Slow Down To Go Faster
I was listening to Darren Hardy, the former editor of Success Magazine, on the Darren Daily emails that I get and it made me think of how college coaches work in the office, especially when things are crazy busy during their seasons.
The study he shared had a valuable lesson for us as coaches that I wanted to share.
In the 1980s psychologist Mickey Chi investigated what caused individuals to succeed or fail in a difficult problem-solving and high pressure situation. She gave a basic set of physics problems to Ph.D. students and then the same set of questions to undergrad students who had only completed one semester of physics. Not surprisingly, the Ph.D. students performed much better than the undergrad students. The surprising finding was why. She found the success of the Ph.D. students came because of their approach.
The Ph.D. students took longer to get started solving the problem then the undergrads did. Before putting their pens to paper, the Ph.D.’s paused to think about the problem and the underlying principles. Once the Ph.D. students had a grasp of the problem they were able to solve the problem much quicker and more accurately. The undergrad students simply jumped into the problem without mulling it over and that caused them to get distracted and stressed over irrelevant details and then often directly caused them to create incorrect answers.
You see, too often we do the same thing and act like the undergrads in this study as coaches when we get into the office. We often walk into the office without a plan, just sit down and start working. We work and work and are busy jumping from one thing to the next, but we leave the day feeling like we didn’t get any significant work done to build our programs. We see a problem and jump right into it without much planning or thought before engaging. Then we find ourselves overwhelmed and stressed and distracted by irrelevant details which causes us to deliver poor performances in almost every thing that we do.
Your performance as a coach will go up, significantly in fact, when you just slow down. Before you jump into something, take a few seconds to think about the desired objective that you want and how you want to perform before engaging in the activity. This could be a 30 second mental mulling over, or a 30 minute planning session depending on the importance of the engagement.
Here are a few examples of situations where your performance will improve when you take a little extra time upfront-
- Have a clear objective before you pick up the phone and start a phone call.
- Decide on your agenda before you start a meeting
- Think before mindlessly sending off a quick response to an email
- Before entering a room with your team, think about how you want to show up and engage with them.
- Design a plan for each day
In order to go faster with the development of your team and recruiting, sometimes you need to slow down to speed up.
Have a great week.
Busy Coach President
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P.S. If you have found this article helpful, please share it with your staff or other work colleagues! Studying time and energy management over these last 8 years and applying it to my coaching and recruiting has been a game changer for me. I am committed to helping coaches get more important work done in less time so more time can be spent with family and friends. Thanks!