Are you a thermostat or a thermometer? These two objects may seem to be very closely related, but they are so radically different in their function. It is important to understand that you are one of the two. Everyone is.
The function of a thermometer is to gauge the temperature in a room. As the temperature goes up or down, the thermometer reflects that. It accurately displays the atmosphere around it.
A thermostat sets the temperature in a room. This is the device that sets the atmosphere.
Being able to recognize this in a football player is very important for coaches and GMs. If you have a room full of thermostats you are going to have ego clashes and issues. Some people have to lead while others follow. You can’t have a room full of thermostats battling to set the tone.
Imagine two thermostats in your house set differently. The conflict means that neither one is actually setting the temperature. You end up with no clear atmosphere control at all. This is how things go bad with players like Antonio Brown as well as others that have been accused of destroying a locker room. They are trying to control the atmosphere in conflict with a different thermostat.
Tom Brady is a clear thermostat. He sets the temperature and tone for this team. It is unquestioned. There is no battle for control. Meanwhile the thermometers reflect his championship temperature. You can watch them like you watch a thermometer. You can see the atmosphere change. Putting in extra work. Demanding more of themselves. The winning atmosphere is set.
It helps to have someone setting the tone in each position meeting room. Many players try very hard to set the tone but others just don’t really follow. You are one or the other by nature. It just happens.
Chaos Or Control
You can watch athletes and see all kinds of situations where melodrama and emotion can run rampant and destroy the team environment. The question is whether or not an athletes actions and mindset reflect the chaos or control it? Do they set the tone or are they an accurate gauge of it?
Being a thermostat has its responsibilities. You may be the actual cause of the chaos. We have seen this with so many athletes. If they are melodramatic or unprofessional, they can drag the thermometers along with you. They will reflect the mood that is set.
A coach and general manager need to know, when things get crazy who will be the cause or the solution?
During one of the TV series that I produced, one of the cast members was causing all kinds of trouble from the start. She was always ready to bring new drama and trouble to the set. She constantly complained about small problems that she could easily overcome and manage. On one occasion she showed up in the makeup room and the makeup artists were running a little behind. She turned a minor issue into an explosion. All she needed to do was wait a few minutes for her turn. Instead she turned her minor inconvenience into a mess.
She was was more interested in placing blame and exposing the fact that things were running a little behind than working things out. Basically she was setting the tone. She was being a thermostat. She was making the atmosphere too hot. A few others immediately jumped into the fray and reflected the temperature in the room until someone stepped in and cooled the situation down.
There are four possibilities with the option of being a thermostat or thermometer. Two as a thermostat and two more options as a thermometer.
- Reflect a negative atmosphere
- Reflect a positive atmosphere
- Set a negative atmosphere
- Set a positive atmosphere
Keep in mind that “it’s not my fault” and “it was out of my control” are the battle cries of the melodramatic. You hear it in interviews all the time after games. A thermostat accepts responsibility for the outcome and is determined to change it. A thermometer will say “I know we lost but I am great (“Check your sheet”).
The new temperature is set and winning seems to be the environment. Room temperature just got a whole lot more comfortable. At least thats how it looks – From The Cheap Seats