A dash of honest doubt turns out to be not so bad after all.
The coaching gurus all seem to agree. To reach your goal you need to declare it and abracadabra you are already halfway there.
Well, it turns out that they could be wrong.
According to research performed by a group of American scientists last year and document by Daniel Pink there is a significant difference in performance between 2 groups performing the same task and where one group uses what the scientists called declarative self talk ( I can do it) and the other group uses interrogative self talk (Can I do it?).
The self questioning group performs a lot better than the self affirming group.
In Denmark we had an interesting example of this recently.
As the Danish handball team departed for the European Championships they self confidently declared that they were going for gold. They subsequently lost their first few games and in no way looked as if they were going to get anywhere near the finals. The fans at home of course were furious and the players and trainer were all accused of hubris. Subsequently the declarations from the trainer and players took a subtle shift from ”we can do it” to some serious self questioning around ”can we do it?” and ”what would it take to do it?” – and – abracadabra, they brought home the gold medals to everybody’s surprise – including their own I guess.
The research seems to indicate that people who ask questions somehow come from a more humble place and that in turn creates a space to come up with a deeper solution.
For those of us who have been working with action learning for years that does not come as a big surprise….