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Developing Peak Performers
Extensive research into peak performers in all walks of life shows that they have very similar ways of thinking about themselves and others. They share other similar mindsets, too. Because of this, they operate in similar ways. This article explains what we know about peak performers, whether in business, public service, private life, school, athletics, or team pursuits. People who adopt these four mindsets and approaches to life become peak performers, too.

Peak performers have high self-esteem

As we've seen, high self-esteem leads to positive self-talk and an internal locus of control-the ability to choose our own thoughts, feelings, actions and communications. The body language of people with high self-esteem invites the respect of others, just as they treat others with respect.

High self-esteem allows us to take charge of our behavior and communications and direct them towards achieving the challenging goals we set for ourselves. When we have high self-esteem, we expect the best of and for ourselves. That's why peak performers are positive people with positive outlooks and positive attitudes.

They are optimists who see mistake as learning opportunities and problems as stepping They have the confidence to take responsibility and proactively make things happen.

Peak performers have high standards

Have you ever noticed that peak performers surround themselves with other peak performers? They have high expectations of those around them – the people they work with, their friends and associates, their family members. Not unrealistically high expectations, of course, but they certainly don't settle for 'second best'. Why should they?

When we have high standards, we set challenging goals and work hard to attain them. We expect the best of ourselves and for ourselves. We treat ourselves with respect and expect others to do the same.

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Because of their high standards, peak performers constantly pursue improvement—to the way they do things, to the systems they work with—in fact, to everything around them. They continually ask themselves two key questions:

1. How can I do this better?
2. How else can I do this?

Peak performers take responsibility

Peak performers set goals and work towards them. In this way, the future determines their actions in the present. This is accomplished against a backdrop of the past because our values, thoughts and beliefs, all made up of past experiences, will influence the goals we set and how easy or challenging we make them.

Peak performers don't rely on other people or random events to achieve their goals for them. They know they are the ones who need to act and they figure out precisely what they need to do to produce the results they're after. Rather than sitting back passively, waiting for things to happen, peak performers are active participants in fashioning their own future.

Peak performers stay focused on their goals

One of the first things racing car drivers learn is what to do when they lose control of their car and go into a spin. The natural reaction is to look at the wall (or the trees) they are heading towards but, if they do, that's exactly where they'll end up. So they are taught to focus on where they want to end up (or the space between the trees) - their destination.

Source of Reference:
Kris Cole, Crystal Clear Communication : Skills for Understanding and Being Understood, Prentice Hall. You can obtain this fine book here

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