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The Little Things Make a Big Difference
Greg Shelley, Ph. D. Director of Leadership Academies at Georgetown, Colgate, and Lafayette
Sometimes we need a moment to step away from the "big picture" and focus on the little things, the important things, and those seemingly trivial things that need our attention . . . right now. The "little" things are generally not difficult . . . they just take a little extra time and demand a little extra effort.
It might be a phone call that we continue to put off, an email that needs to be "proofed" before sending, a word of encouragement to a teammate, a smile as we hold the door for a staff member, or a surprise "thank you" note to an assistant coach for a job well done. Whatever the task, remember that the smallest things can make the biggest difference.
In their book, "The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make all the Difference", Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval argue that bigger is not always better. In fact, these authors challenge all of us that our smallest actions, words, and gestures often lead to our greatest long-term rewards and outcomes. In short, our kindness, willingness to help, attention to detail, attitude, desire to offer a positive word, or our simple "please" and "thank you" responses will make all the difference in building strong personal and team relations.
Team members (players and coaches) tend to work harder when they know others care about them and want the best for them. As a result, our smallest actions and gestures often have the largest impact on our personal relationships and long-term team successes. It doesn't take much . . . but doing the little things may be the difference between playing a good game and winning.
Below are 5 coach and athlete suggestions for doing the "little things" that can give you the competitive advantage over others.
1. LOOK FOR "LITTLE" OPPORTUNITIES
2. DOUBLE CHECK AND THINK AGAIN BEFORE YOU HIT SEND
3. PROMOTE AND USE THE "ATHLETE SUGGESTION BOX"
4. REMEMBER: EVERYONE MATTERS
5. APPRECIATE THE LITTLE THINGS
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