Training & Development Secret No# 1: An All Black Coach, An All Black Legend & a Frenchman

Part of my role when working at NZ Rugby was to ‘Unify & Inspire’ 20 odd rugby development officers and improve their ability to educate, inspire and unify their local coaches.

To do this we thought why don’t we source and invite some of the best ‘Trainers’, ‘Coaches’ along to share their wisdom……….so we went straight to the top and invited Darren Shand — All Blacks Manager for over 12 years at the time to come and speak.

The topic was how he and the management team created a learning, engaging and high performing environment?

I didn’t expect him to share what he did.

He started to relay a story about Graham Henry, Daniel Carter and the time they smashed the French in France on an end of year tour. The highest scoreline between the two countries. ‘Ted’ as Graham is known by was sitting next to Darren on the bus after the game, he was making some comments on how ‘DC’ (Daniel Carter) had played his best game of the year and he attributed his pre-match talk to being a factor in DC’s performance.

“It must have been that talk I gave the team before the game, It was right up there.” said Ted.

“Right” said Darren. “Yeah I really got into them” said Ted.

A wee while later Darren went down to the back of the bus to chat with a few of the players about protocols when arriving at the hotel.

He coincidently sat next to DC…. “Great game DC, I heard Ted’s team talk really got you guys going tonight?”

DC looked at him and without a blink of his eye’s he said

I promise I am Listening

“Didn’t even hear a thing.”

I was like ‘Wow’ how could he not listen to Graham Henry? I then realised when I was ever up in front of people running a workshop or course that I needed to talk less.

I remember thinking each time I walked into a room “It Didn’t matter if I had all the knowledge Graham Henry had, they still may not listen to me. So shut up and get them working, discussing and learning.”

Its all about THEM………the old ‘W.I.I.F.M.’

Whats In It For Me.