I have been coaching teams for over 35 years. One of the most difficult things to understand is why, in most situations, the coach, the GM and the owners don’t understand the complexity of building a dynasty. Dynasty-building isn’t something that is controlled by external forces; it is completely internally driven by the people in the organization all the way down to the coaches, players, trainers and even the people who sell tickets, the ushers and the people selling refreshments.
The goal of any business is to make money by providing a service or product that is of the highest quality at the lowest possible cost. In the area of providing entertainment, especially in sports, you are trying to sell fans an authentic, quality experience. The only way you can do that, game in and game out, is to make sure that the people providing the experience, from GM to athletes and all people involved, are on the same page practicing a psychology that is authentic, empowering and connecting.
Humankind has been using a faulty psychology of external control as a means to become successful. The psychology will offer some success in many areas but it takes tremendously strong people to be able to withstand the damaging effects of the psychology within any organization. Eventually what happens is you get people in the organization that are the axiom of external control and people no longer want to work with them, so they stop performing or look for work elsewhere, which is again very costly to an organization. I have been training teams and organizations with internal psychology and it does create enormous problems with in an organization. The biggest problem of all is that it exposes the people within the organization that our boss managers. These boss managers practice the five conditions of external control that end up damaging all the relationships within the organization, eventually leading to failure. These five conditions of external control are interwoven in the psychology of external control where we practice the behavioural habits that are the source of the dysfunction and the motivation killer.
If I were to ask anyone a question about where in their life they have had the greatest success that is long-lasting, most people would say with their best friends. Now why is this so? Is it not because when you have a best friend the psychology you practice with that best friend is a psychology that connects you to that person? Your best friend is a person who doesn’t practice any external psychology on you whatsoever and it’s the habits of external control that would poison the friendship. The reason why someone is your best friend is because they do not criticize, humiliate, blame, punish or reward you in order to control you. If you go to a best friend and you have a problem when you give them the information about your problem they don’t jump down your throat- your information isn’t a stimulus to them. Therefore you feel listened too. When you’re having a difficult time, your best friend doesn’t blame you for your misery. They may ask you questions and help you sort that out. A good best friend never tells you how you have to change they ask you what you would like to change. Best friends rarely know what’s best for you, they always help you discover what you think is best for you and they provide the support you need in order to test it out. Best friends also don’t take the credit for your good choices, they put all that credit on to you and are often proud of you for what you’ve accomplished.
When I teach internal psychology to teams it doesn’t take long before the athletes come to this level of empowerment because they truly understand what human performance is from the inside out. They also begin to see that in any situation regarding human relationship there are choices that take you towards being a better team and choices that take you to becoming a disconnected team, and disconnected teams fail. In everything that human beings do, the success of what they do is determined by the quality of the relationships with the people they are doing it with. Most human beings in any job they do, they do it because the money they receive satisfies their needs to survive in the world in a way that is with their own comfort zone. If you are apart of a professional sport, the window to earn a livelihood is often very small and therefore, survival is on your mind more so then a person you is who is in a steady career. Because the window of opportunity is very short, it is more important for coaches and GM’s to change the psychology from external control to internal control, because it fosters the relationships needed to provide a high-quality, authentic experience for the ticket payers. Teams that can provide an authentic, intense sport experience will often engage the audience in ways that get people to get behind their team. The importance of relationship is astronomical.
Like a good marriage there is nothing more satisfying than to be in a relationship with your employer where both people are happy with the level of empowerment, which provides a quality experience for the ticket holder. Who wants to work hard for a person who criticizes them, blames, nags, humiliates, centers them out, or continually knows what’s best for them? Who wants to work for an employer that doesn’t have their best interest in mind? In helping one small business in the community with a scheduling problem, I suggested that the employees make up their own schedule and they did. It empowered employees to get along, work together and figure it out. Within a short period of time the scheduling issues disappeared. Learning internal psychology is a difficult thing to do because we are so deeply conditioned when things are not going right in our life to practice external control. But we can learn something different and if you do your organization will thrive and your level of happiness will increase, because the new way of doing things will satisfy more of your basic needs.