High achieving Olympic athletes have patterns that are valuable to executives, managers and others who want to accomplish difficult goals. 1) Be Extremely Well Prepared, then Relax in the midst of your activity. 2) Use Positive Self-Talk. Give yourself positive messages that support and encourage you: ‘Good job,’ ‘Just keep going,’ ‘Don’t worry, just one step at a time.’ 3) Use Imagery: See yourself successfully making your presentation to the CEO and you’re more likely to do just that. Rehearsing helps. 4) Overcome Setbacks: Be self-supportive so that when you make a mistake you’re forward looking. Learn from errors and see them as a way to make continual improvement and don’t get down on yourself. ‘I’ll do better next time, I won’t make that mistake again.’ 5) Be Present. Focus primarily on the process, rather than the result, and you’re more likely to enjoy what you’re doing, and do it successfully.



Starting a new job with a new company isn’t easy, but there are a few things to keep in mind that can help you succeed: 1) Be open to what’s new. Don’t compare everything with what you used to do at your previous employer. Don’t assume that what you’re used to doing will work with your new boss or the new company culture. 2) Ask questions and listen to the answers. Ask your new coworkers about what does and doesn’t work in your new company and with your new boss. Learn what’s usually done and though it may be different than you’re used to, it’s what you’ll have to learn to succeed in your new situation. Also, pay attention to what others do, so you understand the norms in your new company culture. 3) Build new relationships – have lunch or spend break time or get together after work with others so you get to know them and they get to know you. 4) Talk with your boss and make sure you understand what’s expected of you. Don’t guess. Be sure to clarify your understanding of the goals that are set for you and how you’re supposed to achieve them.


What happens at work affects us at home and what happens at home affects us at work. A study on work-family spillover, reported in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, found that when employees received support from supervisors, as well as autonomy, complexity and control on the job, they felt more positively than those without these job advantages, and took those positive feeling home with them at the end of the day, positively affecting their home life. Similarly, those who experience family support and have happy personal relationships, and are more productive and positive at work.
A study by Right Management Consulting of 100 senior executives in Fortune 1000 companies found that coaching paid off almost 600% above the initial cost. 70% of the executives who received coaching estimated the return on investment at $100,000 or higher. 53% said they were more productive. 48% said they produced higher quality work and 48% said the organization was stronger and more cohesive as a result of executive coaching.


A study by Towers Perrin for AARP of 35,000 employees found that while older workers do cost companies more money in additional healthcare costs, they also bring great benefits that more than offset these costs. Older workers are among the most motivated employees, and were found to be the ones that are most likely to satisfy customers, affect product quality, control business costs, and stay longer on the job. It depends on the individual, but many older workers are eager to learn new tasks and can be very creative as well. Those who are experienced employees can also avoid mistakes they made at earlier jobs, offering the advantages of previous learning to their new employer. Often, older is wiser and the benefits can add to the employer’s bottom line.

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Copyright© 2007
Jonathan M. Kramer, PhD