Recently I read a great article in the Sunday Independent by Eamonn Sweeney, one of my favourite sports journalists and philosophers.

His headline: “Tide is turning against the bullies”.

In his article he addressed the topic “Nice Guys Finish Last”; this was a comment expressed by the legendary baseball manager Leo Durocher as some kind of profound truth when he made the NGFL comment in 1946.

Eamonn went on to rubbish the comment by giving us the names of sports people who are nice and are also WINNERS, e.g. Aidan O’Brien, Willie Mullins, Sonia O’Sullivan, Usain Bolt, Lionel Messi, Roger Federer, Katie Taylor, Joe Schmidt to name but a few. I would have to include Padraig Harrington and Annalise Murphy on that list!

This article appealed to me as a coach. I follow the three fundamental principles suggested by Dale Carnegie in his book ‘How to win friends and influence people’.

The three fundamental principles are:

  • Don’t criticise, condemn or complain.
  • Give honest, sincere appreciation.
  • Arouse in the other person an eager want.

I have coached business leaders for 20+ years and for a number of these years as a trainer for the Dale Carnegie Organisation. I was provided with the best training possible and the understanding that these three principles are fundamental if you wish to be the successful leader of people.

Now in my ‘Aristo’ coaching sessions and training programs, I tell my clients of my guarantee to them. (Next workshop Tuesday 10 April, 9.30-12, NCI Dublin)

My Guarantee:

“I will never criticise you, or tell you that you were doing something wrong, yet you will be better as a result of our working together”

Your improvement will be measured by the amount of effort you then put into implementing the suggestions and advice I provide.

The myth that we constantly hear trotted out by sports commentators when a team is playing badly and are transformed after the half-time interval, is that the manager gave them a good bollocking and sent them out inspired!

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Inspiration comes with a quiet word and a reminder to the leaders in the team that they are capable of more and remind them of their past achievements.

I, as a coach, have no time for the expression ‘constructive criticism’, yet every day when working with senior managers they ask me to give them ‘constructive criticism’. Have you ever felt reconstructed after being ‘constructively criticised’ – I never have!

Great coaches do the following:

  • Beginning with praise (Point out what they like)
  • Suggest some reorganisation based on past experience
  • Close the session with further praise.

That is how teams and individuals are transformed and play better (after the interval).

It’s also how I get outstanding results in my coaching, training and consulting interventions.


 

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