Once upon a time, a coach was showing to the players, a
video of the first match that the players had recently lost.
While the video was running, the coach paused it wherever
the players had committed some mistake. Then he analyzed
the mistake step by step and thereby, instructed the players
to avoid the mistake in the second match.
In the second match, the players did not make the same
mistakes, but made other mistakes and the team lost again.
The next day, the coach showed the video of the second
match and again analyzed all the mistakes, so that the team
does not repeat them in the third match.
Unfortunately, the team also lost the third match due to
several mistakes, which were different from the mistakes of
the first or the second matches.
The coach observed that the number of mistakes were
increasing with each successive match. He concluded that
focusing on mistakes led the players to commit more
mistakes. He decided to change his method of instruction.
This time while showing the video, he paused at those places
where the players did not make a mistake, and analyzed how
they had improved to not make a mistake. He suggested the
players to make further improvements in the fourth match.
The team won the fourth match. The next day, while
showing the video of the match, again the coach focused on
discussing those moves that the players played correctly,
rather than those moves, which they played incorrectly.
The team won the fifth match also. The coach noticed
that the overall number of mistakes were now decreasing. He
concluded that focusing on failures generated fatigue, blame
and a feeling of hopelessness among the players. While
focusing on successes generated passion, creativity and the
desire to succeed in a better way.
Due to this change in instruction, the players improved
with every match, and they also won the finals.
Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani