` 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?
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. firstname.lastname@example.org