I have a confession to make…I love table tennis (or Wiff Waff or, Ping Pong!). It’s a sport I’ve played for many years and get a great deal of satisfaction from and I’d go as far as to say that I’m a half decent player.
Recently I entered three local table tennis tournaments, playing in a number of events. Sadly, I didn’t win any and for two out of the three tournaments I wasn’t at all happy with my game or performance.
What’s up with my game?
So, like any self respecting person wanting to improve their game, I solicited feedback from my team mates and other players who I respected. Now, I should well know that when you ask for feedback, you should be prepared for anything – well I got it! There was some fantastic feedback about how I could improve my game, some was obvious and some less so but there really were some things in there that I had trouble dealing with – that initially I didn’t think applied or were not problems.
Talk to someone who really knows their stuff
I wasn’t entirely sure as to what to do with all this information – so I went and found a good friend of mine who is a former England ranked player (Top 50) and a qualified coach and spent some time with him going through the feedback. He helped me think through the feedback, deal with the things that I didn’t think applied (and of course, they really did) and then helped me formulate a plan of action to help improve my game.
One-to-one facilitation of a 360 report is invaluable
This whole process got me thinking about the importance of being able to speak with an expert who can help you interpret feedback – this is especially critical when implementing something like a 360 degree feedback programme in your organisation. It is imperative that once a person has asked for feedback and it has been provided that have the opportunity to sit down with a facilitator that can help work through their report and assist them with implementing possible changes they may need to make.
If I hadn’t of spent some time with my friend/ coach – I would have dismissed a large chunk of the feedback I had sought and would not have been able to make the improvements to my table tennis game I would have liked and needed!