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Issue 518 - "Self-Alertness"

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 10 Issue 518
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Coach Wooden’s definition of Alertness had three key elements: "Be observing constantly. Stay open-minded. Be eager to learn and improve." Self-Alertness is the ability to apply these three principles to yourself when you engage in a conflict with another person.
If you are angry or frustrated by what somebody is saying or how they are saying it, step outside of yourself and observe your own emotions. Evaluate if your emotional anger or frustration is going to have productive results. Then resolve to calm down and decide how to use that energy in a more productive way.
If the other person is attempting to demean you with their tone or what they are saying, understand that they cannot demean you (you can only demean yourself); they are only demeaning themselves with their poor behavior. At your highest level of self-alertness, you will feel sorry for the other person and their lack of communication skill, as ultimately it will only hurt them, not you.
The second step in dealing with this conflict is to use self-alertness to ask yourself if you are being open-minded with regard to the content of the disagreement. Are there parts of the other person’s view that have value?
The third step is to use self-alertness to evaluate your motivation for what you are saying. Are you trying to show the other person how smart you are or are you communicating in an eager effort to learn and improve?
In his book, Wooden on Leadership, with Steve Jamison Coach Wooden wrote: "Whatever coaching and leadership skills I possess were learned through listening, observation, study, and then trial and error along the way."
The ability to use Self-Alertness to evaluate yourself is a valuable tool for happiness and personal growth.
How is your Self-Alertness?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



Spoiling Them

'You're spoiling them!' the mother cries
When I give way to weepy eyes
And let them do the things they wish,
Like cleaning up the jelly dish,
Or finishing the chocolate cake,
Or maybe let the rascal take
My piece of huckleberry pie,
Because he wants it more than I.

'You're spoiling them!' the mother tells,
When I am heedless to their yells,
And let them race and romp about
And do not put their joy to rout.
I know I should be firm, and yet
I tried it once to my regret;
I will remember till I'm old
The day I started in to scold.

I stamped my foot and shouted: 'Stop!'
And Bud just let his drum sticks drop,
And looked at me and turned away;
That night there was no further play.
The girls were solemn-like and still,
Just as girls are when they are ill,
And when unto his cot I crept,
I found him sobbing as he slept.

That was my first attempt and last
To play the scold. I'm glad it passed
So quickly and has left no trace
Of memory on each little face;
But now when mother whispers low:
'You're spoiling them,' I answer, 'No!
But it is plain, as plain can be,
Those little tykes are spoiling me.'

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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