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Motivate Your Team! Cheer Up A Friend! Inspire Yourself!

Issue 259 - Look in the Mirror First

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 5 Issue 259
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Sometimes when another person is rude to us we get upset. The situation becomes worse if they raise their voice or use a condescending tone and we match their tone when we react. The situation becomes even less productive when we discuss the negative event with somebody else later in the day or spend time thinking about how poorly that person treated us.
These types of events may occur with a stranger, a coworker or even a family member. Instead of getting upset before you react, respond by doing a quick mental: look in the mirror first drill.
Ask yourself, why am I letting this person make me lose my self-control? Then quickly make your mind up to respond calmly and de-escalate the situation. This may require some high-quality listening, so prepare yourself to be patient.
At some point it is productive to ask yourself what you did to get the other person upset. This is not always easy to do because sometimes we view the situation as the other person's fault. That may be true, but analyzing how we could have avoided the situation is still productive.
In his book: The Essential Wooden, with Steve Jamison, Coach Wooden put it this way:
Be hardest on yourself - the model for what you want your team to become. Don't look for others to be your quality control expert. Be your own harshest critic.
The same type of situation can arise if we lose patience when instructing, coaching or requesting something from somebody else. A quick mental: look in the mirror first drill to remind yourself to be patient can be helpful.
Coach Wooden said he had to work hard at being patient and having self-control of his emotions. Ultimately, his terrific self-control became a part of his legacy. He looked in the mirror and became his own quality control expert.
The Chinese philosopher Lao-tze (600 B.C.), described the value of being your own quality control expert:
The person who gains a victory over others is strong; but the person who gains a victory over them self is all powerful.
The person who knows others is wise. The person who knows them self is enlightened.
Who is your quality control expert?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry


Oh Captain My Captain

Here Walt Whitman mourns the fallen Abraham Lincoln.

O Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Walt Whitman 






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