How many times have you lost your composure by a bad call during a game or became bitter with an employee or work matter? As a parent, how angry do you become when your child misbehaves? Watching coaches and leaders yell during a contest or meeting might make them feel good; however, as Toni Morrison points out, it's an absence of control. Our actions represent our behaviors to those observing us. Once a coach and leader allow anger to enter their teaching, then it becomes "the norm" for everyone else. How can we avoid this, or what can we do to remind ourselves how not to let our emotions and anger take over?
The following strategies from H.A. Dorfman’s book Coaching the Mental Game can be applied to your craft, profession, and everyday life as you master the mental approach to your performance:
1. Carpe Momentum—Seize the moment. We preach, teach, and demand that our players and employees stay present in the moment. The minute we lose our anger, we drift away from the present. How can we expect those we lead to remain present? We teach execution and task, which allows us to be prepared and present, yet, once we lose our anger, we lose all hope of performance and responsibility. One emotional outburst can cause a loss of focus. Everyone needs to understand the "W.I.N" method, "What's Important Now." Losing your temper is not essential, the next play, the next decision might be.
2. Partial Truths. There is a high probability that the reason you became filled with anger is not valid, or at least just a half-truth. How many times have you argued a call and the next day watched the tape and can understand the call from the official's point of view? You might not agree, however, the day after you realize you overreacted to a partial truth.
3. The Cycle. When we lose our temper, we lose control of the vital progression of teaching and leading — Approach/Results/Response. If we spend too much time getting angry over the results, we never have time for the response. And we all know you cannot become a stellar leader without great answers and solutions.
4. Percusso Resurgo—A Latin term for we will rise again. If we get struck down, we will overcome as long as we start the process of getting up. Stuck down—Rise again keeps emotional anger at bay and allows people to stay in the moment.
Anger does not make your team, organization, or you perform at a higher level and peak performance. As Toni Morrison expressed, "I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers ... and anger doesn't provide any of that."
Don't get stuck in being angry. Remain mindful of these strategies while rising above the obstacles and adversity.
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