Super Bowl 2014: My man, Peyton Manning, goes down in spectacular fashion. After breaking all-time offensive records in the regular season—touchdowns thrown (55) and yards thrown (over 5400), it didn’t matter. He gets rattled and rolled by the best defense in the NFL, and one that may go down in history as one of the best ever. AND we learn his team did NOT practice “with noise,” since they didn’t think there would be any?!
They say “defense wins championships,” and I’ve not believed it till last Sunday. But here’s the good news for us: We are not playing football at work. The people around us are on OUR team. So everything the Seattle Defense did to get Peyton Manning off his game is the stuff of discipline, or at the least, “corrective feedback” in our workplace. You know those 20% of your people whom you spend 80% of your time trying to get in line? They do all the things Seattle did, but it doesn’t win them the game. It’s the stuff managers have to control. Here’s what they do:
1. They disrupt! They interrupt your moves toward your goal and force you to make mistakes. They distract you and take away your concentration.
2. They enroll supporters with gossip and bullying to get a whole team of people to side with them. And then they make NOISE! Similar to Seattle’s “12th Man,” the noise (gossip) makes it difficult to call your positive plays. You can get drowned out.
3. They pull you off goal. They talk to you about all the things that bother them, till they hit one that “gets you” to lose focus. Then, they force a “turnover”—to their direction of focus—not yours.
What can you do? First, remember, your workplace is not a football field. Emphasize we are all on the same team. Don’t lose it. Keep your emotions under control: know your “hot buttons” and don’t get sucked into their game. Yes, you need to be flexible: get out of “the pocket” once in a while, but OUT-LISTEN them with active listening skills, until they give up and get with the program.
These solutions are easy to say, but you need time and training to learn the skills to do them. I have 60 hours of training material, so in a 3 to 4-hour session you practice the skills to be an effective “offense.” Managers and employees have benefitted from my many years of expertise, and continued passion for the game of business. Call me. You don’t have to let a few defensive people drive you nuts. You can rise above the noise and play your winning game.