Adopt These 3 Behaviours From Elite Athletes To Maximise Your Career Performance

From Usain Bolt to Venus Williams, professional athletes are transferring their skills into the business world. Their work ethic, determination and ability to work in a team are only some of the reasons they thrive. Stay ahead of the curve and adopt these three behaviours to achieve maximum performance.  

They believe they are the best

Muhammad Ali said “to be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.” At present Cognisess has analysed the attributes of 53,974 people. Each individual is particularly strong in at least one skill, however, they may have a negative perception of their skill set if they have a low score in emotional stability – this will negatively impact their work performance. If you believe you aren’t good enough you will feel inadequate compared to your colleagues, even if your abilities are similar or greater than theirs – this will stunt your growth.

Elite athletes who win competitions don’t focus on winning, as they fully believe they are the best and are going to succeed. They don’t consider winning a race as they know they are going to win it. Transferring this into a business context, don’t perform your job to get promoted, but perform it to the best of your ability. If you approach your career with the mentality that it will be successful you will thrive in the opportunities presented to you. Since you are approaching every task to the best of your ability, employers will notice you are a high performer. The best method to get ahead is by not worrying about it, keep up the high performance. Businesses using Cognisess Pro are able to track employees progress over time by retaking assessments. This tool could be used to identify these high performers long term.

They expect failure

It takes 10,000 hours to master a skill, so its inevitable failure will appear throughout the process. Failure can keep you motivated to achieve your goals. Athletes use it to drive them to success, a study found Olympic gold medalists considered their setbacks essential to their achievements.

Cognisess knows that the fear of failure can cause you to focus your attention on not failing – stopping you pursuing success. A successful athlete doesn’t care about failing, only performing to the best ability –  if they achieve this, they are satisfied whatever the result. Freeing themselves from failure means they can fully commit to their sporting activity. Constructing a psychology safe environment for your team, whilst instructing them to perform to the best of their abilities will minimise their fear of failure. You can then track their current and future performance with Cognisess Pro, allowing you to observe what occurs when your employees don’t fear failure.

They set goals that drive them

Through Cognisess Sport we have identified athletes are emotionally intelligent. Athletes are aware of the power feelings have on performance and employ positive self-talk. Positive self-talk is replacing a negative thought such as ‘I can’t meet this deadline – it’s impossible’ with a positive such as ‘although this is a tight deadline, I have the ability to do this’.

They are also achievement driven, setting goals to allow direction and focus. A study found establishing goals reduces anxiety and lowers the chances of overworking yourself. This is equally important in the world of sport and business. There are three types of goals in sports psychology – process goals, performance goals and outcome goals.

Type of goal

Definition

How can this be applied in a business context?

Process Goal

An athlete’s training targets. For example, go to the gym five times a week.

Reading a different white paper once a week to improve your understanding of your industry.

Performance Goal

A goal that tracks an athletes progress in the sport. For instance, gaining a certain amount of muscle in the desired time frame.

Aiming to exceed your sales target by 10% every day.

Outcome Goal

The long-term plans for an athlete’s career –  such as competing in the Olympics.

Become CEO of a company.

These three types of goals inform each other. They provide the building blocks for your career to flourish from (process goal), a consistent standard to increase your expertise (performance goal) and establish what your long-term ambition is (outcome goal). The absence of one will decrease your productivity long term.

In order to push yourself to full potential, you need to adopt positive behaviours. Cognisess can support and assess an individual’s journey to becoming a high performer. The journey maybe challenging, but like an elite athlete, you must stay dedicated in pursuit of your goal.

Contact us to schedule a demo and a two-week free trial of Cognisess Pro– the most advanced People Analytics and Assessment Platform on the market today.