The Art of Strengths Coaching

C is for Channelling Your Champ rather than Your Chimp

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Positive people often aim to channel their inner champ, rather than their inner chimp. What does this mean?

During the last decade Steve Peters has helped many athletes to manage their chimp. Their chimp can take many forms. It can be self-doubt, irrational emotion and negative self-talk.

Steve helps them to manage these impulses. He also encourages athletes to make specific plans for performing at their best. He uses his own terms to describe this pursuit of excellence and become the best they can be.

One way of looking at it, however, is that he helps people to channel their champ, whilst managing their chimp. You can read more about Steve’s work via the following link.

http://chimpmanagement.com/

Let’s explore how people can produce their equivalent of championship performances.

Clarifying
Your Champ

Everybody has a positive history. So it can be useful for a person to explore when they have performed brilliantly, even if this was only for a few minutes. They may have been encouraging another person, managing a crisis, completing a piece of work or whatever.

Different coaches and educators use different questions to help people learn from such experiences. Whatever words they use, however, they often help people to explore their strengths and successful style.

They encourage the person to build from within, which is the organic approach. If appropriate, they also help them to add other skills to reach their goals.

They may begin by asking the person some of the following questions.

When have you performed brilliantly? What were you doing right then? What were the principles you were following? How can you follow these principles – plus maybe add other skills – to perform brilliantly in the future? 

Good counsellors may take this approach when working with individuals who are experiencing difficulties. Whilst acknowledging the person’s feelings, they invite them to recall when they have dealt with challenges successfully.

They may say something like the following.

Looking back, when have you encountered a similar challenge and come through it successfully?

What did you do right then? What were the principles you followed to tackle the challenge successfully?

You already have the strength and successful patterns within you. So let’s explore how you might follow these principles – plus maybe add other skills – to tackle the present challenge.

Peak performers follow a similar route. They constantly recall their best performances. They know that following similar principles can ensure they do the basics and achieve 8+/10.

Peak performers then aim to add the brilliance and achieve 10/10. They build on their champ, rather than get distracted by their chimp.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific situation in the past when you delivered your equivalent of a championship performance.

Describe the specific things you did right then – the principles you followed – to deliver your equivalent of a championship performance.

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Channelling Your
Champ In The Future

Good teams also use this approach to keep developing. One football team used it, for example, to improve the way they finished games.

The team’s manager was concerned that, on several occasions, the players had failed to close out games when they were leading by the odd goal. They had drawn or lost games where, with ten minutes to play, they were leading 1-0 or 2-1.

The players forgot to do the basics. They became paralysed and kept watching the clock, hoping for the game to end. This led to the other team scoring and taking over the game.

The manager had a choice. One option was to rip into them for forgetting to do the basics. Taking this route, however, may have increased their sense of fear. So he chose another route.

The manager invited the team to build on its strengths. The team recalled the matches when they had led by one goal with ten minutes to go and went on to win.

The players recalled what they had done right to keep playing, rather than become paralysed, and win the game. They then focused on how to follow these guidelines in the future. It worked. The team learned how to stay calm and go on to win the games.

People sometimes want to deliver their equivalent of championship performances. Singers want to do this, for example, when making a record or performing at a particular concert. Recently when working with such people, we have recalled their best performances.

Looking back, they prepared properly. Before going on stage, they breathed deeply and then clicked into gear. They walked on stage and served the song, rather than worry about the audience reaction.

Looking ahead, we explored how to do these things in the future. The aim was to build organically. They knew what worked, so we built on these beliefs. They settled on the specific things they could do to deliver their equivalent of championship performance.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation in the future when you want to deliver your equivalent of a championship performance.

Describe the specific things you can do then to do your best to deliver your equivalent of a championship performance.

Describe the specific things that may happen as a result of aiming to deliver your equivalent of a championship performance.

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