This is one of the hardest things to teach or do.
Teaching it as a boss / co-worker, coach or dad requires patience and your own execution.
Our brain is a crazy place; or, at least mine is. When left alone it can come up with all sorts of stories and scenarios each one even more far-fetched than the next. While I have had numerous situations happen to me in the past couple of weeks, which prompted this topic, I am going to use an older example to illustrate my point.
As a Boss, Dad (parent) or Coach, we are often faced with situations that need to be mitigated, or issues that need to be addressed or conflicts that need to be resolved. Navigating those scenarios can also cause a sense of stress or anxiety as to how things will play out, or how other people will react.
The easiest thing to do, is to spend hours and hours playing multiple scenarios over and over in your head, ultimately landing on one that is so insane, you believe it to be plausible.
A few years ago, I was coaching and had laid down some simple rules for our team. One of those rules was to be on time and attend all practices. The exception being that if something important came up, that you communicate to me ahead of time that you would not be there, or if you were running late, when I could expect you.
One of my players (one of the better ones) did not show up for practice and did not call or text me or anyone else on the team. We continued practice and no one had heard from him. To be completely honest I was irate! I continued to think things in my head like:
“Who does this guy think he is?”
“He thinks he is too good to show up?”
“He’s probably drunk or high right now.”
“He’s probably drunk and or high and throwing a party”
“He’s probably partying with the team we are playing this weekend and going to transfer.”
“I am going to have to bench him, what a moron.”
But, every time one of those types of thoughts came up, I tried listen to the rational side in my head, which I had started to train (from my managerial classes at work) to say:
“Wait and see what they say”
“Try to understand their perspective first”
“Don’t jump down their throat”
Sure enough the next day he reached out, apologetically as he had had a death in the family. Thank goodness all my texts were sent out of concern and not accusatory. He obviously took care of his family as needed and when he returned, I counseled him on the importance of communication. A text or call takes a few seconds and will let those who care about you know where you are.
For Parents, Coaches and Co-Workers – the message here is to try your best (it’s hard and we will all make mistakes) to calm that crazy voice in your head that wants to cause you panic. Instead, be patient and when the time comes to learn what’s happening, seek to understand all sides of the story.
That’s Coach Urgo’s Motivational Movement for today.
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