Today, employers have an opportunity to select from a pool of qualified applicants. Using behavioral interviewing to select the star performer makes sense as long as your environment supports outstanding employees.
Graham Jones, cofounder of Lane4, an international performance consultancy works with Olympic athletes and business professionals. He sees many similarities in the two groups. He declares elite performers are not born but made. Though specific skills are required, the most important is mental toughness.
Jones draws these parallels; both groups love pressure, compete only with themselves, focus on long-term success with a detailed plan for achievement, use competition, desire feedback, reinvent themselves and celebrate victories. Here is a list of behavioral attributes to select top performers.
Can people learn to love high-stress? The key is to focus on what you can control, to compartmentalize and move forward. Top performers are not distracted by others’ performances.
Successful people see failure as an outcome, an opportunity to learn and move forward. One way to compartmentalize is to have a second passion which reduces burn out.
The adrenaline rush of the job or sport can become addictive without a method to turn off. Extreme examples are Richard Branson’s adventures, and less known Olympiad Allison Mowbray who became an accomplished pianist while training.
Like in competitive sports, top companies create situations where their best performers work together to push one another to higher levels of achievement. This is contrary to matching the high performer with an average performer; or worse, promoting the high performer to manage mediocre employees.
Personal reinvention starts with self awareness. Stars want real and timely feedback. They crave advice to improve their performance. They may probe for details when criticized. This may appear to be defensiveness; it is active listening.
Interpersonal skills play a significant part of work performance even in the most isolated positions. Employers who invest in interpersonal skills training will reap benefits of overcoming conflict, integrating new information and improving individual and team performance.
According to David Collins, GM of training products division of Tracom Group, one of the best habits in working with other people is figuring out how best to work with them. It’s adapting your behaviors to meet their needs as opposed to your own. Collins points to statistics demonstrating versatility as a key indicator for good leadership and coaching skills.
Winners review strengths as well as weaknesses. It is a powerful way to build expertise. The best performers evaluate what caused their success, so it can be reproduced in the next game or project. Celebration acknowledges the success and provides foundation to achieve the next goal.
Keeping and Growing Talent
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