If Running is Good, Then Why Shun it?
arise when we don't recognize that mundane chores create value.
if you've never stepped on a playing field, you probably know that running fast
is the key to success in most sports. If you can outrun your opponents, you can
beat them to the net, goal or base.
Yet it's peculiar
how most coaches approach running. They appear to disdain it. Running is a common
punishment. Show up late for practice, and you'll run laps. Miss a shot, run a "suicide."
Drop a pass, run a lap. Forget a play . . . you get the idea.
are happy to demonstrate how to shoot, dribble, kick, pass and defend, but when
it comes to running, few participate. They would rather bark words of motivation
from the sidelines. And no matter how well you run, coaches will tell you to run
What they hear
This behavior sends
a clear message to players: Running is bad. It's the low point of most practices.
But as we've already discussed, running is one of the key activities for a winning
team. So, we've taken an element critical to the success of the team and turned
it into a negative a task that any rational person would prefer to shy away
that we've diagnosed a new problem, we can do as any respectable
consultant would do and label this defect with a fancy name, such as "The Running
Syndrome," or the abbreviation TRS.
And the point
of this is. . .
doesn't rely on running, but coaches can still saddle practices with a TRS
that task that boosts the value of practice, but one that staff view as negative
and will often try to avoid.
people don't enjoy fielding complaints, but this is an excellent exercise. Assuming
that the patient is not a chronic complainer, the ability to resolve a complaint
often is the first step in building a long-lasting relationship. Do you recognize
complaints as an opportunity, or do you let staff see your displeasure?
can lump any number of tasks into the TRS category. For example, is your staff happy
when asked to stay late? Have you ever exacerbated the situation with a comment
such as, "Sorry, I hate it too, but it's a necessary evil"? Or do you say, "I appreciate
your effort! Mr. Saunders would have never bought two pairs of glasses if you didn't
make him feel so welcome."
Get out and
By focusing on the value of tasks rather than the
perceptions, practice managers communicate that no tasks are trivial and that
each staffer is running toward a common goal.
Optometric Management, Issue: February 2007