Aside

Feedback

Veins popping. Breathing shallow. Challenges ahead. Lots of opposition. No easy paths to score. You so want to win. But nothing is breaking your way.


If this were a game, you would know there’s a time to regroup coming soon. At half-time, you’ll have some breathing room, get a little respite, your coach will possibly reconfigure the players on the court, give you some pointers on how you are playing, there might even be time to give feedback to one another, and possibly to remind the team to be aggressive enough to win but not to foul.

At work, there are few half-time moments. We just play and play, and it’s even hard to spot where we are on the court itself. Sometimes it seems like we’re on several courts … at the same time.  Yet, what if we could have a half-time break in the middle of the work game? Rather than 12 minutes out of a multi-hour game, perhaps it would be 10 minutes of a few-hour meeting or a 30-minute huddle mid-initiative. Or a day out of a quarter where a team comes together to talk about how we are playing to win…What if we could take a moment out, and huddle?

Would we remind ourselves of what winning looks like?
What would we say to each other, and how would we adjust?
What kind of feedback would we give? Honest, direct or obtuse?
Would we be open — each of us — or even, supple, to the learning process?
What would we practice more of (off the court, so to speak) so we could play better?
Would we ask ourselves, “are we playing our best right now?”
Would we ask ourselves, “are we playing like Champions?”
While it is true that the best teams lose sometimes, they almost always play like Champions. And every team that knows how to win knows how to get feedback. One way we influence the outcome of our performance — to play like champions — is to make sure we’re making time to get input on ways to get better. It is the key between being excellent and being stellar. Between not winning and winning. Between dreaming and doing. Between wishing and truly being kick-ass in the world.

 

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3 Responses:

  1. Larry McKeogh. November 29, 2011 at 3:45 pm  |  

    Yes! This is exactly what I needed right now. I have been looking for the break in the action and I haven’t been able to find it. Why? Because I am playing on multiple courts and I wouldn’t say I am winning on any of them.

    Somehow I needed permission to just call a time-out. A half-time break will allow me to reset my strategy.

    Thanks for the analogy.

    Reply
    • Nilofer Merchant. November 29, 2011 at 5:09 pm  |  

      Just thinking about the holidays coming up… this time of year can lend itself to a much needed break, if we let it.

      Reply
  2. Peter Nicholls. November 29, 2011 at 8:00 pm  |  

    An excellent message. We live life so much like a hungry dog who runs with its nose to the ground all day, looking for its next feed and never looks up to see where it is going. Who knows where they finish up??

    Keep up the good work Nilofer.

    Reply

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