for a strong, fast pick-me-up
If you face difficult questions in business you can benefit from studying the way Michael Hooper from the Wallabies spins out of tackles.
In the recent game against the solid and very physical defence of the Springboks in Cape Town, Hooper was bouncing out of tackles to get past some defenders. Hopper has the white headband/tape.
Here he “bounces”/ spins out of one tackle and gains a bit more ground before getting dragged down.
And against the All Blacks.
You’ll notice in this photo, Hooper is facing in the same direction (for a brief time) as the player attempting to tackle him.
That’s the secret of the move – for a brief time you face in the same direction and move in the same direction as your “opponent”. You try to bounce off the player and move on rather than getting wrapped up and brought down by them.
Of course, there are many “moves” like side-stepping – but the old bounce/spin out of the tackle is a valuable skill in your repertoire!
Instead of “opposing” your opponent – you harness “their momentum” ,”move with them”, spin around past them, then move in the direction you want to go.
I’m a communication trainer who happens to be a Wallabies fan who enjoys watching the rugby.
Even when the Wallabies lose (as they did in Capetown) I learn business lessons from watching the players AND the commentators.
As a TV reporter I got to interview all sorts of sportspeople – and I was always impressed by the communication skills of the Wallabies players I encountered.
Now, in my work as a communication consultant, many of the CEOs and execs I help are rugby fans and they instantly relate to “rugby” metaphors and examples.
I learn lots from my business friends who are rugby coaches. I try to teach a few things to my rugby-loving son and we often study rugby teaching resources like this:
O.K. – how does this relate to answering tough questions n business?
When you get asked a tough questions, you can use a technique I call the AGREE + AND technique.
You find something to agree with in the question. For a short time you are “facing the same direction” or “moving in the same direction” as your “opponent”>
You move with them rather than against them – then you spin/pivot around to the message you want to give.
Look out for the way politicians bounce out of tough questions with agreement or even “partial agreement” – and then spin to the message they want to deliver.
Sometimes, if you (or your argument) is strong enough you can oppose. Other times the old spin and pivot move helps you get around opponents.
(Partial agreement – moving briefly in the same direction)
Well, that may be a factor and we should always be reviewing what’s going on in that area.
(Spin to YOUR main message)
The most important thing we’ve got to do as a nation is…
and another example:
That may be part of the problem… (Move in same direction)
(Spin to your message)
The main problem here is…
Rugby players practise and practise this move until it becomes a reflex.
When I train execs we practise developing response reflexes. – and one of those responses is the AGREE + AND move.
I encourage you to watch how politicians spin out of tough questions.
And when you are next watching the rugby how some rugby players reflexively spin out of tackles!
I’m confident we’ll see the spin out of the tackle move when the Wallabies play the Pumas!
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These days, lots of people and organisations need help with how to COPE with too much work, too much information, too many meetings, delivering difficult news, business writing, effective e-mail, e-mail overload, cross-cultural communication, better social media engagement etc. I like to help people COPE.