Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The grandmaster Jedi mind trick.

This is a good trick if you do not want anyone to reach their goal. You either build an illusion around the problem by telling people that it is very easy when it is not or you tell them they are not good enough without any basis or you help them with their delusions by telling them they are great when they are not.

I have been hearing people saying that one must not say negative things etc. So lets look at what that means today. Remember my past writings on half full/half empty cup? Now when the cup is only a quarter full you do not say half full. Are you following?

Real encouragement is based on reality. Properly measured. However when it has been measured then the positive perspective ie half full is empowering. Is that clearer? The positive slant on reality. Being able to see the silver lining.

But you dont go running around telling people that becoming a GM is such an easy thing when you do not dare to look and measure the problem. And you do not tell someone they are great when they are not. Actually telling them quietly and at the appropriate time that they need to buck up is the kindest act that you can do. But it is also a difficult thing to do. For they will strike back. Illusions and delusions are very addictive. Psychologists call this act cathexis.

We need to get this right. Because otherwise we cannot evaluate. If we look at a problem and we cannot mention the things that are not going right; we cannot get a balanced picture.

Everytime you point at an obvious weakness that needs to be fixed, somebody will shout you down and say you are negative.

Hey the bridge is collapsing, nothing negative about that if it is true. (Say it is just about hanging on the last support).

Hey we dont have the support system for a GM. Nothing negative about that.

Hey, we dont have a head. :) Really, there is nothing negative about that. 30 years into the game and we still havent figured out who gets paid for what in a tournament, we still dont know who is in charge of national policies, if any, etc. etc.

When we can admit to this, we can now look for the solutions. We take the half full perspective. We look at what we have and how to build what we dont have. But first we must look and measure the problem.

Note: This problem became clearer to me during SEA games selection training at my home. One of the players refused to admit that he was weaker in tactics. He claimed equal strength in all aspect of the game although it was obvious he was not. So immediate roadblock.

An accurate appraisal need to look at both strengths and weaknesses. And only after that can we design the training.

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