I just finished watching a great rivalry game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators. Georgia took an early lead and went into the half with a 20 point lead. However, the second half was a disaster when a receiver missed a pass, or so he thought.
When the Georgia player dropped the ball he stayed squatted down and placed his hands on his head in a gesture of self loathing. What made this even worse was that it was a lateral, not a forward pass, meaning the ball was still alive; a Florida player grabbed it and started running toward the end zone.
This was a turning point in the game as Georgia’s ability to stick to the basics and move the ball downfield seemed to disappear. By the end of the game viewers had lost count of the number of flags thrown because of personal fouls.
What caused this turn of events? Two words: Emotional Intelligence; or the lack of it.
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand your emotions and how they affect you, your relationships and your ability to reach your goals.
The emotional response of the Georgia player that dropped the ball overrode his ability to remember to fall on the ball, “just in case” the call is different than he thought. His emotions drove his actions and they lost the ball deep in their own territory, resulting in Florida’s first touchdown of the game.
Anger, defined as the result of unresolved emotional conflict, seemed to dominate the Georgia players as mistakes continued to be made and flag after flag was thrown because of personal fouls.
Two things saved Georgia from losing the game:
1. The Florida players were reacting just as emotionally, receiving just as many personal fouls, resulting in the fouls offsetting each other.
2. With eight minutes left in the game, the Georgia players began to focus on the basics and their emotions began to diminish.
Just before the change took place there was a time out. During the timeout the cameras showed both sidelines. On the Florida sideline they were jumping up and down in a big group, allowing their emotions to grow. On the Georgia sideline they were seated around Coach Richt who was giving them instructions.
Florida remained emotional, while Georgia refocused on their goal and the basics required to achieve it. Almost immediately there was a change in the direction of the game.
Georgia controlled the ball the rest of the game, keeping the three point lead they had left of the 20 point lead they walked into the second half with. Taking a knee on the last two snaps, they ran out the clock and won the game.
Emotional Intelligence was the game changer. It not only wins football games, it also wins business deals, heals relationships and increases life satisfaction.
If you or your team is spiraling emotionally down the wrong path, regain emotional intelligence, refocus on your goals and refocus on what is needed to achieve them!
If emotions continue to drive you or your team in the wrong direction, enlist the assistance of an executive coach to help.
Don’t wait too long to get assistance. The deeper the hole the longer the climb out.
A good coach can be the difference between your team exceeding their goals or emotionally spiraling and missing opportunity after opportunity.
Don’t depend on your competition’s mistakes for your success. Take charge, regain control, increase your teams emotional intelligence and exceed your goals!