Jon Pratlett

Jon Pratlett has over two decades of experience, coupled with extensive study and on the ground action, supporting leaders and their teams steward their organisations to transform to their desired state.


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Jon at the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon 2000 World Championships - 3.8k Swim, 180k Bike & 42k Run.

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High Performance Space

Like it or not one of our foremost ways of learning are by trial and error.

Being encouraged to have a go, can make an enormous contribution to the realisation of someone’s potential. Creating the appropriate environment (high performance space) for this to occur is a key leadership role. It means providing the necessary limits to ensure that people “having a go” are safe, are not going to cause uncontrolled mayhem (crashing the network) etc. It also requires the assessment of capability

(The mistake, error, mishap)


From our earliest childhood, we have been conditioned that when we do something wrong (not doing something or saying something the way mum, dad or the teacher intended or expected) we will be punished in some way shape or form, be that physical or psychological.

With this response, imprinted so early in life, it is hardly surprising that we have acquired coping strategies for occasions when we perceive such a stimulus. e.g. flinching, as a child, when someone has raised a hand and you thought they might be about to strike you.

Here’s another example:

You hear an almighty crash in the lounge room at home and go to investigate. There stands the 2 kids looking rather sheepish. You ask “What happened?” and the immediate response is  “It was him”, “It wasn’t me”, “she made me do it”…….

When confronted with an error, mishap, accident or someone else’s misperception of our actions or intentions, there is a tendency to resort to:

Justifying/Rationalising our behaviour rather than

Blaming someone or something - (other than or including ourselves)

Denying we were involved

Avoiding the offended person or situation

These behaviours are not condusive to sustained high performance.

Do you see and hear these behaviours around you every day? How do you feel when someone has obviously stuffed something up but won’t own it, or blames someone else? When these types of behaviours are the norm around here, you develop a culture of defensiveness. “That’s the way we are around here”.

I have worked with thousands of professional managers, leaders, sports coaches and athletes over the last 25 years who tell me in workshops, seminars, facilitations and coaching sessions, that they do all of these all too often, as do their staff! They know what they should be doing, but knowing and doing can frequently be a long way apart. They cannot help themselves – it is so ingrained.

Then what should we be doing?

Creating a high performance space by:


How can we possibly do this if our responses to such situations are so ingrained, so automatic, so unconscious?

Step 1 - Be aware - catch yourself doing it.

Step 2 - Acknowledge you’ve created it

Step 3 - Correct it as soon as possible or ask for help

I challenge you to think on this one and experiment with yourself. What does it take to consistently change your knee jerk responses, to a more constructive, rather than defensive mode? Play, experiment, stuff up and observe what happens? If you want to share your observations, I would be delighted to hear from you.

Err, Err and Err Again.
But Less and Less and Less

It’s not what you do, it’s how fast you correct. Given the current business environment, what an opportunity! 

Need some support in developing the above? Email Jon for a complimentary discussion at or call 61 414369412.

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