Developing Options for Reaching Team Goals

Developing Options to Reach Team Goals

In today’s blog post, we explore options that will enable your team to move towards the goal that was set before them. This is a pivotal step in the coaching process. If done correctly, you will engage your team and create a desire for them to improve. If done incorrectly, your team will disengage and they probably will fail again. It is the coach or team leaders’ job to create this participative environment. Let us look and see how.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities 

Identifying Paths to Reaching Team Goals

Many times, we feel that we have to outline the specific actions that the team has to take in order to reach the stated goal. While this may make you feel better, the likely hood of this action becoming meaningful to your team is close to nil. There is usually very little wiggle room when it comes to a performance goal. It is the plain, unchangeable business reality. Next, we established the current state of affairs with respect to your team’s performance. This historical and factual reality is also unchangeable.

Now, let us take it from the team’s perspective. How in control do they feel? Would they shut down if we, as their coach or team leader, solely determine the action steps they are going to take? They might. It is imperative to keep the team engaged. If not, the rest of the coaching session is just a one-way discussion, leaving your team feeling powerless in their own development.

When you allow your team to participate in the development of their options, you get B.I.G. results. B.I.G. results stand for the following benefits:

  • Buy-in by your team, because the options developed was a collaborative effort
  • Innovation, because more creativity is possible when more people work at it
  • Growth, because the options developed will have more meaning and lasting commitment

Choosing Your Final Approach to Reaching Team Goals

Deciding on which option to implement could be frustrating. The best thing to do is to implement a consistent method of determining the best possible option. The APAC section of the B.I.G. Template is designed to help you come to a quick decision on which option to implement. Here is how it works.

After you have brainstormed your options with your team, assess the pros of each option. Determine the benefits and possible rewards to select that option. Write those benefits in the template. Next, assess the cons for each option. Here are some things to consider:

  • Resources needed
  • Cost
  • Time
  • Return on investment
  • Disruption of the business

All of these factors could rule out an option. Once you identify the cons place those in the corresponding area on the template. Next, determine the top five options that are feasible to implement. Use a rating scale from 1-5 and place that in the rating column. Now, you are ready to rate the relevancy of the options identified as feasible. Rate the relevancy of the options with the goal. Here are some things to consider when rating this category:

  • Does this option build new supporting skills?
  • Does this option meet the time requirement of the goal?
  • Is this option measurable?

Once you determine the relevancy, you are able to multiply the feasibility rating with the relevancy rating. The highest number is possibly your best option. Remember to gain consensus from your team on this option.

Structuring a Plan to Reach Team Goals

Since you have your team’s attention, it is best to begin the planning process. Structuring a plan as soon as possible sends the message to your team that you mean business when it comes to implementing the option. For example: your SMART goal may be to increase the sales attempt rate from five percent to seven in 30 days. Next, you and your team may have agreed to focus on asking open-ended questions during a sales call as their option, giving them more information to help them attempt better. When are they going to start asking those questions? How many are they going to ask? These are action items you want document in a preliminary plan.

The 3T questioning technique helps you document three major milestones. Basically, you ask, “What are you going to do:

  • Tomorrow?
  • Two weeks from today?
  • Thirty days from today?

You may need to guide your team when answering the first question. Remember, the more time you let pass from the time you catch them and the time you implement your first action step, you could be losing precious information discussed in your coaching session.  Once you get to this point, you are ready to begin drafting your final plan.

 

How to Gain Support for Change From Your Team

How to Gain Support for Change From Your Team

It is vitally important to make sure that all team members are on board with a change.

Gathering Data to Support the Change

In order to continue increasing awareness and to build desire to support the upcoming change; the management team must reach out to the team. The force field analysis, developed by German social psychologist Kurt Lewin helps a change management team to:

  • Identify pros and cons of an option prior to making a decision
  • Explore what is going right — and what is going wrong
  • Analyze any two opposing positions.

Related: Decision Making Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Addressing Concerns and Issues About the Change

If concerns or issues arise in the team, then steps must be taken to ensure awareness is continually raised and that desire to support the change is increased. Strategies that can help the change management team responsively address team’s concerns include:

  • Engaging team members, providing forums for people to express their questions and concerns
  • Equipping managers & team leaders to be effective change leaders and managers of resistance
  • Orchestrating opportunities for advocates of the change to contact those team members not yet on board
  • Aligning incentive and performance management systems to support the change.

Evaluating and Adapting

Change is not exempt from Murphy’s Law. And even if something isn’t going wrong, change management team members must constantly be observing, listening, and evaluating the progress and process during a change.

A feedback form can be used to gather information from those involved in a change to help shape the remaining course of the change project. Instead of a paper form, feedback can be obtained through online surveys (Zoomerang.com or Survey Monkey.com), an in-house questionnaire on the intranet, a few questions sent by email, or a focus group. The questions will vary depending upon the subject being queried.

The compiled results of the feedback forms can be used by the change management team members to modify the project plan and/or the communication plan or to work with specific members of the team that may be providing roadblocks to success.

Leading Status Meetings

The team leader must make sure that the project and communication plan remain on track. They need to identify, and explore any issues from the team members that have emerged, and review and consider any feedback gathered to date.

Acting as a facilitator, the leader helps to bring about learning and productivity. Communication will be a byproduct of this by providing indirect or unobtrusive assistance, guidance, and supervision.

He or she listens actively, asks questions, encourages diverse viewpoints, organizes information, helps the team reach consensus, and understands that the individual needs of team members will affect teamwork.

The LEAD model provides a simple methodology for facilitating a participative meeting:

Lead with objectives:  When clear objectives are stated up front, group energy is channeled toward achieving an outcome. The objectives shape the content of the meeting.

Empower to participate: In the Lead model, the facilitator is empowered to encourage active participation.

Aim for consensus: Getting the team to consensus will have members more likely to support and carry out the decisions of the team.

Direct the process: How the meeting progresses will influence the quality of the decisions of the team, and influences the commitment of team members.

Team leaders must differentiate between process and content. Content includes the topics, subjects, or issues; process is about how the topics, subjects, or issues are addressed.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Celebrating Successes

Because communications from managers and team leaders have been shown to have a significant impact on team members during a change initiative, it is appropriate that they be actively involved in celebrating success with the team members as a result of positive performance. Celebrations can occur on three levels:

  1. One on one conversation: In a private meeting, a team leader should attest to the fact that due to the team member’s effort, a change was made, and how it is succeeding. He or she should extend verbal thanks to the team member.
  2. Public recognition: Public recognition officially acknowledges outstanding performance and points out a role model that helped make a successful change happen. Team leaders should carefully consider who receives recognition, and not alienate team members who participated in the change but who many not have distinguished themselves significantly.
  3. Team celebrations: Fun or engaging team activities are used to celebrate key milestones by a group. They include buffet or restaurant lunches, dinner events, or can include group outings to sports, amusement, or cultural events. It is important that these types of celebrations try to include the involvement of the primary change sponsor in some way.

Sharing the Results and Benefits of the Change

In order to sustain the impact of a change, it is important for everyone who is involved in the process to know what results are occurring. This occurs across a number of dimensions. Ongoing feedback is needed from team members at all levels.

 

Why Team Building is Important

Why Team Building is Important

Have you ever needed to convince management that your company needs team building? Did you need to provide reasons why team building is important. As a team building facilitation company, of course we believe team building events are important and absolutely essential to the success of your team, but we realize that not everyone gets why team building is necessary. To help you convince management that team building is necessary, we have put together a  list of reasons why team building is important.

Related: The Benefits of Team Building

Reasons Why Team Building is Important

  • Team building help team members set common goals and effective goal setting is essential to the success of a team.
  • Team building help management assess the members of the team and gives them the opportunity to see how everyone work together in different situations. When a team have to solve problems under pressure, strengths and weaknesses of team members come to the fore.
  • Team building often places teams in engaging situations that require attention and critical thinking. The right team building activities will encourage team members to think on their feet and find instant solutions to problems.
  • Team building assists in defining roles within the team. During team building activities, participants tend to realize their strengths and ultimately their role in the team. Some team members may come forward as leaders, while others show critical thinking abilities.
  • Team building is an effective vehicle for cultivating communication within the team.
  • Team building is also about having fun and laughing together. Laughing together is an effective way to enhance relationships in a team and unites a team during difficult times.
  • Team building improves morale among team members.
  • Team building is a fun, participative and non threatening way to break down any existing barriers that may exist in the team.
  • Team building exercises can be customized to develop specific skills that are required in the team.
  • Team building often identifies leadership qualities in a team member which may have not been noticed before.
  • Team building is a great way to bring your team together and help team members to get to know each other better which in turn leads to better relationships within the team.
  • Team building highlights differences in the team and creates respect for different cultures and personalities in the team.
  • Team building fosters team spirit that can be carried over to the workplace.
  • Team building will help to motivate your team to finish that important project before the deadline.
  • Team building is a great way to reward your team and give recognition to team members for their contribution to the team.
  • Team building encourages cooperation in a team and every member is encouraged to participate. Team members learn that the role of each team member is important. Team building creates a sense of connectedness and interpersonal support among the team.
  • Team building leads to successful companies. Strong, happy and unified teams are crucial to the success of a company. Companies need teams that work as a unit and are willing to assist each other. Working as a team leads to the improvement of operations, finishing projects on time and efficiently satisfying the requirements of clients.

Still not convinced? This what some of our customers had to say about team building.

What Our Customers Say About Team Building

“We would like to say a big thank you to your team for facilitating our Minute to win-it session this afternoon. Your team was absolutely fantastic and really re-ignited our teams’ energy after a busy audit season.” Kerryn Lee, Financial Manager, Tarsus

“We would like to express our most  sincere gratitude to you for all your assistance throughout .The team building was a huge success; everyone says they had so much fun .Wayne and Zuma did an amazing job as facilitators, tell them to keep up the good job!!!” Veronica Kgautlhe, Barclays Life Botswana

“I just wanted to thank you for arranging this team building session. We benefited tremendously from this and I would recommend this to anyone. Ian is a fantastic facilitator.” Dr Carola Kirchner, Namibian Project Coordinator, Benguala Current Convention

“Thank you once more for being of assistance. I would like to express my satisfactory by complimenting the two facilitators who were assigned to us, Mr James and Mr Tebogo. The two gentlemen are experienced, they have done a sterling job, and were able to stir my team to the right direction. The activities were appropriate and fit so well to our theme. Words cannot express the huge impact they left on us, my management team were so impressed and cannot stop talking about the sterling job they have done. Well done. Thanks TBAE for the great service, you are the best and super professional. Looking forward to working with you in future.” Lebo Maphosa, NNR

“Just a quick note to say thank you for the awesome team building last week. Our team had a blast. The team build achieved what it set out to do, teamwork and also enjoying what you do. The facilitators were great and did an excellent job with getting the team going and to participate.” Veni, Standard Bank

See more testimonials about team building

As you can see there are many reasons why team building is important. The question is really not whether team building is important, but can your team afford not to do team building.

 

Team Building Quotes by J.R.R. Tolkien

Team Building Quotes by J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien was an English writer, poet, philologist, and academic. He was born in Bloemfontein in South Africa and is best known as the author of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. He was at one time a close friend of C.S. Lewis, and were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1972. He is seen by many as the “father” of modern fantasy literature, and in 2008 The Times ranked him sixth on a list “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.

We have put together a collection of quotes from J.R.R. Tolkien, which you can use to motivate and build your team:

“You have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“Short cuts make long delays.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“Courage is found in unlikely places.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out. – J. R. R. Tolkien

“Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“It may be the part of a friend to rebuke a friend’s folly.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending!”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien

How to Lead Your Team Through Change

How to Lead Your Team Through Change

Every change in the team begins with a leadership decision. Making the decision to institute changes is not always easy. Being prepared, planning well, and being surrounded by a good team will make that decision a lot easier.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Preparing and Planning for Change in Your Team

Begin by putting yourself in a positive frame of mind. You are likely to experience higher than normal levels of stress and knowing this beforehand will give you the ability to be prepared mentally and you will be the anchor person and the foundation, and with your steady hand will guide your team through the stressful events. Be a reassuring and active force throughout the whole process.

It is impossible to prepare for every contingency, but planning for the known is a must. Add time or extra room in the schedule for the unknowns.When you encounter an unexpected event, your schedule should not off by much if you have built in some leeway. It will provide that buffer that gives you and your team the ability to deal with the unknowns and keep rolling with the change process.

Delegating to Other Team Members

Surround yourself with people in the team that you can delegate to and be confident in their abilities and skills. Be precise and specific with your directions as when the change process begins you will be depending on these individuals and their talents. Communicating and providing feedback are the keys to successful delegation; make sure your team understands this. If communication fails or there is not accurate feedback the chances of a success are lessened.

An issue that sometimes arises when delegating is micro-managing. Keep an eye out to not micro-manage as you can quicklylose track of events and it will take time away from your main duties. Delegating is a skill that takes time as you must first learn the strengths and weakness of your team and know what tasks you can and cannot hand out. It may not be possible to always delegate, but when it can, it will provide a great resource.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open in the Team

Always be available during the change process. Before the change prepare your friends and family that you may not be available for social events. Reassure your team that you are there for them and you are here to provide them with the necessary resources to lead them through the change. Stress to them that you are available and focused on keeping the communications lines open.

Always be aware of rumors, they will happen before, during and after the change. Do not ignore any rumor, put out honest and clear communication as soon as possible. Reassure your team that if they hear a rumor to seek out more information from a reliable source. Remind them that spreading rumors helps no one and will cause more harm than good.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Coping with Push-back from the Team

Not everyone in the team will agree on the change. Keep in mind that these types of feelings are normal as people generally do not enjoy change and are sometimes made nervous by it. You will likely encounter push-back and resistance by some team members.

Provide facts and data to show why the change is happening and reassure them the need and benefits of the change. These types of individuals are best suited to be educated bout the change with information. If you are encountering an extreme case of push-back in your team, provide them with some choices that still fall within the spectrum of the intended change. They should then feel more involved in the process and it will help alleviate the negative mindset they may be experiencing.

Help Your Team Deal With Change by Identifying the WIFM

Help Your Team Deal With Change by Identifying the WIFM

For change to be successful, the team members must desire to support and participate in the change. Simply building awareness does not generate desire. Showing the team what is in it for them will produce a great starting point and help generate support. The beginning of the change process is very important and showing the affected parties how the change will improve their environment will initiate the process on the right foot.

What’s in it for Me?

In order to answer the question “What’s in it for Me?”, or WIFM, change management leadership must create energy and engagement around the change. This builds momentum, and instills support at all levels of the organization. Factors that influence WIFM are:

  • The nature of the change
  • The organizational context for the change
  • A team member’s personal situation
  • What motivates the team member as an individual?

Building Support

Effective communications are essential for building support throughout the team.

Whoever communicates with the team members impacted by a change must have a clear understanding of the overall nature of the change, its reasons, and how it aligns with the vision for the team. He or she must understand the risks of not changing, the timing of the change, and what people will be most impacted by the change.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Communications options are many, including email, presentations, postings on the organization’s intranet, flyers and circulars, banners, online or phone conferences, and special social events.

Beforehand, communicators should identify and segment audience groups, craft messages appropriate for each audience, and determine the most effective packaging, timing, and methods for communicating.

  • Executive sponsorship
  • Coaching by managers and team leaders
  • Ready access to business information

 

What is Best for Your Team? Succession Planning Vs. Replacement Planning

What is Best for Your Team: Succession Planning Vs. Replacement Planning?

Succession planning and replacement planning are two different things. Replacement planning is focused on identifying immediate understudies in your team, while succession planning is focused on developing talent in the team to move forward.

What is Business Succession Planning?

Successful succession planning relates to leadership development. It develops a pool of talent so that there are numerous qualified candidates throughout the team to fill vacancies in leadership. Succession planning used to concentrate on developing leadership at the top level, but now it is building a strong talent base, which helps to increase team loyalty and ensure the longevity of the team. This strategy requires recruiting qualified talent, creating a talent pool, and instilling loyalty.

Benefits of succession planning:

What does succession planning require?

  • Identify the long-term goals and objectives of the team: The long-term goals directly relate to succession planning. Is the team’s goal to grow or maintain its current position? Will it expand into other fields? All of these questions need to be addressed before creating a succession plan.
  • Understand the developmental needs of the team and identify team members who fit these needs: The responsibilities of team members change over time. Some positions may be eliminated in the future while others will be added.
  • Recognize trends in the workforce and engage team members to build loyalty: Understanding workforce trends will help you predict the needs of your team. For example, are your key team members nearing retirement? Have you invested in talented team members to take on additional roles?

What Is Replacement Planning?

Replacement planning works under the assumption that the structure of the team will not change. This is easier to apply in small family businesses that do not have any goals to expand or grow in the future. There are typically two or three “replacements” identified in the organization chart. Each backup is listed with his or her ability to replace an existing leader. The team members are not necessarily developed to understand the new working environment or smoothly transition into his or her new responsibilities.

Differences Between

Many team leaders believe that they engage in succession planning, but in reality they are still using replacement planning.

The Main Differences:

  • Replacement planning focuses on finding suitable replacements only for top leaders.
  • Succession planning means that the team is easily able to fill vacancies throughout the business because team members are being empowered and developed.
  • There is a short list of candidates in replacement planning.
  • Succession planning builds a large talent pool.

Succession planning takes a little more time and effort from those in leadership, but it yields a high return on such an investment.

Deciding What You Need

There are several different factors that indicate when a team needs to implement or re-evaluate succession planning.

  • Turnover becomes critical: The number of high-potential team members leaving is higher than average team members leaving. (This can happen in any economy.)
  • Team members feel undervalued: When a majority of your team members feel that there is no room for advancement or that you choose too many outside hires, there is a succession-planning problem.
  • There are no replacements for key talent: Should a valued member of the team suddenly leaves, there is no one able to take his or her place.
  • Managers notice that there are not many candidates for promotion: Team leaders who are not developed for leadership will never be promoted.
  • The time to fill metric is high or unknown: The time to fill metric is the average length of time that it takes to fill a position. A high number means that the company needs to focus on succession planning.
  • The retention risk analysis is high: A risk analysis uses different factors to determine the potential number of team members who will leave. These will factor in retirement and other trends.

 

Team Building Quotes by Og Mandino

Og Mandino Team Building Quotes

Augustine “Og” Mandino was an American author. He was the president of Success Unlimited magazine until 1976 and is an inductee of the National Speakers Association’s Hall of Fame. Mandino’s bestselling book The Greatest Salesman in the World, have sold over 50 million copies and have been translated into over twenty-five different languages. The book contains the “time-tested wisdom the ancients” arranged into ten simple scrolls. Mandino’s main philosophical message is that every person on earth is a miracle and should choose to direct their life with confidence. He was also a proponent of taking action now.

We have put together a collection of quotes from Og Mandino, which you can use to motivate and build your team:

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”
– Og Mandino

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.”
– Og Mandino

“The person who knows one thing and does it better than anyone else, even if it only be the art of raising lentils, receives the crown he merits. If he raises all his energy to that end, he is a benefactor of mankind and its rewarded as such.”
– Og Mandino

“Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats.”
– Og Mandino

“The height of my goals will not hold me in awe, though I may stumble often before they are reached.”
– Og Mandino

“I seek constantly to improve my manners and graces, for they are the sugar to which all are attracted.”
– Og Mandino

“Sound character provides the power with which a person may ride the emergencies of life instead of being overwhelmed by them. Failure is… the highway to success.”
– Og Mandino

“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”
– Og Mandino

“To do anything truly worth doing, I must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in with gusto and scramble through as well as I can.”
– Og Mandino

“Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.”
– Og Mandino

“I am rare, One of the things is we tend to give up too soon. We get knocked down a couple of times, and we stay down. It’s so important to get back up again.”
– Og Mandino

“Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity.”
– Og Mandino

“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.”
– Og Mandino

“Do all things with love.”
– Og Mandino

 

Promoting an Effective Work Etiquette in Your Team

Promoting an Effective Work Etiquette in Your Team

Etiquette refers to unwritten rules or norms of acceptable conduct within a professional environment. Violations of etiquette are not always punishable by company law, but ignoring etiquette guidelines have considerable consequences for the team member and team.

In this blog post, you will be introduced to some tips in practicing work etiquette in a team. In particular tips related to proper greeting, respect, involvement, and political correctness will be discussed.

Greetings

The seeds of civility can be planted in an organization by encouraging every team member to give their fellow team members, greetings befitting the professional nature of the work environment.

What rules of greeting etiquette are worth remembering? Consider the following:

Formal Greetings: Always give a formal acknowledgment of another team member’s presence, regardless of that person’s rank. Starting an interaction with greetings is a way of establishing rapport with new acquaintances and maintaining rapport with old ones. A “Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening” is an excellent way to both initiate and maintain a positive relationship with a co-worker, client, or business partner.

In the same vein, greetings are best followed by expression of sincere interest in the person that you saw or met. For example, you can reply to an exchange of Good morning with “How do you do?” or “How are you doing today?”

When used as a greeting, questions like “How do you do?” are not meant to be answered in great detail. You can consider them as a polite way people can get abreast of what it going on in people’s lives. An appropriate reply can be as short as “I am doing very well. My son graduated from high school yesterday and the family is very thrilled. How about you? How are things at your end?” You and your fellow team member can always schedule a longer chat at a more appropriate time.

Informal Greetings: Informal greetings can also be a great way of developing civility in a workplace. If familiarity is already established among team members, or when expressly invited to, informal greetings can set up positive working relationships in a team. The use of “hi” and “hello” can put team members more at ease with each other, and set the foundation for social awareness.

Nonverbal greetings such as smiles, taps on the back, a handshake, a high five are also ways to develop civility within the team. Note though that it is not recommended to assume any familiarity unless expressly invited to.

Other etiquette rules worth considering when it comes to greeting:

  • Give greetings the attention that they deserve. Saying good morning to an entering team member while you remain busily sorting folders on your desk can actually come across as uncivil instead of civil behavior. Instead, pause whatever it is you’re doing, even for a few seconds, to offer your pleasantries. Establish eye contact; stand up when greeting a superior or a client, even step from behind your desk to offer a handshake if necessary. Make the other person feel that you’re greeting them because you want to, not because you have to.
  • Remember that greetings are not limited to face-to-face conversations. Even when sending and receiving written correspondence, including electronic communication such as emails or an instant message, it is recommended that you begin and end your letter with a greeting. “Dear (name)” is traditionally greeting for written and electronic correspondence; the word dear is acceptable for both formal and informal communication. “Greetings!”, “Hope all is well at your end.” are also acceptable salutations. Letter closings can include a greetings like “Best Regards,” “In appreciation of your message,” and “Cheers,”
  • In business settings, rank and professionalism matters. Make sure that you’re always sensitive to the power dynamics in a team when offering greetings. For example, avoid addressing your boss using his or her first name/nickname unless given permission to.
  • The questions of “who should initiate a greeting?” and “when to offer a greeting? “are often debated, but a good rule of thumb is to always initiate a greeting as soon you see another team member, regardless of rank. After all, you can’t go wrong with courtesy! The exception is when the other person is otherwise engaged and will likely construe your greeting as an interruption instead of a pleasantry. Greetings must also be appropriate to the context; you can’t offer a cheery greeting when the mood is grim or solemn such as during the aftermath of a workplace accident.

Respect

It may be said that the foundation of civility is respect.

Respect refers to positive esteem for another team member, one that demands both deferential and considerate behavior. Respect is commonly perceived as something persons of higher rank demand from their subordinates.  In reality though, respect is something every team member, regardless of rank, both freely give to, and inspire in, those they interact with.

In many ways, respect can be summarized in terms of attitudes. When you respect another team member, you understand that he or she is a person of worth, which in turn demands that you treat him or her ethically. A team member’s worthiness of respect has little to do with his or her job performance. All people are deserving of respect regardless of their contribution to the team.

Respect may also be conceptualized in terms of boundaries; that is, we know that we can’t act just as we please when relating with a team member that we respect. Every team member, for example, requires work space in order to perform their task effectively. Intruding on this workplace, for instance, speaking loudly when you know someone is conducting a task that requires mental concentration can be a sign of disrespect.

What are the ways you can show respect for your fellow team members? The following are just a few ways to consider:

  • Practice active listening. Every team member deserves to be given attention when they’re communicating. In fact, it’s recommended for team members to make a habit of encouraging their peers in contributing more to the discussion. More importantly, give each team member’s message fair consideration. Just because a suggestion came from someone not considered as a subject matter expert doesn’t mean that the suggestion is automatically without merit. (Active Listening will be discussed in more detail in a later module.)
  • Respect your fellow team member’s property. Disrespect in a team plays itself, not just through face-to-face interactions, but also through lack of consideration for another team member’s belongings and work space and privacy. For instance, it’s not uncommon in offices to have issues regarding missing lunches from the kitchen, or missing pens and staplers from a desk! Clarify from the onset what is to be considered as office property and personal property.  Better yet, establish rules and guidelines when it comes to using any and all equipment and materials from the office. For instance, should reservations be first made before using a meeting room? These rules and guidelines can go a long way in maintaining civility in the team.
  • Respect the right to own beliefs. Most companies advocate diversity in the workplace. Diversity means that you’ll have people of different religions, political beliefs, abilities, traditions, and values working in the same team. For as long as a team member’s faith and beliefs do not interfere with his or her work performance, there’s no reason for said faith and beliefs to be an issue in the company. And definitely, no team leader or team member has cause to compel a person to convert religion and abandon belief systems. A healthy debate is okay, but only for social purposes and not as a way to discriminate or bully.
  • Use your fellow team member’s time wisely. A little known way you can practice respect in the team is by respecting your fellow team member’s time. On the job site, time is an important commodity, especially when there is much to be done and employees are paid on an hourly basis. Don’t waste your fellow team member’s time with idle gossip or unimportant concerns. Keep team meetings short and to the point. And set appointments instead of ambushing. These little acts of courtesy may not look much at first glance, but they will surely be appreciated by those with lots to do and think about.

Involvement

Involvement refers to an active participation in the activities of the team. There should be a feeling of personal investment in how the team is doing. Involvement also demands that you don’t just content yourself with getting the tasks in your job description done. Instead, you’re on the constant lookout for ways to make yourself an active part of the team system. When the system is experiencing problems, you don’t view yourself as merely “caught in the crossfire” or a “victim.” Instead, you see yourself as a potential “agent of change.” You jump at opportunities to better your team as soon as the opportunity presents itself. And you don’t wait to be told what must be done; you take the initiative to inquire how you can be of help.

Being Politically Correct

Political Correctness, commonly abbreviated as PC, is a way of addressing, and at times behaving towards, other team members that takes special care in not creating offense against others, especially against potential victims of discrimination.

Political correctness is based on the idea that language captures attitudes, and potentially insulting language, even if delivered unintentionally by a speaker, can communicate and perpetuate prevailing negative attitudes against people commonly discriminated against.

An example of political correctness is the use of the term “persons with disabilities” instead of “disabled person.” This is to ensure that the premium when addressing persons with hearing, visual, mobility impairment, and any other disability, is their personhood instead of their limitations. In fact, the word “challenged” is preferred in some social circles as opposed to “impaired” (e.g. vertically challenged instead of height impaired) in order to communicate the idea that a disability need not mean lack of capability.

Another example of political correctness is the use of gender-sensitive language. Titles that specify a particular gender, when a position can be held competently by both man and woman, need to be reframed in order to be gender-neutral. For example, the chairperson is preferred to chairman, and cleaner is more acceptable than cleaning lady.

Contrary to popular belief, political correctness is not lying. Neither is it sugarcoating the harsh truth for the people concerned, or patronizing individuals who could otherwise defend themselves. Instead, it’s a way of positively reframing statements that box some members of the population into negative stereotypes.

It is, however, possible to overdo political correctness, to the extent that the positive spirit behind it becomes an object of ridicule.

 

Fun Minute to Win It Games for the Office

Minute to Win It Games for the Office

Minute to Win It games are a great way to energize your team and to get them to have some fun in the office. The following are some examples of Minute to Win It games that can easily be done in your office.

Office Dominoes

Using 11 reams of copier paper, a contestant must create a domino chain that ends with the last ream hitting a bell.

Equipment Needed for Office Dominoes Minute to Win It Game

  • 11 Reams of Paper (500 Count) per person or team
  • 1 Bell per person or team

How to Play the Office Dominoes Minute to Win It Game

  1. Prior to game start, contestant stands next to a stack of paper reams with hands at sides and may not touch the reams of paper.
  2. Once the game starts, a contestant may grab first paper ream.
  3. Once all 11 reams of paper are in position, the contestant must trigger the domino effect of tipping over the pre-set ream.
  4. To complete the game, the contestant must start the domino effect within the 60- second time limit, resulting in all 11 reams falling in succession and making contact with the bell.

The Rules of Office Dominoes Minute to Win It Game

  1. The contestant may only carry and place one ream of paper at a time. Reams must be placed upright on their short sides.
  2. A contestant may not throw, toss or slide reams of paper.
  3. All 11 reams of paper must be placed between the pre-set ream and the pre-set bell.
  4. The contestant may not move the bell from its original position.
  5. A contestant may not move pre-set ream from its original position until setting off the domino effect.
  6. If the contestant knocks over a pre – set ream, they must reset it to its original position. If any other ream of paper falls prematurely, the contestant may re-set it and continue. Even if the bell is activated prematurely, the game may continue.

Office Fling

The player uses a rubber band between the legs of an overturned office chair as a slingshot. The player must then launch and land a single sheet of folded paper on a desk 12 feet away

Equipment Needed for Office Fling Minute to Win It Game

  • Chair per person or team
  • Rubber Band per person or team
  • Paper per person or team
  • Desk or Table per person or team

Office Maximus

The contestant has to bounce a giant rubber band ball on the ground in order to knock 3 reams of copy paper off a pedestal.

Equipment Needed for the Office Maximus Minute to Win It Game

  • 1 Rubberband Ball per player or team
  • 3 Reams of Paper per player or team
  • 3 Stools per player or team

How to Play the Office Maximus Minute to Win It Game

  1. Place three stools next to each other and place the reams of paper vertically on them
  2. The player must bounce the ball to knock the reams of paper over within 60 seconds
  3. The rubber band ball has to bounce before hitting the reams of paper

Office Tennis

Using clipboards and a wad of paper, players must work as a team to hit the wad back and forth, moving down a line towards a trash can where they deposit the wad of paper.

Equipment Needed for Office Tennis Minute to Win It Game

  • Trash Can per Team per person or team
  • Clipboard for each player per person or team
  • Balled up paper per person or team

How to Play the Office Tennis Minute to Win It Game

1) Each player is given a clipboard/binder

2) They are to hit a balled up paper between the two players and make the ball travel a distance to the trash can

3) They must get the ball into the trash can

4) They have 60 seconds to get a certain amount or the most.

The Rules of Office Tennis Minute to Win It Game

Neither partner may carry, double hit, or drop the ball.

Back Flip

This is a simple to set up Minute to Win It Game where contestants need to flip 12 pencils on the back of their hand and catch all the pencils. The activity starts with 2 pencils and another two are added after each successful catch. The contestant wins the challenge when all 12 pencils are caught within the one minute time limit and bags some points for themselves or the team.

The Goal of Back Flip Minute to Win It Game 

The goal is to place 2 pencils on the back of your hand, flip it, and catch the pencils in midair. This must be completed six times, with two more pencils after each successful attempt. It’s not that tricky with some practice.

Equipment Needed for Back Flip Minute to Win It Game 

12 Pencils

A flat surface

Setting Up

Place 6 groups of two pencils equally apart on the flat surface, all facing the same direction.

How to Play the Back Flip Minute to Win It Game 

  1. When the timer starts, the contestant picks up the first two and places them on the back of their hand.
  2. The pencils are flipped up in the air and caught.
  3. Once successful, the player can move to the next group on pencils.
  4. The process is repeated, but this time with 4 pencils.
  5. Once successful, the player can move to 6, 8, 10 and 12 pencils
  6. The player wins the challenge when all 12 pencils are flipped and caught successfully.

The Rules of Back Flip Minute to Win It Game

The rules are simple:

  1. Player cannot add the next set of 2 pencils until the previous set has been caught.
  2. The pencils need to be caught by the same hand used for stacking the pencils
  3. The groups of pencils need to be flipped and caught in succession
  4. If the player fails, they will need to restart with 2 pencils. You may however decide that players can continue with the same amount of pencils that they are currently on.