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Why an athlete’s attitude should be sought after

08/02/2012

Mental and emotional toughness that Olympians adhere to can also be beneficial to employees in today's workforce.

While Olympic athletes need to keep their bodies in the utmost physical condition, it is also vital for them to have peak mental and emotional health. The same kind of strength can actually be beneficial in the business world as well.

For example, professors Daniel Gould and Kristen Dieffenbach published a study that showed Olympians display higher levels of certain attributes linked directly to success, such as emotional intelligence. In addition, high-caliber athletes were well-adept at using stress management, interpersonal skills and self regard.

While it is not ultimately necessary for employees to have been an Olympic champion prior to their joining a business or organization, it can be beneficial for these type of personalities to join a company’s team to ensure the best possible work output.

JoAnn Dahlkoetter, a sports and performance psychologist told business publication Entrepreneur that strategies she sees athletes use to outwit mental obstacles work in business as well. Negative thoughts are bound to happen throughout life, she said, along with slumps, but the key is being able to overcome the fear of failure and continue to mentally picture the desired outcome.

Business leaders and HR managers would be well-advised to invest in pre-employment tests to find applicable candidates who not only have the mental capabilities for a position, but are able to handle the technological aspects as well.

Also, a candidate’s underpinning talents can be assessed through a basic computer skills test, which will determine if a future employee has the necessary skills required of a business or organization. That way, more time can be devoted to ensuring that the mental and emotional strengths are also part of the complete package.