Any one of us can be tempted to “go negative” from time to time. Sadly, for some, it is the way they communicate most of the time. Whether you are working to combat your own negativity or are needing to respond to negativity from others, here are a few things to keep in mind: (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Team Building’
In our first article of this series, we learned how a family trip to Abilene on a 104-degree Texas afternoon led Professor Jerry Harvey to discover what he calls “The Abilene Paradox.” The paradox occurs when groups take actions in contradiction to what the individual members really want to do. Remember that Professor Harvey described the Abilene Paradox as the inability to manage agreement rather than the inability to manage conflict.
We’ve also explored six tell-tale signs that will help us recognize when we might be on a” trip to Abilene” and four underlying psychological dynamics that create the conditions for the Paradox. The question is…what do we do about it?
If we believe our group or organization is caught in the Paradox – and is “on the road to Abilene” –Professor Harvey recommends we speak up and confront the Paradox in a group setting. Working within the context of a group is important, because the dynamics of the Abilene Paradox involve collusion among group members.
The first step in the confrontation is to “own up” to our true beliefs and be open to the feedback we receive when we share them. By owning up, we let others know we’re concerned that the group may be making a decision based on inaccurate data. To illustrate this, let’s revisit this workplace scenario (from article two). (more…)
The Problem: A mid-sized community bank with 200 busy employees needed training that would inspire creative thinking about leadership, build strong teams, and be finished in the course of a two-hour lunch workshop.
The Solution: Provide a variety of CRM training videos that motivate and connect by showing real people in everyday work situations, including Teamwork in Crisis, Leaders of Character: Leadership – The West Point Way, and Taking Charge of Change. Customize each course to provide just the right amount of material necessary for a truly meaningful Lunchtime Learning session.
The Success Story: For some employees, combining a hard-earned lunch hour with a leadership lecture wasn’t initially palatable. But once the monthly Lunchtime Learning sessions started rolling, the voluntary classes filled quickly and latecomers were being turned away at the door. These segments are now very much looked forward to, combining reward and recognition with practical, memorable training ideas.
Initially, segments of videos were shown in order to fit the allotted time frame. As the popularity of lunchtime training grew, the bank expanded on some of the themes and took them company wide. For example, Taking Charge of Change was initially formatted for the Lunchtime Learning workshop and became the foundation resource for a longer training session for all bank employees. Using the Leader’s Guide as a backup to the lesson plan, the company was able to custom design programs that engaged employees at many levels.
In addition, training leaders report positive feedback from managers at all levels who have taken bits of the training, including the ice-breaker and skill set activities, to their own staff meetings and inter-departmental planning sessions.
One training leader praised CRM Learning video materials for providing rich content in a concise format, and said “I find these programs give our instructors an array of valuable topics to cover, with a minimal amount of preparation and development time.’’
1. What does it mean to be a member of a team? What can a team accomplish that one person working alone cannot?
2. What positive and negative experiences have you had as team member or a team leader? Identify instances when your team’s effectiveness has suffered due to style differences among members.
3. Do you regard your team responsibilities as a top priority or as an intrusion on your “real job”?
4. In your organization, to what degree are you evaluated and rewarded for your skills and effectiveness as a team player versus for your individual performance? (more…)
Like it or not, all teams are potentially dysfunctional. This is inevitable because they are made up of fallible, imperfect human beings. From the basketball court to the executive suite, politics and confusion are more the rule than the exception. However, facing dysfunction and focusing on teamwork is particularly critical at the top of an organization because the executive team sets the tone for how all employees work with one another.
A former client, the founder of a billion dollar company, best expressed the power of teamwork when he once told me, “If you could get all the people in the organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”
Whenever I repeat this adage to a group of leaders, they immediately nod their heads, but in a desperate sort of way. They seem to grasp the truth of it while simultaneously surrendering to the impossibility of actually making it happen.
Fortunately, there is hope. Counter to conventional wisdom, the causes of dysfunction are both identifiable and curable. However, they don’t die easily. Making a team functional and cohesive requires levels of courage and discipline that many groups cannot seem to muster. (more…)
How successful is your organization in meeting the objectives set by your leaders?
When teams are energized, motivated, and inspired, they can achieve amazing results. On the other hand, we’ve all seen what happens when teams are de-motivated, disengaged, or unenthusiastic about their goals. (more…)
In the workplace, cooperation represents the blending of many skills to produce collective achievement. Even in teams where some members are competitive in nature, there are simple things you can do inspire genuine cooperation.
Focus on Team Goals –Keeping the team’s goals center stage, and explaining how each person’s “to do’s” contribute to the team’s mission, encourages team members to be more cooperative as individuals in order to be more competitive as a team. (more…)
Do you use your social and emotional intelligence to the benefit of your work team every day? Do you give your best effort regardless of the role you play? Are you willing work professionally with every team member, and use your interpersonal skills to help the group succeed?
Check the list below to see how you are doing at using your social intelligence to become an effective team member at work. (more…)
From www.helpothers.org, used with permission.
• Take flowers to work and share them with coworkers.
• Write a note to the boss of someone who has helped you, praising the employee.
• Leave enough money in the vending machine for the next person to get a free treat. (Tape the change
and a Smile card* tag to the machine)
• Have a food drive, ask employees to bring nonperishable food items to donate to food bank.
• Get to work before others and leave a piece of candy, brownie, fruit, flower, etc. at every desk attached
with a Smile card.
• Leave a cake or other food item in a central area anonymously with a Thank-You note.
• Appreciate a co-worker by giving them a gift of service. For example, instead of a tie for birthday or
Christmas, make a contribution to sponsor a cataract surgery in a developing country. Attach a note
explaining how their gift affects someone else’s life.
• Gather a group of your colleagues and take them to a fundraiser.
• Email an article about an act of kindness to your group every week.
• Give your manager or co-worker a thought-provoking book.
• Print an inspiring story and put it on your work bulletin board.
• Buy a cup of coffee or snack for someone who’s having a long day.
*Smile Cards are markers of a newfangled game of tag, where “you’re it” because someone has done something nice for you. Then it’s your turn to do something nice for someone else and, in the process, pass the card along.
Helpothers.org is a portal dedicated to small acts of kindness. There you will find inspirational stories & articles documenting acts of kindness, downloadable Smile card designs and much more! www.helpothers.org