing, kicking … whatever the sport requires, practiced every day. For the musician, the basics are scales, warm-ups, tonal exercises, keys, meters … whatever the instrument requires, practiced every day. During practice of the basics, each professional artist or athlete seeks to stretch their range of performance, thus making possible the fancy moves at performance time.

Being a professional performer in today’s business world means paying attention to the basics in two areas: time management and people skills. The fundamentals of time management are making a productivity plan on a daily basis and following through on that plan.

The fancy moves in time management involve making productive use of your time when:

1. Working on complex projects
2. Solving problems with creativity
3. Relating to other individuals when your work overlaps

The fundamentals of people skills for the business professional are social etiquette, graciousness, and respect. In other wards, being a true professional means you include “please” and “thank you” in your conversations and you listen to the other person’s viewpoint.

The fancy moves in people skills are:

1. Diffusing conflict
2. Collaborating to solve problems
3. Creating synergy

It takes practice to make a spectacular fancy move as you slam dunk the basketball or you flawlessly perform Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. In the same way, fancy moves in dialog skills and conversations take practice. On my web site, I have posted many articles that can help you conquer the basics and then make the fancy moves in both productivity and people skills. Study these articles at and improve your professional performance.

“Performance, whether as a professional, an artist or an athlete, is an art form…it is reading how the play will unfold, what the other person will do, compensating for minor mistakes.” – Karla Brandau

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