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Processing verbal cues: personality

“You are so talented in _______ .”
At first glance these would seem like nice or even kind words.  In reality their delivery and absorption carry consequences.  What do you mean, Triple C?  Have you lost your mind?
For example, what if the person you say this to has a somewhat lazy personality?  They may take your comment to heart and not work very hard.  Or even sabotage themselves.  A great example of this is Nick Kyrgios from the tennis world.  Of course, he has a lot of talent and has worked hard to be a pro at tennis.  However he is so talented in some people’s opinions that he is wasting that talent in tennis by doing other things.  Would this statement help or hurt him?  OR, why does he sabotage himself?
“You are pretty talented at writing, maybe you should look at making a living at writing?”  The person to whom this was told May think,”But that is easy and comes naturally.  I want to do something more challenging.”  So he selects something totally contrary to his personality and desire precisely because someone told him he is talented at one thing.
Or what about the person who is say a distance runner?  He, she, or it is running intervals on the track.  If you have never done these before they are very physically demanding.  After finishing one then bending over to puke out the very last little bit of lunch, you ask her, “Do you feel OK?”
To your surprise, the answer is, “yeah I feel great and doing these makes me better.”  She liked the feeling of doing the work and the results it brings.  She performs to the best of her abilities and actually looks forward to the training sessions.  Plus, the feelings in her muscles and the burning ache in her lungs she kinda digs.  Is she talented in running?  Hard to say though her mindset would seem to indicate she likes to apply herself to a task.
It is extremely difficult if not impossible to explain this attraction to the practice and physical feelings associated with that practice to a layman.  Someone who has not spent some time under the squat bar does not understand why you like it.  It’s not like you actually like squats; you like the strength, the confidence, the feelings that come from doing the hard work in the squat.
Bottom line is that it is the mental make up and personality of the person being told he is talented as to what happens.  That does not mean that if you not heard it from me that you are talent free; it means that this message will be delivered to you to yield maximum benefit FOR YOU.
“You gotta read the person and deliver the most appropriate message for maximum impact,” said The Platform.

About the author: USAW National Coach President and Head Coach Cincinnati Weightlifting Club Numerous Master Weightlifting national and state records Silver Medal World Championships, Masters 2013 National Championships Meet Director 2013 National Championships, Bronze Medal, 56 kilo 2012 Ohio Club Champion 85 kg 2011 Team Champion Ohio Weightlifting Championships 2011 Best Overall Male Lifter, Ohio Championships 2010 American Open Championships Meet Director 2010 Asian Games Gold Medalist 2010 Best Female Lifter, East Tennessee State University Open 2009 Ohio Club State Champion 69 kg 2008 Ohio Club Champions 2008 Ohio Club State Champion 77 kg 2007 Ohio Club Co- Champions 2007 World Weightlifting Championships 7th place 2008 National Junior Champion 75+ kg now a 2012 Olympian

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