We all have times of “poor performance” in our training, right?
And, if you’re an instructor, you see times of poor performance in your students.
Usually, you’ll feel you just need to try harder the next time. But, the correct response is a bit more nuanced than that. Think about it this way…
…if a race horse under-performs, is it always best just to push him harder the following day? Obviously not! So, here’s a better method…
When you have those days of poor performance, run this quick 2-question analysis on yourself (or your students):
1: Was the poor performance due to LACK OF ABILITY OR APTITUDE?
If so, then the solution is PATIENCE. You’ve got to give yourself (or your student) more time and training.
Criticism, being firm and forceful, or increasing motivation just won’t work in this situation. They’d only be the equivalent of whipping a racehorse harder when he’s already doing everything he can!
Now, if it’s not due to lack of ability, then ask yourself this…
#2 Was the poor performance due to LACK OF EFFORT?
If the answer is yes, then patience isn’t the right prescription. In this case, FIRMNESS, FORCEFULNESS and MOTIVATION is a better prescription.
The bottom line here is that it’s important to recognize the cause of the poor performance. Even though the problem is the same, the solution is dramatically different.
The next time you have a training session where you feel a bit disappointed by your (or your students’) performance, ask your self whether the reason was lack of ability or lack of effort, then apply the correct prescription above.