Singing in the mud, true persuasion, demonstrating knowledge and avoiding conflict

sent by Nick Grantham | 22nd June 2021

"Start singing when you're up to your neck in mud."

William H McRaven

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William H McRaven spent 37 years as a Navy Seal, and in 2014 he gave an inspirational speech to the graduating class of the University of Texas. In his speech, he talks about the power of hope. He recounts how as a recruit during the affectionately named Hell Week, he was ordered, along with the rest of his training group, to literally get up to their necks in cold, wet mud. It must have been pretty grim! As the evening dragged on, one recruit started to sing. Then another, and another, until finally, the whole training class were singing. The singing helped raise their spirits, and the cold, damp mud somehow felt a little warmer. When you're up to your neck in it (mud or something slightly smellier), remember that there's always hope.

Source: Make Your Bed - William H McRaven

"True persuasion occurs only after you have built an emotional rapport with your listeners and have gained their trust."

Carmine Gallo

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Hands down one of the best books I've read about public speaking. This top tip from Carmine Gallo transfers from public speaking to coaching.   You can write a fantastic training programme, put together excellent training sessions, and be considered a great coach. But if you want to be a brilliant coach and elevate your coaching, you have to take the time to build connections with your athletes. When the athletes you work with trust you, they're far more likely to engage with your coaching fully.

Source: Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo

"Those who receive the bare theories immediately want to spew them, as an upset stomach does its food."


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When you learn something new, the first thing you want to do is tell everyone that will listen (or not) all of this great new information. Bore off! Don't be in a rush to regurgitate a bunch of facts. Great coaches take the time to organise and integrate new concepts into their existing training philosophy. They will show more than they know, allowing space for their coaching, actions and choices to demonstrate their knowledge.

Source: Epictetus

"Don't seek out strife."

Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

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Some people seem to seek out stress and hassle. They love to be right in the middle of chaos and conflict. But what's wrong with a quiet life? There are times when you have no choice in the matter; you find yourself right in the middle of the latest crisis, and you'll have to deal with it. I get it. But I think more often than not; the clever choice is to walk away or avoid the ensuing shit storm altogether.

Source: The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

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