Looking Elsewhere

Apparently, there are over 300 species of (domesticated) goats.  As far as ‘tis nobler knows, none of these types of goat have much to do with experiential learning or behavioural change.

There is, however, another type of goat that features regularly in learning and change activities.

And this type of goat can always be relied upon to perform poorly.  You won’t necessarily find poor performance in its own eyes but you will always find it reflected in the eyes of others.  It’s a handy type of goat to have around even though you prefer to talk about it rather than to it.

It’s a scapegoat.

It’s standard practice in sporting organisations to hold coaches responsible for team performance, with the sacking of coaches being a regular occurrence.  A very extensive and detailed investigation of this activity within the German soccer league found no evidence to support sacking a coach as a way to improve team performance.  Any apparent improvement can be explained as a return to average levels of performance that are largely independent of coaching influence.

Scapegoating is yet another ‘out’, another excuse for all of the leaks in your learning and behavioural change efforts.  It’s easy to play the ‘blame game’ even when you don’t fully understand what is going on:

As a ‘solution’, scapegoating is one example of the potential for convenience to take precedence over validity.  As a strategy, blaming others is much, much more common than it is effective.  Why is it that being seen to be doing ‘something that is really nothing’ is more favoured than just getting on with the job of doing ‘something that is something’?  Pretending that the problems are ‘elsewhere’ because that is where you prefer to look is never a solution.

Where do you end up when you take the easy way out?

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