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Issue 635 - Talk Less, Teach More (Jia Jiang and John Wooden)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 12 Issue 635
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login


In describing his instructive philosophy, Coach Wooden said that over time: "I learned to be concise and quick and didn’t string things out."
Ronald Gallimore and Roland Tharp (two UCLA psychologists) attended 15 practices during the 1975 season and they recorded and codified 2,326 Wooden teaching acts during thirty hours of practice.
They observed the following: "There were no lectures, no extended harangues. He rarely spoke longer than 20 seconds. What he said to individuals was brief and rarely interrupted the flow of the action. It was always instructive." Coach liked his communications to be between 5 and 10 seconds.
In his must-read book, "Rejection Proof," ( ), Jia Jung applies this principle to being effective when delivering bad news:
"When you deliver a rejection to someone, give the bad news quickly and directly. You can add the reasons afterward if the other person wants to listen. No one enjoys rejection, but people particularly hate big setups. With "big setups," rejectors spend a long time explaining the reason for their rejection before they deliver it.
In July 2014, Microsoft laid off 12,500 employees. To deliver the bad news to his employees, the head of the division sent employees an eleven-hundred-word memo. He began the memo casually with "Hello there." Then he spent ten paragraphs explaining Microsoft’s new strategy. Finally, in paragraph 11, he delivered the bad news:" We plan that this would result in an estimated reduction of 12,500 employees over the next year."
His approach caused a PR nightmare. The media took the memo public, writing stories with headlines like "Microsoft Lays Off Thousands with Bad Memo" and "How Not to Cut 12,500 Jobs".
Do you: "string things out"?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



Safe Conduct

There isn't any danger in the kindly things you say,
There isn't any sorrow in the fine and generous deed,
No deep regret awaits you at the ending of the day,
There's always joy in knowing that you've played the friend in need.

There isn't any anguish in the cheerful words you speak,
The happy salutation never leaves a bitter sting,
No person has met dishonor being gentle with the weak
And unselfishness has never caused an hour of sorrowing.

It's the petty little failures which disturb us most at night,
The little acts of meanness and the trivial things we do;
The conscience never troubles us when we have done what's right,
It's when we've failed to be our best that shame begins to brew.

Oh, most of us are honest in the larger fields of life
And most of us are brave enough in times of stress and woe.
And most of us are fine enough in days of cruel strife.
But it is in the little things the worst begins to show.

The danger of our peace of mind lies in our selfishness,
In cruel little bits of speech which thoughtlessly we say,
In pressing on so eager to achieve our own success.
That we neglect the kindly folks we pass along the way.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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