We all live and work in teams. Teams made up of different, often talented, individuals. Each bringing their own skills to help the team achieve success.
Team dynamics are often a source of personal and organisational frustration. In TEAMtalk, we explore the possibility to create positive team performance through the development of concepts, behaviours and dynamics.
You will spend the rest of your life living and working with others! Equip yourself and those around you to make that productive and enjoyable.FREE Sample Chapter
If you want to consider TEAMtalk as a personalised copy for your organisation, anniversary or coaching programme, please contact us.
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. ~Nelson Mandela Normally when I am in the car I listen to podcasts and audiobooks, but recently I was running around town with my daughter in the car. The radio was on. We heard two songs (and what must have been a dozen adverts!), and they could not have further apart. The first song made me depressed : James Arthur’s rendition of ‘Impossible’. The title alone should have made me cringe but the song was enough to make me want to drive...read more
A recent HBR article outlined the science of teamwork, which we summarised as ‘communicate, communicate, communicate’. I also discussed this topic with a recent podcast guest Anneleen Kaptein and again the summary would be the same; communicate, communicate, communicate. Many of the issues that arise when people are trying to achieve something together come from a lack of communication. It is worthwhile reminding ourselves that it is our responsibility to communicate! 1. Communicate at the start of a team task. Establish clarity on the goal ...read more
I love this picture because everyone’s washing up brush will look like this after a while. (scary enough, so will many toothbrushes…) It made me think about pressure in a team context. A washing-up brush works, like any other brush, at the tip of the bristles. Too much pressure and you will not use the tip, the effective part of the brush, but the middle of the bristle. The result is that you have to scrub harder and harder to have any effect at all. Before you know it the brush is worn out. In many teams pressure is used to get things done....read more
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” One of the key factors why teamwork is so disappointing for many members of a team, is that the goal set for the team is too low. When the goal is set, often the lowest common denominator is used, or the concept of the weakest link. Both these don’t count for much in true teamwork. In teams that work to genuine team principles members stimulate, encourage and carry each other to...read more
Those familiar with the game of baseball will know the ‘three strikes and you’re out’ rule. When in the battle between pitcher and batter, three attempted strikes, or three balls that are not taken but are deemed strikable, are thrown the batter is ‘out’. Nil points. The three strikes rule has famously been used by President Clinton to introduce life sentencing for third time offenders in the USA. In fact the three strikes rule is widely understood to mean that if you have been unable to hit the mark, after three attempts you...read more
Genuinity. I know it is not a real word, but it describes exactly what I am trying to say here; Be genuine, sincere. Don’t be fake. Be who you are. Don’t pretend that you know more than you do. Don’t try to be someone you are not. Sooner or later someone will find out, and the price is not worth paying. You are in the team because of who you are and what you can bring, not because you can pretend to be someone else. And be genuine. When you praise or thank someone, make sure it is genuine. When you act, smile, frown, question, make sure it is...read more
One of our team members is training to qualify for the Olympics. His dedication and commitment to his training, diet and mental attitude are amazing. In fact we are all inspired by him and try to apply the same attitude to our work individually and as a team. In top sports visualisation of your success is hugely important. Running the race in your head, muscles tensed and mind relaxed, is almost as important as running the race on the day. In your mind you can rewind, restart, repeat and plan without the physical exhaustion and risk of...read more
One of the things we try to promote in our teams is to ‘play it out’. Often circumstances give us pressures and demand reactions that we weren’t expecting or prepared for. Instead of rushing headlong into a response it pays to play out the game, like a chess master. Every move you make will call up a counter move from the other party. Each series of moves has consequences and affects your ability to manage the situation. Just like chess, trying to evaluate the various moves and their consequences 5 or 6 steps ahead will give you the...read more
One of my favourite Dutch words is grenzeloos. Roughly translated it would be borderless, or perhaps limitless. Yet this doesn’t cover it. You can be grenzeloos in love with someone (I hope you are). It means there is no limit, no known end to your affection, no box that can contain your love. Grenzeloos is another favourite principle of our teams. It is more than ‘thinking outside the box’. Thinking outside the box implies there is a box in the first place. Instead ask: “Why is there a box?” If we allow ourselves to think without...read more
Top sports coach Anson Dorrance says: “A champion is someone who gives their best even when no-one is looking”. We all do it. When we are under scrutiny we work harder, put in the extra call, go the extra mile. What sets the real superstars apart is that they make this the norm. They work to the best of their ability all the time. Can you encourage your team to work in this way? Getting a champion team doesn’t necessarily mean everyone has to be a champion. Everyone has to understand that for the team to be a champion team, the work rate and...read more