This blog is an elaboration of one of the thoughts of my previous blogs (http://www.allavance.com/blog/adventure-activities-as-recreation-or-reincarnation/)
I realized that there is a lot of meaning to the ‘sense of achievement’ in our life. It drives us and pushes us beyond our limits. I have noticed people repeat these behaviors plenty times.
However, this blog is more about the application of these thoughts.
I would like to repeat a quote from one of the Oscar winning movie ‘Whiplash’. This line was delivered by an Oscar winning character, Terrence Fletcher played by J K Simmons. “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘good job’.” This quote was in reference to Terrence proving the point that sometimes people need to be pushed beyond their imagination to be able to unleash their truest potential. This might be because people somehow might not know of their real value when they are in the middle of execution. Every once in a while, we might need someone else (who we look up to) to see that potential and expose it. I had discussed this in another previous blog (http://www.allavance.com/blog/the-potential-that-everyone-wants-us-to-reach/). Terrance was talking about the fact that when pushing your mentees, don’t appreciate them and allow them to be self-satisfied by half results.
I somehow had a slightly different opinion of the aspect of external driving. I am sure that one might need to be pushed, sometimes beyond one’s imagination. However, we have to be aware of the tipping point, the edge, beyond which if the person is pushed, will fail. This only happens if the mentor has taken the effort of understanding the mentee. The motivators, the triggers to make sure that the end result will be exemplary. Everyone’s pace is different. There has to be an effort to understand that and then make it work for them.
I have always believed that ‘a pat on the back at the right time will make permanent behaviors’. If, at the right time, the person in question is appreciated for their efforts, it becomes more sustainable to reach the final objective. It is important to ensure that the person has been led towards one successful outcome at least, even if it was hand-holded.
In the context of the adventure blog, it is really important to make people achieve the end objective (like reach the top of the mountain, jump from the bungee platform etc.). It will motivate them towards dealing and achieving bigger objectives. It will get them habituated to succeed. However, if their spirit is broken in the first instance itself, they might never have the courage to gun for anything.
So one of the unsaid responsibilities of the mentor, that has been handed the objective to lead the mentee towards success. is to appreciate small success, give a pat on the back, say ‘good job’ every once in a while. Ensure that the participant is motivated to reach the destination, for the first time at least!
This is one of the reasons that such adventure activities are becoming more popular in corporates. The sense of achieving an unrealistic seeming objective somehow makes it simple to reach some stretched goals at their work place. This analogy seems to be working, as we see the number of outbound programs succeeding at creating the right attitude in their participants. We recently had an opportunity to do one for 90 participants. Awesome results!
Have fun with pushing yourself and your colleagues beyond their comfort zones. Do share your story, if you can.