Things Used To Be So Much Better…

I’ve just listened to an interview on the radio with Paul Lambert, a former Scottish international football player and manager. The Scotland team are on a particularly poor run of form just now, having lost six of the eight games they’ve played so far this year, and the mood of the interviewer was very downbeat.

The interviewer positioned things as ‘not good’, ‘terrible’. Lambert suggested a big part of the problem is expectation levels. ‘People go by what happened in the past, we’re not there anymore. We need to accept what we have now and support the team’. I think Lambert’s right, yet to me, this inability to shake the past feels like our need for certainty, holding us back.

Things used to be so much better then…therefore they should be just as good (if not better) now?

While there clearly are things we can learn from what’s gone before – it feels pretty pointless to me to base our performance expectations on previous versions of ourselves and others. By doing this we risk setting ourselves up for additional stress and a reluctance to deal with failure. I come across this harking back to bygone days when working with teams and organisations, and I wonder, how can we acknowledge the past, remember the good stuff, and break free from the unrealistic expectations these associations often cause?

Maybe we need some sort of ceremony, a way of putting the past to rest? Not so much a funeral, but a celebration, a recognition, and a moving on.

Our Working With Uncertainty workshop takes place tomorrow afternoon and I’m curious, tempted to ask people if they want to play with this quandary of respecting the past without hanging on to it, as part of our work.

More to follow…maybe?

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