` Ev­ery­one on top gets knocked to the ground, some harder than oth­ers, some more of­ten than oth­ers. But what does it take to get back to where you want to be?

Dubbo Photo News - - Sport - Beau Robin­son

A COU­PLE of weeks ago I went away to Mel­bourne for the week to fin­ish off the fi­nal eight days of my train­ing to join the Ac­tion Coach team as a Busi­ness Coach.

Whilst away I left some ‘feed­back’ forms for the other mem­bers of the Dubbo Rugby Club coach­ing staff to fill out.

I think some of them may have felt un­com­fort­able do­ing this, even though I specif­i­cally wanted them to give me feed­back on where things could be im­proved – both as a club and in the way we were con­duct­ing train­ing – but also just as im­por­tantly how they felt I was go­ing as an in­di­vid­ual.

I had to chase a few of them up for it, and per­se­vere, but it was vi­tal that I had this feed­back, es­pe­cially lead­ing into the sea­son.

There’s this awk­ward­ness that can come with telling some­one who has a po­si­tion higher than you, or has more re­spon­si­bil­ity, where they need to im­prove, es­pe­cially when there’s no deny­ing who the source of the feed­back came from.

My pre­vi­ous ca­reer has shaped me to think this way, and to have the de­sire to proac­tively go and source feed­back early, rather than wait­ing un­til the end of the sea­son when it’s too late.

As pro­fes­sional rugby play­ers we are con­stantly giv­ing feed­back and want­ing feed­back. I would al­ways want to know why I’m be­ing se­lected and why I’m be­ing dropped. We re­view EV­ERY game and train­ing ses­sion. I think this type of open feed­back is some­thing that most peo­ple would re­ally strug­gle to ac­cept and han­dle. Imag­ine if ev­ery meet­ing or call you had was re­viewed. Ev­ery time you went to make a sale, or ap­proach a cus­tomer, you were re­viewed. It makes your ‘an­nual re­view’ look like a walk in the park.

I might not like it all the time, or nec­es­sar­ily agree with it, but when some­one is giv­ing hon­est feed­back, I re­spect it.

My coach­ing motto is “tough, hon­est and fair”. I’m not go­ing to tell you what you want to hear, I’m go­ing to tell you what you need to hear.

I will give you things to work on, which is ex­actly the type of feed­back I am search­ing for. Why? So I can im­prove.

With the first week of rugby out of the way, the tough de­ci­sions had to be made. If you’re not cut out to do that, you’re not cut out to be a coach, in any as­pect of the word. But blokes want and need to know the ra­tio­nale be­hind your de­ci­sions, and if you can’t de­liver that then you need to have a good hard look in the mir­ror in re­gards to your lead­er­ship.

It was pretty dis­ap­point­ing when I did have coaches who wouldn’t be up­front with me and give me hon­est feed­back on ar­eas I needed to work on. Some even sim­ply lied to me and made up rea­sons which turned out to be false be­cause they couldn’t bring them­selves to be to­tally hon­est with me.

There is a ten­dency for peo­ple in po­si­tions of power or with ti­tles to cre­ate this im­age that they know ev­ery­thing, whether in sports or busi­ness. That’s ar­ro­gance.

The best in­di­vid­u­als in their fields, whether sports, busi­ness, mil­i­tary, medicine or any­thing else, are con­stantly look­ing for feed­back to im­prove.

Think of Bill Gates and Roger Fed­erer. Both the best in their field in the WORLD. Both are still work­ing on im­prov­ing them­selves.

We as Aus­tralians have a ten­dency to put on this per­sona where we won’t ad­mit or ac­knowl­edge that there are things that we do not know or have not mas­tered, es­pe­cially amongst the male pop­u­la­tion. There is this per­cep­tion that it’s a sign of weak­ness but that’s dan­ger­ous. It is a stigma that is hard to break within our so­ci­ety and cul­ture, es­pe­cially out here in the coun­try.

Don’t let pride get in the way of ad­mit­ting you have ar­eas to work on, that’s just ar­ro­gance. The per­son who is no longer look­ing to im­prove or grow, is headed in one di­rec­tion: back­wards.

If you’d like to get a copy of these feed­back forms, feel free to email me at beau­robin­son@ ac­tion­coach.com and I’ll hap­pily send you a copy. It’s noth­ing ex­trav­a­gant, ba­sic is best some­times.

z Beau Robin­son is an Ac­tion Coach Busi­ness Coach and for­mer Su­per Rugby Cham­pion and Wal­laby. beau­robin­son@ac­tion­coach.com

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