I play the game of squash. I play in a league, in tournaments and receive periodic coaching from our professional club coach. In other words, I’m a keener who loves playing the game.
Two weeks ago, I was playing “Nathan”. We have a regular game on Mondays and although he’s a better player, I tend to compete adequately. On this particular Monday, Nathan absolutely smashed me. It was a resounding defeat.
I hate losing as much as the next person, and after the game I swallowed my pride, parked my wounded ego for a while and asked him this question: “What did you do so well that enabled you to beat me?”
Nathan said that my serves were weak; they were not hitting the side wall of the court. I was surprised. I had no idea that that’s what I was doing.
The point of my story is this: I had a blind spot and without asking for feedback I would not have known any differently. This idea applies to many aspects of our professional and person lives. Self-awareness is foundational to getting better.
If being the best we can possibly be (as spouses, professionals or mangers) is important to us, then we need to ask others this question: “How can I improve?”
Careful listening and then implementing the suggestions that resonate are the next steps to improvement.
Back to my squash game: I’m now super aware of the need to serve by hitting the ball against sidewall … and am looking forward to my next tussle with Nathan!
Nic Tsangarakis, Principal