Embracing uncertainty Training theory

Embracing uncertainty pt 3: The explicit versus the implicit

Apart from increasing learning and performance group training has many other benefits that work to keep members coming back for the next training session such as enhanced motivation, accountability, fun and support.

It would be wrong to think it’s only the coach that influence the behavior and the coping strategies that are used when facing obstacles in sports. When unsolicited behavior of others (both verbal and non-verbal) influence the stress and coping process situations we are shown to be more likely to appraise the situation as a challenge than a threat, and to use more adaptive problem-coping strategies (and less likely to fall back on avoidance strategies).

And anyway: there is a large risk for experts to miss what should be apparent to them. Some studies have even shown experts to be even less likely than non-experts to predict the future of their area of expertise, all while being way more certain of their correctness. Displaying a vast amount of ways to justify predictive errors as ”I was nearly right” or ”I would have been right if no X would have happened” which in turn makes them less prone to realize their errors than their less credible counterparts.

In psychologist Philip Tetlock’s gigantic study of experts predictive ability the experts performed worse than they would have if they had simply assigned an equal probability to outcomes. In Tetlock’s words the experts were poorer forecasters than dart-throwing monkeys – who would have distributed their picks evenly over the possible choices. To have an reputation to uphold can make experts so invested in a line of thought that they rationalize information in ways to protect their egos…

There are experts who do not fall as frequently into this pitfall, and according to Tetlock they tend to think more like ”foxes” than ”hedgehogs”, not using one big trick to solve every problem. Those were the ones who focused on the uniqueness of a situation, who saw how it differed from other – as compared to the hedgehogs who tended to use the same set of procedures and protocols to every problem.

Abraham Kaplan in his famous quote stated that the small boy who are given only a hammer “will find that everything he encounters needs pounding”, and unfortunately that seems to hold true for grown up experts as well. We need to make decisions, but should remember to always stay light on our feet and to keep an eye out for trouble – especially when we feel very confident.

So for our group training programs it seems a good idea to construct processes to protect from downside, including making sure there are other people (community) around both us and our members.

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