Tag: Focus

Reasons Teams Fail

Reasons Teams Fail

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

Often teams have blind spots when it comes to knowing themselves. Especially when it comes to their weaknesses. If a team does not know they have a problem, how can they work to fix it? Try to see the shortcomings of your team in this list of reasons teams fail. Be aware of any recurring issues within the team.

Poor People Skills

Probably the greatest obstacle to success is poor understanding of people and the inability to effectively relate to other people. Teams often blame office politics for their failures where there has been just regular interaction between people. Good people skills that your team needs to develop include genuineness and authenticity, the ability to listen carefully and looking for ways to meet people on their terms. If you make people skills a priority in your team, it will take the team further than any other skill can. People enjoy doing business with people that they like.

A Negative Attitude

How your team react to circumstances has everything to do with the success of the team. While it is true that we cannot always do something about the circumstances, we can always do something to improve ourselves. If circumstances are getting your team down, then maybe it is time for a change in attitude. If your team can learn to make the best of any situation, it will remove a formidable obstacle between them and success.

A Bad Fit

Sometimes failure simply comes down to mismatched abilities, interests or values. Your team will experience great frustration if they are stuck doing something that does not suit them. If there is a poor fit, think of making a change.

Lack of Focus

Teams that lack focus do not fail because they are too busy, they fail because their priorities are incorrect and they waste their time and resources. Teams that lack focus go from task to task without making any progress and never reach their goals. Without focus, your team will never move forward.

A Weak Commitment

Without strong commitment, your team cannot accomplish anything of value. The last time your team failed, did they stop because they failed or did they fail because they stopped trying. When your team is committed, failure does not mean they will never succeed, it may just take a while longer.

An Unwillingness to Change

Inflexibility is a relentless enemy of your team’s success. Your team does not have to love change, but they must be willing to accept it. Change can be a catalyst for growth. It can give the team a fresh start and an opportunity to reevaluate the direction they are going. If your team is resisting change, they are resisting success.

A Shortcut Mind-Set

A common obstacle to success is the desire to cut corners and take the short road to success. Shortcuts never pay off in the long run. Your team should not underestimate the time it takes to achieve something of value. To be successful, they have to be willing to pay their dues. Cutting corners is a sign of impatience and poor self discipline.

Relying on Talent Alone

Talent alone is not enough to bring your team through the multiple challenges on the road to success. The greater the talent, the more likely you are to lean heavily on it and skip the hard work of improving it. Place your team on a growth plan to make the most of their talents.

Helping Your Team Deal With Mistakes

Helping Your Team Deal With Mistakes

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams

No matter how well your team prepares or what precautions they take, mistakes will happen. Mistakes are an essential part of life. Without them, it is not possible to fully grow and learn. When mistakes do occur, the key is for the team to bounce back, learn from them, and move forward. If your team learns from their mistakes, they are less likely to repeat them.

Take Responsibility For Mistakes

There are two ways to handle mistakes. You can deny the mistake or blame others, or you can accept it and take responsibility for your actions. Becoming defensive and making excuses for their mistakes will not help your team grow or improve. Accepting responsibility for mistakes is always the better option. It is the mature decision and a sign of integrity.

How to Accept Responsibility:

  • Make an appropriate apology: Apologize for mistakes. Do not, however, grovel or become overly emotional.
  • Explain the mistake and the process that led to it.

Related: Find out more about TBAE’s Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Bouncing Back From Mistakes

Encourage your team members to never allow their mistakes to paralyze them. Living in fear of making another mistake will stunt the team’s growth. Everyone makes mistakes, but successful people are able to bounce back. They will make mistakes, but they must be sure to get back on track when mistakes occur. They must keep a positive attitude in the face of mistakes and see them as opportunities for growth. Your team must persevere and focus on the future. Never live in the past. The ability to bounce back after making a mistake shows strength and resilience.

Related: Resilience Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Learn From Mistakes

Mistakes are opportunities to adapt and learn. In order to learn from a mistake, your team must look at the situation honestly. It is imperative that your team shows others, they are able to adapt and change in the face of mistakes. This skill will help your team preserve their reputation. To learn from their mistakes your team should ask themselves the following questions:

  • What went wrong?
  • How did it happen?
  • When did it happen?
  • Why did it happen?
  • How could it have been prevented?

Once you they have the answers to these questions, they will be able to adapt their actions in the future.

Overcome Mistakes By Asking For Help

You can only help your team members when they ask for it. Your team members cannot expect people to automatically know when they need them. When they do ask for help, encourage them to follow basic etiquette.

  • Ask: Do not demand that people help you or manipulate them with guilt.
  • Be straightforward: Do not be dramatic or minimize the help necessary.
  • Be thankful: Always thank friends who are willing to help you succeed.

The Importance of Focus for Team Leaders

The Importance of Focus for Team Leaders

Priorities and concentration are the keys to focus. When team leaders have the right priorities but no concentration, they will know what to do but it will never get done. On the opposite side of the scale, if leaders have concentration but no priorities they will have excellence without progress. Only leaders that harness both have the potential to do great things. When it comes to focus, team leaders must remember not to major in the minor things.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Guidelines on How Team Leaders Can Focus Their Time and Energy

Focus 70 Percent of Your Time on Your Strengths
Successful team leaders spend more time focusing on what they do well then on what they do not do well. Strength is always specific. For team leaders to reach their potential, they have to focus on developing their strengths. Most of their time, energy and resources should go in the area of their strengths.

Focus 25 Percent of Your Time on New Things
Growth requires change. For team leaders to grow they have to keep changing and improving themselves. They have to step out into new areas and dedicate time to new things related to their areas of strength.

Focus 5 Percent of Your Time on Your Areas of Weakness
Team leaders cannot entirely avoid working in their areas of weakness. The key is to minimize the time spend working in those areas by delegating as many of these tasks as possible.

How Team Leaders Can Improve Their Focus

Shift to Strengths
Make a list of three to four activities in your job that you do well. Work out more or less what percentage of time you spend on those activities and the percentage of resources dedicated to these areas of strength. Make the necessary changes so that you spend 70 percent of your time on your strong areas.

Staff Your Weakness
Identify three to four activities of your job that you do not do well. Determine how you can delegate the activities to others. You may need to hire staff or partner with a co-worker to share the responsibilities.

Create an Edge
Determine what it would take to go to the next level in the main area of your strength. What are the new tools that you need? Rethink the way you do things and be willing to make sacrifices. Resources that you spend to take you to the next level is the best investment you can make.

 

Resource: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

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Creating a More Focused Team with Attention Management

Creating a More Focused Team with Attention Management

A distracted team is not an effective team. Not paying attention can lead to careless mistakes and valuable time wasted. Attention Management is a useful skill that team managers can employ to connect with their team on an emotional level and to motivate them to focus on the team goals. Attention Management increases the team’s ability to focus attention and involves an awareness of where they focus most of their attention.

Attention can be divided into four different areas:

  • Intentional – Team plans strategically and prioritizes their activities.
  • Responsive – The team responds to the world around them and spends more time putting out fires than working intentionally.
  • Interrupted – Team spends too much time answering messages and handling situations that interrupt their work.
  • Unproductive – Team wastes time outside of scheduled breaks.

Various Types of Attention

Different situations call for different types of attention. To manage attention in your team it is essential to understand the various types of attention and how each type functions.

Focused Attention

Focused attention is the type of attention that concentrates on a single task and excludes everything else. This type of attention is difficult to maintain and makes people tired.

Sustained Attention

Sustained attention is also called attention span and is used when a person has to focus on a task that takes time to complete. The biggest enemy of sustained attention is distractions. In order to sustain attention, it is important to remove distractions and occasionally refocus.

Selective Attention

Selective attention is the type of attention that focuses on a single stimulus in a complex setting. Having a conversation in a crowded restaurant is an example of practising selective attention. It includes the ability to filter out background noise and focusing on what is essential.

Alternating Attention

When someone has to perform two tasks at the same time that require different cognitive abilities, alternating attention is required. Alternating attention requires the mind to be flexible and able to move seamlessly between one task and another.

Training Attention

There are various methods that can be used by your team to train their attention. Each team member is different, and it is important to find a method that works best for each individual.

Focus Execute

Attention management requires team members to focus and execute. When the team focuses on potential negative outcomes, it makes it difficult for the team to execute a plan well. Remaining positive will help the team to focus on its goals and execute their actions accordingly.

Visualization

Visualization is the habit of creating a mental picture of the goal and believing it will happen. Visualizing the goal allows the mind to accept it as a concrete possibility and not just a vague wish.

Visualization steps:

  • Choose a specific goal.
  • Find time to relax and focus.
  • Visualize the goal in detail and see it happening in the present.
  • Accept and believe that the goal will come true.

Attention Zones

Reactive Zone

People in the reactive zone spend most of their time putting out fires and handling urgent needs. These tasks are important, but they take time away from scheduled projects. While it is normal to have to handle a crisis occasionally, going from crises to crises should not become a way of life. In order for team members to move out of the reactive zone and stay in the proactive zone, they need to address the time they spend in the distracted and wasteful zones.

Proactive Zone

The proactive zone is where you want your team to operate most of the time. Teams in the zone work strategically and are able to plan and achieve goals. Time spend in the proactive zone reduces the amount of time spent in the reactive zone. Review the team goals and plan accordingly to improve performance the proactive zone.

Distraction Zone

Things in the distraction zone seem urgent, but they are not really important. Things like phone calls, emails and other people who monopolize your attention, fall under the distracted zone. Important time and energy is given to other people’s priorities rather than team goals.

Wasteful Zone

This zone is filled with activities that waste time such as personal emails, social media, online videos and other unproductive activities. People need to occasionally decompress and when time to relax and regroup is not on the team’s schedule, more time will be spent in the wasteful zone. Team building activities are one of the most effective ways you can help your team to relax and regroup.

Keeping Your Team Focused

The One Minute Rule

The one minute rule is helpful for getting the little things done that you never seem to get to. The rule advises team members to complete any task that only takes a minute. This minute does not really cut into your schedule, and saves you time in the long run.

The Five Minute Rule

The five minute rule advises team members to allow at least five minutes between tasks when planning your schedule. This buffer will provide time to complete one task before transitioning to another.

Keeping Focused When You Feel Overwhelmed

When you feel overwhelmed, it is important not to let your feelings control your actions. The following steps will help you regain focus when you start feeling overwhelmed:

  • Slow down and take a moment to relax and think.
  • Plan to take a five-minute break for every hour of work.
  • Break tasks into smaller steps.
  • Get enough rest to ensure you think critically.

TBAE’s Hitting the Target team building event is ideal for helping your team become more focused and working together as a unit. The event also emphasizes the importance of accuracy and correct decision making. It consists of a number of challenges that tests your team’s aim and targeting skills.

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