THE BRYCE IS RIGHT!

Tim Bryce on business, management, politics, and this crazy ever changing world of ours.

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,473 other followers

  • Categories

  • Tim’s YouTube Channel

  • Fan Page

  • Since 1971:
    "Software for the finest computer - The Mind"

    Follow me on Twitter: @timbryce

    Site Meter

  • Subscribe

  • Community

HABITS

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 7, 2014

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

- Positive or negative, we should be sensitive to excessive repetition.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I’ve been a baseball fan since I was a little kid. I followed the Yankees of the early 1960’s, The Big Red Machine of the 1970’s, and now the Tampa Bay Rays. The habits of the players have always fascinated me. For example, the players for the Boston Red Sox all seem to have some sort of ritual they perform just before they get in the batter’s box. David Ortiz (“Big Papi”) spits into his batting gloves and claps his hands before grabbing the bat, and Dustin Pedroia clears his sinuses and carefully examines his bat. The Sox are not alone in this regard; you can find a variety of strange habits in a ballpark, all the way from the Majors to Little League. A lot revolves around spitting, grabbing the crotch, and language. Wade Boggs was notorious for his pre-game rituals and how he steadfastly resisted any attempt to alter his regiment.

You have to wonder why habits play such a substantial role in the life of a ball player, and I think it says a lot about humans as creatures of habit. Some players say they do it as a form or discipline in order to get them in the right rhythm of the game, but most tend to be superstitious in nature; after all, what worked in one game, should hopefully work in another. Once a habit is formed, players tend to be afraid to change it. It thereby becomes the coach’s job to look for superstitious habits in their players and change them if they become counterproductive.

Baseball fans also tend to pick up a variety of strange habits, such as wearing a favorite hat or shirt, drinking a certain beer, or offering some bizarre prayer or chant to solicit favoritism from the mythical baseball gods. They adamantly cling to these habits as a sign of good luck for their team, regardless of where they are, whether at the ballpark or in front of a television set. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that such rituals by the fans are sheer nonsense as it is up to the players on the field to win the game and not the histrionics of their fans, but if it adds to the baseball experience of the fans on the sidelines, why not?

As we all know, baseball doesn’t have a monopoly on habits. We find them in every sport, in every country. In fact, we find them in both our personal and professional lives. If you were to look around your office you could probably enumerate a substantial list of strange idiosyncrasies of your coworkers in no time at all.

In the workplace, it is the manager’s duty to observe worker habits and make necessary corrections just as a baseball coach would. Whether you are in the ballpark or in the workplace, breaking a habit can be a lot harder than people think. Simple reasoning corrects most habits, but when a habit becomes physical, it becomes a lot harder and more painful to correct. In fact, changing habits can be downright difficult particularly for those people who operate in an autopilot mode through life. As a result, managers try threats, ridicule, shame, penalties, even hypnosis to enact change (I kind of like the cattle prod approach myself).

Some people are strong enough to correct a habit themselves if it is brought to their attention, but others will need help along the way which is where the manager comes in. When studying worker habits though, the first question should be, does it have an adverse affect on business? If it doesn’t, you might just want to leave it alone. After all, I don’t think anyone in Boston wants to change David Ortiz’ habit of spitting and clapping his hands. Some habits you just might want to emulate.

Originally published: 11/10/2008

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  ITALIAN RED SAUCE – IT’S PASSIONATE – Want to start an argument between two or more Italians? Ask them who makes the best red sauce.

LAST TIME:  LET’S SIT DOWN AND TALK  – The need for some simple, candid discourse.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific), and KGAB-AM (650) of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

About these ads

4 Responses to “HABITS”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A K.S. of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma wrote…

    ” Habits play a CRUCIAL role in our lives. If left unchecked.”

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    A T.F. of Jamestown, New York wrote…

    “Hey, Tim… enjoyed you’re commentary regarding Spring Training and player rituals-superstitions. I know Wade Boggs had quite the pre-batting ritual… but, Mike Hargrove had one even worse. In fact… his ritual before batting with Cleveland and Texas earned him the nickname “The Human Rain Delay…” and he went through it before every pitch. As for fans… remember… it’s short for “fanatic…” lol. Have a good weekend….”

    Like

  3. […] HABITS […]

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    An M.T. of Cincinnati, Ohio wrote…

    “At first I used to be so shy when I worked part time as a sales girl through high school and college. I thought I developed good habits and had my own personal way of being nice to customers. If any one tried to change me, I would be very upset and probably quit and find another sales job where I could be my quiet but efficient self.”

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,473 other followers

%d bloggers like this: