Gold Medallist Performance


By Phillip Fernandez (Human Strategist)

Can we imagine thinking and performing like an Olympic Gold medallist? For most of us that would be an impossible task as we do know the dedication, sacrifices, discipline, fitness level and skill needed to be the best in the world. However if I told you that the thinking patterns of these elite athletes are no different to ours, if we were passionate about something  and really wanted to do the best we can.

Let`s examine the word GOLD.

G stands for setting smart Goals. Most of us set goals unconsciously on a daily basis without much deliberation. It is a common process for humans in achieving menial tasks on a daily basis. Let`s take this to a higher level and look at larger and more difficult goals that need time, sacrifices, learning and sometimes even money to achieve what you set out to .Make sure that you apply the SMART formula when setting goals to give yourself every possible chance to achieve it.

S pecific
M easurable
A chievable
R ealistic
T imely

O stands for Opportunity. As an elite athlete they see adversity and failure as an opportunity to improve themselves and not accept second best. How do we see failure?  The answer is to not dwell upon the past (Failure) and to concentrate on the future (Opportunity). We can affect the future but we cannot change history. The question we need to ask ourselves is “Are we part of the problem or are we part of the solution?

L stands for “Live for the present”. After you have set your goals in concrete and you are truly focused on it, you then need to deal with the present and as they say enjoy the moment. You see success is not the destination, but rather the journey. The journey is now and so the process of achieving should be enjoyed with passion as much as actually achieving the goal.

D stands for Desire.  You know when you really desire something you will overcome all obstacles to achieve it. Desire breeds passion, excitement, initiative, love and a powerful force that blinds and rejects any negative influence that wants to infiltrate your thinking patterns.


There is however one very important ingredient that a top athlete needs to achieve Gold status at the Olympics.  Most of us love watching the incredible performance of these amazing athletes that seem to possess super human strengths, speed and breathtaking skills. Have we stopped to ask ourselves how did they get to where they are now? Well apart from their genetic make-up, natural ability, positiveness and determination to be the best, they all also needed one thing to know how much they need to train, how high they need to jump or how fast they need to run. This comes in the form of “feedback” by their trainers and coaches. Until an athlete knows the performance gap that will get their desired outcome, they then have a benchmark to work against and that produces winners.


It is interesting to note that feedback on any issue is usually taken in a more negative mode versus a positive one. When we are usually called by the boss to have a talk we automatically feel that there must be a problem or that we did something wrong. Well the reason for this thinking pattern is due to the how the education system and the learning institutes themselves viewed feedback. If we can recall , that in mostly all cases of being asked to see the principle of a school and to see a teacher formally is to receive negative feedback on lack of performance, non-acceptable behaviour or  not meeting our KPI`s.

In most corporations and even small to medium businesses, feedback given to employees is usually a painful process and one that is equally not enjoyed by both the giver and the receiver.  However if used as a tool to drive peak performance and productivity and to also address good behaviour or achievements as well as areas of improvements then it will be looked at in a much more congenial manner.

I personally know that positive, constructive feedback delivered in a fair and supportive way will not only create amazing change of behaviour in employees but also bring out excellence in themselves. “There is no failure, only feedback” creates a paradigm shift in our thinking process and the businesses that adopt this mindset will start to see positive results in the performance of their staff and hence their businesses as well.


Here are the rules of giving good, constructive and fair feedback.


1)      Remember that 55% of communication is in your physiology (non-verbal communication) and 38% is in your voice tone. So how we think will govern our physiology that is seen and reflected by the appraisee and how you say it will set the ambience and feeling for the appraisee. Your chosen words are also important but only represent 7% of the communication process.

2)      “Catch them doing something right”. Always start with a positive. Make a point of addressing good behaviour or performance. This shows that you still value the employee and that this is not personal but just to address an area of improvement.

3)      Remember always deal with the “facts” and not with “assumptions” when it comes to addressing negative behaviour or not achieving their KPI`s. This is critical as incorrect information can lead to a negative outcome.

4)       “Always reprimand the deed and not the doer”. This way we are saying that they are still a valued employee but they need to change the unwanted behaviour or their attitude to improve their current status or performance.

5)      Also make sure that there is a balance in the feedback discussion as you need to ensure that the appraisee does understand the meaning of the feedback and is very clear on the message and leaves in a positive frame of mind.

6)       For a good appraisal system to work, it needs to be consistent. A formal Staff Appraisal programme should be done at least once per quarter with an annual one in which the KPI`s, objectives and expectations are set for the year ahead and used as the benchmark when doing the quarterly appraisals.

7)      Always end the conversation on a high by touching on a good trait or other positives about the appraisee.


So whenever you have to give feedback, remember that you are there to bring out the best in your employee and if you receiving feedback, then enjoy the revelation of the opportunity to improve , just like an Olympic Champion and GO FOR GOLD!


Phillip Fernandez, Human Strategist & Director of Wizard Business Consulting, is a Motivational Speaker, Trainer, NLP Practitioner & article writer. You can contact him on the above topic or any people performance related issues. E: W:  Mobile: 0402 213 813