doubleshot media

for a strong, fast pick-me-up

How to spin out of difficult questions the way #Wallabies Michael Hooper spins out of tackles

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.

Hooper spin1

Here he “bounces”/ spins out of one tackle and gains a bit more ground before getting dragged down.

Hooper out of tackle

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.

rugby montage

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:

rugby_drill spin out of tackle

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.

For example:

(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!

TB Media mosaic

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:
If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.
I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious business communication tips.

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti
Or you can follow this blog.

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.



One comment on “How to spin out of difficult questions the way #Wallabies Michael Hooper spins out of tackles

  1. efangelist
    September 8, 2015

    Reblogged this on efangelist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on September 29, 2014 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , .