The Ping-Pong Effect

I had gone to Mumbai for a workshop last week. After lunch in our office cafeteria, as I was walking towards the lift and passing the TT table a game had just ended. I’m not sure how it happened but before I knew it a racquet was in my hand and I was transported into a different world. 21 points later the 20 minutes I had to spare had raced by and I said thank you to my colleagues and headed towards the conference room with a smile on my face. It was a great icebreaker to connect with folks from my Mumbai team and a good post-lunch wake me up.

The workshop was energising and as we were wrapping up the thought struck me. “We should have a TT Table in Delhi as well”. Translating thought into action was as easier than I had anticipated. A quick conversation with the powers that be to find out if it was possible and voila a TT table is on its way into the Delhi office. A wonderful reminder that translating ideas into action requires me to act. I could have let that passing thought go or filed it away to find the right time to bring it alive. Instead, I acted on the idea and simply asked the question. The answer could have been different, but nothing ventured nothing gained.

I wonder to myself “How many connections and conversations will happen over and around the new TT table?” “How many calories will it help burn and how many people will it energise by giving them a short break from their day at work?” If I had not come to Mumbai for the workshop and if I had not been invited to that post-lunch game this ping pong ball of events would not have been set in action.

Travel and sports are always wonderful teachers. This quick day trip and 20-minute TT game catalysed so many different actions, brought together so many minds, and will set the stage for lots of interesting collaborations. That was the intention of the workshop. The serendipity of a TT game catalysed a different chain of events that will in turn bring many more people together. For all the convenience efficiency and carbon footprint saving that teams and Zoom bring, there is still so much to be said for bringing people together in person. It could be in a conference room, a taxi cab, an airplane, or around a TT table. The energy it unleashes is simply different.

The ping-pong effect of an idea passed back and forth is energising. The phrase ‘energy exchange’ comes to mind. It’s the ebb and flow of different people’s skills and energy that when brought together make a game. When the game has some rules and yardsticks to evaluate, it becomes competitive and fun. A day spent travelling together, eating together, drinking together, and playing together is what brings a team together.

The work will keep us engaged but the engagement will keep us aligned and that is equally important. When we get to know each other our knowledge and how to use it in service of a common goal becomes so much easier to harness and unleash. I wonder how many new friends I will make in the weeks and months to come courtesy of the TT table. Anybody up for a game of table tennis? Just ping me… and even if you are not, the next time you have an idea and are wondering if you should act on it, here is me reminding on you to ask the question, let it ping-pong out into the world and the answer from the universe may just be a yes.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Executive Director, Adfactors PR.

A trusted coaching and communications professional, Nikhil Dey is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF). Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.

Previously he has held senior leadership positions at Weber Shandwick and Genesis BCW.

He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

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