Wednesday, February 3, 2016

You're Wrong

In my clearer moments, I see the hazards of having a job that is focused on providing answers.

Every answer I give can reinforce my thought patterns and biases. In one sense, having a wide range of clients provides me with an opportunity to work through a coherent picture. However, without caution and effort, I can dig deeper and deeper into creating my personal athletic dogma.

I have a few tactics that I use to balance consistency bias. This week I'll share them - you can apply them to sport, specifically, or life, generally.

Protocol Doesn't Matter Work Does - we ALL have a need to believe that we are doing the "right thing". As a result, we can waste tremendous energy trying to convince ourselves that we are "right".

Most of us can't release this need -- so we surround ourselves with folks that think like us, or isolate ourselves. I've done both. However, that creates an information moat as we stunt our learning. To keep my coaching mind open, I re-frame the "argument".

When an open mind matters, seek to reframe the issue so you can keep learning. Here's how I keep myself listening...

    When two smart people propose the opposite views, odds are, they are controlling for the wrong variable.

It's not a case of right/wrong - it could be a case of mistaken cause & effect.

Or... perhaps, the ideas that we hold so dear might not matter as much as we think.

Be True To My Experience - this one is a lot like "always tell the truth, it's easier to remember".

As Monica knows, my memory isn't all that great. When I go back and read old blogs, old emails... I'm often impressed that the writer really knows his stuff... however, I don't have much direct memory of my own writing!

The tactic here is to define my mission as being authentic, rather than being right. The drive for authenticity has many benefits to how we interact with the world (and I still need help with my social skills).

Be Open To Letting Others Make 'Mistakes' - some lessons can't be learned outside of our personal experience.

For my athletes, these are a few phrases that I might use to maintain my confidence as we explore the limits of human endurance...

  • I don't think you are different but I accept that you might want to see for yourself
  • Please save this note and we will pick up the conversation down the road
  • If you pull it off then we just might learn something here

As ultra-distance athletes, we should remember that we can come up with some seriously crazy ideas.

A written plan is a HUGE tool for making better decisions when outcomes matter.

Something that I have noticed is that every thought I have slows my recovery a little bit. To the extent that I'm able to relax my mind, I bounce back far quicker from my training and have more energy for my family & clients.

If you are able to release your mind from it's need to be right, you will have more energy to put into your goals, or counter your competition!

Hope this helps,


PS - I turned comments off. Leo explained why (see #1 here). Similarly, you can always tweet me.

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