We are all heading back to school and work and with renewed vigour as to how to do it differently.
Whilst on holiday I read the book “Bounce” by Matthew Syed and I have hit my desk today more motivated than a usual September start.
The book dispels this belief that Champions are born with talent. Breaking the myth that is not genetic gives hope to all of us that with hard work we can all be as successful as we want to be within our own line of work.
Matthew Syed is well placed to write about success having been the Table Tennis Commonwealth Champion twice and the UK’s No. 1. He puts his rise down to being in the right place at the right time. He had access to a 24 hr table tennis club and his brother was already a junior champion and his coach worked at his school.
Practice and practice, but most importantly “purposeful” practice. He explains it is about downloading the right piece of software. Focusing on what you want to achieve and learn from the mistakes more than the successes. If you go to the golf range and use the same club every time it may well be enjoyable, but what have you learnt. The “Greats” practice the hard stuff, Beckham with his corners and Tiger Woods buries the ball in bunkers, it is focused and tough.
There is a belief that tennis players have great eyesight to see the ball. Syed explains that it is perceptual cognitive repertoire it is knowing how the upper body of your opponent is going to move. This comes from year on year, self motivation and high quality performance.
Your brain is growing with you as a muscle and storing all those sub conscious movements and thinking. The process of expert performance is letting your software subconsciously perform as it has practiced so many times it knows the expert path.
This can be seen more obviously when the “Greats” choke. In high pressurised environments the brain overthinks and tunes into the conscious mind rather than the subconscious. Instead of thinking about the path to the finish line you analyse every single shot. This is the same in business instead of thinking what you want to achieve at the meeting you overthink everything you say and end up saying too little or too much. The way to overcome the choke is to enter each situation with a view that it does not matter, think of it as a practice session.
We need to help others grow their expertise and continuing growing. We must praise for effort and not talent. An example would be:-
“You were great in that meeting you are so good at getting them to the right price”
This seems a perfect piece of feedback, however it is saying you have done it and you are really talented. What would be better is to recognise the effort:-
“You worked really hard to get them to the right price”
This gives the brain the message to think about the journey and what can I learn for the next meeting.
Matthew Syed’s best quote to finish on “Champions are not born they are made”.
Begin September with hard work and purposeful practice and you are making yourself a champion.
Please do get in touch for a workshop on motivation firstname.lastname@example.org