Crunchy Credit

Written by Matt Somers on . Posted in Thoughts from that Coaching Bloke

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Time for me to set down my thoughts on the so-called credit crunch I thought.

My first thoughts surround the law of the self-fulfilling prophecy. I’m one of those who thinks much of our current troubles are of our own making and have been exacerbated by media hysteria. ‘Property prices down 3% this year’ they trumpet. Well so what, they’re still massively above where they were three or four years ago. Down 3% where exactly? Your street? Mine? 3% is an average so some property will have lost more than this I grant you, but other property will have lost no value or even increased. If you can afford your mortgage falling property prices are irrelevant until it’s time to sell. Even then you might win because the price of your target property will have dropped too. What about a headline that says ‘Property prices fall 3% this year: The first-time buyer crisis is over!’?

My second thoughts – and I’ve got my coaching hat on here – concerns how individuals react in these times. Who is responsible for the problems we face? Gordon Brown? China? The Bank of England? This debate could go on forever. But if I ask who is responsible for taking steps to improve your personal situation and respond to the credit crunch. There is only one answer: You. If a sales person decides to stop calling his clients because nobody has any money, then he won’t make any sales: If he can’t be bothered to ask for new business the answer is already No. If that same sales person decides that the current times mean they need to make twice the number of calls to maintain their ratios then I’ll bet a fiver they’ll do ok. Furthermore they’ll absolutley clean up when conditions improve. And they will you know? I’m on my third recession and I’ve ignored them all.

I’m not trying to be glib and ignore the real hardship some people now face. I believe our government could and should do more, but the sooner we all get back to oiling the wheels the sooner we can get the train moving in the right direction again.

I don’t believe it!

Written by Matt Somers on . Posted in Thoughts from that Coaching Bloke

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This story from Alex Mostrous in the Times yesterday really caught my eye.

“Most benefit derived from doping is in the mind, an Australian study suggests.

Over eight weeks at the Garvan Institute in Sydney, athletes were given either growth hormones, which are banned by the World Anti-Doping Association, or inactive placebos – without knowing which substance they were taking.

At the end of the study, volunteers who took placebos could sprint faster, jump higher and lift heavier weights.”

So, it seems that people can do amazing things when they simply believe it is possible and they operate free from doubt. Something we coaches have known for a while, but it’s nice to have it proven in this way.

Last year people scoffed when the pop psychology book The Secret suggested it was possible to attract success into one’s life simply by focusing and believing that such success is already there. Well isn’t this simply exactly the same placebo effect in operation?

I’m open for a discussion on this one.

Thank You Raymondo!

Written by Matt Somers on . Posted in Thoughts from that Coaching Bloke

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Just returned from my annual sojurn to Marbella on the Costa del Sol. A fortnight to get away from thoughts of coaching for performance (despite my obsession with such things) and to just relax and unwind instead.

However, it’s inevitable that on holiday you’re going to encounter customer service of various kinds and qualities. I encountered airports, airlines, taxis, restuarants and shops and enjoyed varying levels of service in each. Customer Service is another passion of mine or to be more precise, helping teams and organisations get to grips with its demands, so I couldn’t help but notice.

For now I just want to tell you about a very positive example. We enjoyed two gorgeous meals at La Paloma in Orange Square: part of Marbella Old Town. The food is unbelievably good but the prices realistic. The setting is rustic and wonderful and the service from the owner Raymond and his staff attentive without ever being over bearing. It can be done!

Unfortuantely, I don’t have his number or web address, but if you’re in the area, it’s easy to find as you stroll around.

In the meantime here is a picture of a nearby Beach (The pale skinned Brit in the foreground is NOT me!)

Adios amigos