Four Reasons Why Teams Break and How to Solve Them

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Over time “the usual suspects” of why teams break emerge. Their causes and treatment are laid out in this section. What raise these four team-breakers above all of the rest are two criteria— frequency and lethalness! 1. Team-Break Number One: Two Teammates Not Working Together A Remedy: Resolve or Remove to the Point of Team Functioning Either the two bickering parties deal with old baggage, stylistic differences, and disagreements, or the team continues without either or both of them! I understand relationships are highly nuanced and complicated, and that there usually are no “bromides,” or quick solutions. But the team has the right to expect its members to act professionally and function effectively with each other. Two ways to address one-on-one tension and dysfunction are: 1) the team leader sets team expectations upon team formation, and addresses the situation with each of them off-line, or 2) informal encouragement from team colleagues Read More

One Communications Best Practice: the Two-Minute Drill

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Communications is an amorphous phenomenon I like to refer to as the biggest business “fluff-muffin”—everyone feels it could be better, but no one knows exactly how to do it. The following tool, the Two-Minute Drill (2MD), addresses poor communications head-on and fixes it! Dozens of companies are using it. Leadership teams at all levels have found it extremely effective. The following is how the Two-Minute Drill works: About sixteen years ago I had an idea of a communications method utilized monthly during strategic implementation/tracking meetings. In roundtable fashion, I would have each member of the planning team give their monthly “Two-Minute Drill” (2MD), which was a brief, content-rich synopsis of key highs, lows, and other highlights of interest from the last month. The intent was to update their peers, and it has proven to be a very popular tool because it simply “netted out” each individual’s important updates via a Read More

Ten Terrific Traits Making You a Better Teammate

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Suppose you could draft your colleagues—What are the traits you most want, need and appreciate in your colleagues? Do you exhibit them? 1. You Are Rock-Solid Dependable You are always there, in the worst of times, in the best of times. You are not merely knowledgeable and capable, but consistent and reliable in making high-quality contributions. 2. You Handle Pressure Well You don’t stress out under the gun. You focus in on the priorities at hand. Your adaptability and ease to do business with in critical situations make you invaluable. You provide a sense of perspective and confidence when it is most needed. 3. You Bring Great Energy and Enthusiasm to the Team You encourage your colleagues with constructive advice and support. You leave situations better than before you came. You are more an energy giver than sapper or drainer. You are constructive even in the most negative circumstances. People Read More

Twelve Traits of Highest Performing Teams

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A lot has been written about the core ingredients of what make a team “work.” The following keys were learned, field-tested and performance-proven amongst hundreds of teams. These practical principles and tools help to build and sustain especially strong, highest performing teams. Teams are like fingerprints—no two of them are the same. Their size, scope, structure, mission, products and services, stakeholders, cost, financial metrics, business markets, and industries are as varied as a chef’s spice rack. For units that seek highest performance, it is important to have as many of these following twelve ingredients as possible. Also these twelve characteristics assume that baseline criteria are met—a core of well dedicated professionals in a basically stable company! Trait #1: Think and Be One Team: Not Us—Them Division is defeating and self-depleting. True, there is no “I” in teamwork, but also there is no “his.” There is “we” in teamwork, but you Read More