Showing posts from June, 2017

Truth is a team sport

When you need to base a choice on the truth, how do you find it? Most of us believe that we let real information - facts - drive our decision making. Some scientists suggest that we are much more likely to be moved by emotions and suggestions than we are by information. They make these claims as if it is possible to find facts, know the truth, and weigh different options objectively. This may be true in books or in laboratories. It is seldom true where you work or where you live.
What is more likely is that you often find yourself faced with choices where the truth is impossible to determine. We are bad at predicting the future, and yet we have to make decisions every day that depend on knowing how people will act and react before they have done either. This is true for coaches, teachers, sales people, and business leaders. It’s true for everyone who wants to shape the future and not just react to what has already happened.

So how do we do it? It’s clear that people make choices every d…

The Seeds to Grow Your Confidence

When I am teaching, I will often sit with my back to the park so that everyone who is listening to me is also looking at things that move and grow. This is not a distraction from my point: it is a way to suggest that the point of what I teach is for people to move and grow.
One of the things that people hope to grow through my training is confidence. Confidence is not something you grow from a seed: it does not start out small and gradually increase in size and complexity the way a tree does. Confidence is a side-effect. To grow it, you have to create the right conditions. The seeds you use are not confidence seeds: they are usually seeds that look and feel entirely different than the confidence they eventually generate.
For instance, a seed of courage will often produce some confidence eventually. While you are nurturing courage, you feel the opposite of confident. You might feel shaky, scared, anxious or afraid. If things were easy, you would not need courage. Courage appears when …

Is it an accident or a failure? The right label matters

This was the view from the training room window on Friday. A very large tree had come down in the park on Thursday night. All day, people stopped to examine the trunk and think about what had happened.
Was it an accident? 
It hadn't been chopped down, so it was clearly not something that had happened on purpose. But to call it an accident suggests that it couldn't have been helped. It also suggests that the rest of the trees are likely to remain standing.
If on the other, hand, it was an infestation, then there is something that needs to happen now. Someone needs to check the rest of the trees. While it's possible that the first tree could fall by accident, if any more fall we will call it something else - something like incompetence or failure or fault.
Sometimes, the label we choose tells us how to act next. If we choose the wrong label, it is likely to lead to the wrong action. Take a moment now to think about a problem or issue you have been facing. Give it a one-word…