Event + Response = Outcome

>Event + Response = Outcome
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Category: Development Leadership
Published: 25th September 2015

A winning mindset is crucial to your success, and key to a winning mind set is a winning attitude.

Our expert coach Professor Damian Hughes uses the following equation Event + Response = Outcome.

Here he shares his tips for developing a winning attitude and how it can be key to achieving your goals:

Bubble profile - Damian

Control the Controllables

Your attitude is simply a response to facts. It is how we deal with and react to the things which life throws at us on a daily basis. I would suggest that facts fall into two broad categories. These are:

  • Controllable
  • Uncontrollable

From here we can apply the equation:

E + R = O

(Event + Response = Outcome)

The very basic idea is that every outcome you experience in life is the result of how you have responded to events.

At the age of eight, he first met his coach, Bob Bowman, who asked him, “Are you going to wait until you win your first gold medal to have a good attitude? No, you are going to do it beforehand. You have to be an Olympic champion in attitude long before there’s a gold medal around your neck”.

Bowman introduced him to the formula outlined above and suggested that if you don’t like the outcomes you are getting, there are two basic choices you can make.

Blame the event (E) for lack of results (O)

Blame the economy, weather, lack of money, lack of education, gender bias, your partner, the system, whatever suits you.

Phelps could have difficult circumstances (E) to adopt a negative attitude, after all, he had plenty reasons to explain away defeat. He knew however these were tests to determine how he would respond under pressure.

You can instead change your responses (R) to the events (E) – The way things are – Until you get the outcome you want (O)

You can change your thinking, your language and thoughts. That is all you really have control over anyway. Unfortunately, most of us never change our behaviour because we get stuck into conditioned responses.

When faced with difficult challenges, Phelps looked at his own reaction and attitude, asking himself an important question which he dubbed W.I.N: ‘What’s Important Now?’ Is it complaining or moaning about the hand which fate has dealt, or controlling your reaction?

If you look at the things which you believe cause you to have an attitude, then I suspect the majority of them will fall into the ‘uncontrollable’ category (E). If that is the case, think about what you actually do have control over. One thing that does fit within your ‘controllable’ category is attitude. The attitude that we take to the facts in our lives is a choice. And it is a choice 100% of the time, irrespective of the fact.


For more information on our skills masterclasses or to enquire about booking Professor Damain Hughes to motivate your teams at your upcoming conference, event or team day please contact us on 0207 137 7353 or alternatively email enquiries@raisethebar.co.uk