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Saturday, March 23, 2013

PARCELLS ON CONFIDENCE, THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RESULTS AND ASSERTING YOUR INFLUENCE

No on questions the importance of confidence in determining success.  But the roots of confidence are sometimes misconstrued.  People don't get it from fancy pep talks, or psychological string-pulling, or positive-thinking handbooks.  An organization's confidence level is defined, first and last, by its tangible performance.  Confidence is only born of demonstrated ability.

In my business, a team's collective mental state is ruled by the psychology of results.  In other words, past outcomes dramatically affect the group's attitude going into the next game..  A team teaches itself what it is on the field, in action.  Sometimes this can be a resource to the leader; at other times, you're fighting your darnedest to overcome it.

To keep his team on track, a coach must take this syndrome into account before the fact, and frame the most positive mind-set he can for his players.  (As Bear Bryant once advised me, "You better know what you're gonna tell 'em if you're winnin' at halftime, and you better know what you're gonna tell 'em if you're losin'.")  Coaches can't leave their teams to decide for themselves what's going on; they have to assert their influence, prepare their players for any results.

From "Finding A Way To Win" by Bill Parcells