Keeping tabs on your teams’ Inner Game

Being a big rugby fan, I really enjoyed watching the World Cup in New Zealand and I was interested to read about a secret weapon that England used and the parallels to managing teams, particularly teams of salespeople.

The team took to the field wearing hidden heart-rate monitors and miniature Global Positioning System devices in their shirts. About the same size as a large wrist watch, they were concealed in a padded pocket in the neoprene undershirts worn by the players.  The devices track each player and monitor his wellbeing, giving the England coaching staff up-to-the-minute information on their performance. This gives the coaches data to make informed decisions on substitutions.


Wouldn’t it be great if we had one of those for our sales people. We’d be able to monitor their well being, how stressed or pressurised they were feeling. We could monitor their attitudes, their enthusiasm, their energy. And substitute them when needed.

Seriously though, what are we doing to monitor their well being?  The Inner Game of our teams has an equal impact on their performance as their skill levels do.

Perhaps we should spend more time:

  • Asking how they are feeling inside
  • Observing them beyond just the skills and what they say
  • Encourage them to talk to you about their Inner Game
  • Focus on their Inner Game during 1 to 1’s
  • Give them tools, specific training to handle their Inner Game
  • Relieve the pressure we put people under. They’re only human; don’t over do it. Stressed objects will all break at some point, ask any decent engineer.

The hidden GPS system didn’t work so well last year for the England rugby team.  Secret weapon or not, I now have to wait another 4 years for the chances of England winning the World Cup again.