Sometimes it’s good to focus on the basics

by Andy on July 7, 2015

Helping my young son with his tennis has made me realise how important it is to focus on the fundamentals.

He’s still relatively new to the game. We were on the court the other day and we were working on his serve. We were  practising what the coach has told him to do in lessons. This required breaking the service down into a series of stages, each of which needs attention: where you put your feet, how you hold the racquet, the toss, etc.

Doing this, and helping him see these as discreet steps that need working on before bringing them all together had an interesting knock-on effect for me. It made me think about how these apply in my own game. (I’m in that comfort zone where I’m good enough not to embarrass myself, but not really up there challenging anyone for their place in the team.) Just because I know how to serve doesn’t mean that I serve as well as I could.

It also reminded me about a piece of research recently carried out during one of the major international rugby tournaments, which found that when the pressure was on, 70% of errors made were basic, not complex: dropping the ball being a classic.

Pulling all this together I draw three conclusions:

  • Breaking things down into their fundamental components and working on each, is a sound way to drive improvement. It’s sometimes referred to as the ‘aggregation of marginal gains’. In sales this can be ‘how I introduce myself, how I truly understand my customer, how I differentiate my business….’ and lot’s more.  It’s something we at Gazing work with our customers on.
  • Helping / coaching someone else is great for the soul. But it might also trigger thoughts about our own improvement. I’m not yet serving like Roger Federer, but I am thinking differently about the fundamentals. Same applies to helping a new person in role and the impact it can have on improving our own performance in that area.
  • Run before you can walk. Just as the gap is forever widening between the latest technology available, and what people are using in the field. So the gap is widening between bleeding edge business thinking, and getting the fundamentals of sales, service, management right.

To find out more about performance improvement, or to discuss a refresher, please do get in touch. Drop us a line, or call on 07932 759240.

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