Category: Outcome Based Team Building

Help Your Team Getting Things Done

Help Your Team Getting It All Done On Time

Prioritizing work, staying on track and accurate goal setting are essential elements to your team being able to deliver projects or tasks on time. In this blog post we will explore techniques that increase your team’s effectiveness in meeting deadlines.

Prioritizing Tasks and Projects for Your Team

When dealing with many tasks, prioritizing work becomes an important step for the team to perform.

Using the WRAP technique in prioritizing will help your team start their day on the right foot. The team should avoid approaching the day unplanned or haphazardly. Once they take the time to prioritize the things they have to complete in the day, the team will have a sense of direction. Let’s take a look more closely at the WRAP technique.

Related: Time Management Ouctome Based Team Building Activities

When the team starts their day, they should take inventory of the things you have to complete and Write them on a to-do planner. They may have things on their to-do list already. That is okay. They can just add the other tasks on them.

Once the task is in the to-do book, Rank each task by importance. You may use numbers or letter, but do not exceed more than three rankings. You want to be able to keep track of the most important tasks. Making your ranking system from 1-20 or from A to Z, will make it ineffective in determining which are all the important tasks. There are several questions you can ask yourself to help rank the tasks. Here are some examples:

  • When is it due?
  • For whom is it for?
  • Is it related to a specific project?
  • Can this be done later?
  • Is another task dependent on this one to be finished before it can move on?

Once ranked, Anticipate how long each task is going to take. If the team runs out of time for all the tasks, move those tasks, which should be low priority, to the next day and rank them higher by one category.

Once the time is set, Perform each task as planned, guarding against time-wasters. The prioritized list is the team’s guide for the day. Remember to calculate into the prioritized list the time needed to attend meetings and the time needed to make telephone calls.

The Secret to Keeping Your Team on Track

Aside from managing the schedule vigorously, the team should develop behaviors that help them enjoy their work. Becoming bored or frustrated could easily become distractions that will cause the team to lose sight of their daily objective of being effective and efficient.

Encourage team members to leave their home issues at home and leave their work issues at work. When they begin mixing the two worlds, they will experience fatigue and perhaps unnecessary conflict. These conflicts are major distractions that will easily take them off track, causing them to miss deadlines.

Another secret is for the team to schedule their creative work in the morning. Things like writing a proposal or presentation require creative thinking, and the majority of people are most creative in the morning. Most people have more energy and thrive in the early part of their day. Once the afternoon comes, they will probably have lost most of their zip. Save work that is repetitive or mundane for the afternoon. Tasks like running a report or filing require less energy. Trying to perform creative tasks in the afternoon could become a frustrating experience, causing the team to get off track.

Finally, track progress, check off things that the team have accomplished and celebrating completed tasks are helpful in boosting team morale. Many times team members do not get the pat on the back or recognition on a daily basis that helps motivate them to keep a high level of energy and productivity. Take the time to track and celebrate the team’s achievements. Whenever we check off a task on our to-do list, a chemical reaction takes place in the brain that gives us a good feeling. These chemicals are called endorphins. You get them all the time when someone tells you that you did a great job or when you take a moment and look over the job you just finished. Help your team members by triggering these chemicals through celebrating success, because becoming distracted or bored leads to losing track. Avoid it by following these secrets. Think of it. Whenever you do something you like and it gives you a sense of accomplishment, the time goes by fast and you get a lot done. The same holds true for your work. Make it a fun thing to accomplish tasks at work.

Goal Setting for Your Team

There are many ways to set goals. When dealing with project or task related goals, making the team members  accountable to each other is a huge motivating factor in reaching the goal. DART goal setting is designed to help the team maintain motivation in reaching the goal. It requires them to define or determine the goal, announce the goal, adjust it and time lock it. Defining the goal is probably the easiest step. Write down what the team wants to accomplish and review it. Ask yourself if it is too vague. If it is, then you may need to write it again to be more specific.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Next, announcing or making a public statement about the goal the team wants to achieve puts natural pressure to achieve the goal. In addition, when the team publicly state their goals, they are inviting feedback that may help them revise their goal to be better. For instance, the team may state that they will complete a task by a certain date. However, a colleague may inform them that an issue exists that may hinder their progress. This is information that should help the team revise their goal with a better time frame.

Setting goals does not have to be a daunting task. It should be quick and easy with plenty of opportunity for obtaining feedback from peers and managers. DART is designed to help the team hit their target.

 

Time Management Skills for Teams

Time Management Skills for Teams

Building effective time management skills in teams require discipline and constant practice. It is easy to become fraught with tasks that are non-productive and time wasters. In this blog post we will discuss how teams can manage time better time with some very simple behavior modification.

Related: Time Management Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Managing Time

Developing good time management skills take discipline. It requires a conscientious effort from the team in knowing what they are doing for how long. It is defending the schedule and fending off distractions. If the team resolve to make time management their goal, they will be good at it.

Teach your team not be ashamed to let people know that they are conscience of their time. Furthermore, if they demonstrate respect for other people’s time, they will respect their time. Time management is not an art, it is a discipline. Remember, once time is wasted, you cannot get it back. We all are given the same amount of time per day. No one has more and no one has less.

Keeping the Team on Track

Almost every task that requires coordination among various persons could be deemed a project. A project is a temporary endeavor to reach a common goal by several entities. This could be interdepartmental, departmental, or externally with a vendor. Keeping the team on track presents both logistical and political challenges.

In project management, the project manager is skilled in holding project performers accountable and producing their task on time and in good quality. They accomplish this by documenting the name of the person responsible for the deliverable (item or task owed to the project). The work breakdown structure (WBS) document is the tool they use to monitor the deliverables of all project performers in an easy-to-read format.

The key to using a WBS is the level of detail you break down the task. Each task in a project should be broken down to a level where individual components and personal responsibility are identified. The start and end dates are then identified. To get this information you should meet with the project performer and their manager to solidify the deliverable. The more detail the better. If you are given vague information, it will be difficult to hold the performer accountable. Here are some questions you may need to ask:

  • Are there any tasks this deliverable is depended on?
  • Is the person assigned the only one working on this task?

If you get a yes to any of these questions, then record this on your WBS.

The next tool a project manager uses to hold performers accountable is the communication plan. The key to using this tool is to establish predetermined intervals of communication before the project begins. Set this expectation as you have the ability to contact each performer without appearing like a micromanager, which could cause conflict.

When creating your communication plan, incorporate intervals where you can communicate with a performer on a weekly. This way you are not reaching out to them only when things are falling behind. In your plan, schedule meetings for larger projects.

The best thing about these documents is that you will distribute them to the project team once they are complete. This public disclosure of who does what and your schedule of when you are going to call on them for updates create a natural desire to get things done.

Maintaining Schedules

Maintaining a schedule is a constant challenge. There are so many traps throughout the day where time could be wasted or mismanaged. Knowing common pitfalls that rob time is a simple but effective way for the team to maintain a schedule. Here some common time traps to watch for:

Avoid meeting run-over. This is a common area where time is wasted. Team meetings can easily run over by at least 30 minutes. Do this several times a day and you could lose hours of time this way. Making a conscious effort to avoid meeting run-over is essential. You have to make the decision before you enter the meeting. Before the meeting begins, tell attendees that you plan to end the meeting on time, and then end the meeting on time.

Avoid additional work that is unrelated to the activities the team are currently working on. Many times, a simple task pops up, and it seems like something that can be handled quickly, but once you get involved, it takes up more time than you think. Unplanned or poorly organized tasks tend to cost more time than at first glance. Sometimes it really constitutes unproductive or busy work. If the team sees something pop up that needs work. Put it in the planner.

Decline work the team cannot deliver. Many times the team may just have to decline the job. If they are unable to exchange the new task for one that is already scheduled and they know they cannot deliver both, they must decline it.

 

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Communication Skills for Building Teams

Communication Skills for Building Teams

Strong communication skills are essential for assertive interaction with others in a team. Humans are social animals and communication is a very important part of our daily life. Every interaction we have with another person including, face to face, over the phone, chatting online or even texting is communication happening, and having strong communication skills will benefit every type of interaction we encounter.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Listening and Hearing in Teams

Hearing is the act of perceiving sound by the ear. Assuming an individual is not hearing-impaired, hearing simply happens. Listening, however, is something that one consciously chooses to do. Listening requires concentration so that the brain processes meaning from words and sentences.

Listening leads to learning, but this is not always an easy task. The normal adult rate of speech is 100-150 words per minute, but the brain can think at a rate of 400-500 words per minute, leaving extra time for daydreaming, or anticipating the speaker’s or the recipient’s next words.

As opposed to hearing, listening skills can be learned and refined. The art of active listening allows you to fully receive a message from another team member. Especially in a situation involving anger or a tense interchange, active listening allows you to be sensitive to the multiple dimensions of communication that make up an entire message. These dimensions include:

The occasion for the message: What is the reason why the team member is communicating with me now?

The length of the message: What can the length of the message tell me about its importance?

The words chosen: Is the message being made formally? Is it with aloofness or slang?

The volume and pace: What clues do the loudness and speed give me?

The Pauses and Hesitations: How do these enhance or detract from the message?

Non-verbal clues: What does eye contact, posture, or facial expressions tell me about the message?

Empathy is the capability to share and understand another’s emotions and feelings. Empathetic listening is the art of seeking a truer understanding of how other team members are feeling. This requires excellent discrimination and close attention to the nuances of emotional signals. According to Stephen Covey in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, empathetic listening involves five basic tasks:

  1. Repeat verbatim the content of the communication; the words, not the feelings
  2. Rephrase content; summarize the meaning of the words in your own words
  3. Reflect feelings; look more deeply and begin to capture feelings in your own words. Look beyond words for body language and tone to indicate feelings.
  4. Rephrase contents and reflect feelings; express both their words and feelings in your own words.
  5. Discern when empathy is not necessary – or appropriate.

Asking Questions in Teams

Active listeners use specific questioning techniques to elicit more information from speakers. Below are three types of questions to use when practicing active listening in your team.

Open Questions

Open questions stimulate thinking and discussion or responses, including opinions or feelings. They pass control of the conversation to the respondent. Leading words in open questions include: Why, what, or how, as in the following examples:

  • Tell me about the current employee orientation process.
  • How do you open the emergency exit door on an A320 aircraft?

Clarifying Questions

A clarifying question helps to remove ambiguity, elicits additional detail, and guides the answer to a question. When you ask a clarifying question, you ask for expansion or detail, while withholding your judgment and own opinions. When asking for clarification, you will have to listen carefully to what the other person says. Frame your question as someone trying to understand in more detail. Often asking for a specific example is useful. This also helps the speaker evaluate his or her own opinions and perspective. Below are some examples:

  • I can tell you are really concerned about this. Let me see if I can repeat to you your main concerns so we can start to think about what to do in this situation.
  • What sort of savings are you looking to achieve?

Closed Questions

Closed questions usually require a one-word answer, and effectively shut off discussion. Closed questions provide facts, allow the questioner to maintain control of the conversation, and are easy to answer. Typical leading words are: Is, can, how many, or does. While closed questions are not the optimum choice for active listening, at times they may be necessary to elicit facts. Below are several examples of closed questions:

  • Who will lead the meeting?
  • Do you know how to open the emergency exit door on this aircraft?

Body Language

Body language is a form of non-verbal communication involving the use of stylized gestures, postures, and physiologic signs which act as cues to other people. Humans unconsciously send and receive non-verbal signals through body language all the time.

Non-verbal communication is the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless messages. It is the single most powerful form of communication in a team. Nonverbal communication cues others about what is in your mind, even more than your voice or words can do.

According to studies at UCLA, as much as 93 percent of communication effectiveness is determined by nonverbal cues, and the impact of performance was determined 7 percent by the words used, 38 percent by voice quality, and 55 percent by non-verbal communication.

In communication, if a conflict arises between your words and your body language, your body language rules every time.

 

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The Four Styles of Communication in a Team

The Four Styles of Communication in a Team

Communication does not ‘just happen’, for effective communication to occur in a team there has to be an effective communication strategy in place. Communication does not begin with talking and convincing, but with hearing and understanding. It is also important for your team to understand that when it comes to communication it is essential to understand that people respond to the world as they see it.There are four styles of communication that you may encounter in teams: passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and assertive.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

The Passive Team Member

Passive behavior is the avoidance of the expression of opinions or feelings, protecting one’s rights, and identifying and meeting one’s needs. Passive team members exhibit poor eye contact and slumped body posture, and tend to speak softly or apologetically. Passive team members express statements implying that:

  • “I’m unable to stand up for my rights.”
  • “I don’t know what my rights are.”
  • “I get stepped on by everyone.”
  • “I’m weak and unable to take care of myself.”
  • “People never consider my feelings.”

The Aggressive Team Member

An aggressive team member communicates in a way that violates the rights of others. Thus, aggressive communicators are verbally or physically abusive, or both. Aggressive communication is born of low self-esteem, often caused by past physical or emotional abuse, unhealed emotional wounds, and feelings of powerlessness.

Aggressive team members display a low tolerance for frustration, use humiliation, interrupt frequently, and use criticism or blame to attack others. They use piercing eye contact, and are not good listeners. Aggressive team members express statements implying that:

  • The other person is inferior, wrong, and not worth anything
  • The problem is the other person’s fault
  • They are superior and right
  • They will get their way regardless of the consequences
  • They are entitled, and that the other person “owes” them.

The Passive-Aggressive Team Member

The passive-aggressive team members use a communication style in which the individual appears passive on the surface, but is really acting out anger in a subtle, indirect, or behind-the-scenes way.

Passive-aggressive team members usually feel powerless, stuck, and resentful. Alienated from others, they feel incapable of dealing directly with the object of their resentments. Rather, they express their anger by subtly undermining the real or imagined object of their resentments. Frequently they mutter to themselves instead of confronting another person. They often smile at you, even though they are angry, use subtle sabotage, or speak with sarcasm.

Passive-aggressive team members use communication that implies:

  • “I’m weak and resentful, so I sabotage, frustrate, and disrupt.”
  • “I’m powerless to deal with you head on so I must use guerilla warfare.”
  • “I will appear cooperative, but I’m not.”

The Assertive Team Member

An assertive team member communicates in a way that clearly states his or her opinions and feelings, and firmly advocates for his or her rights and needs without violating the rights of others. Assertive communication is born of high self-esteem. Assertive people value themselves, their time, and their emotional, spiritual, and physical needs. They are strong advocates for themselves — while being very respectful of the rights of others.

Assertive team members feel connected to the team. They make statements of needs and feelings clearly, appropriately, and respectfully. Feeling in control of themselves, they speak in calm and clear tones, are good listeners, and maintain good eye contact. They create a respectful environment for others, and do not allow others to abuse or manipulate them.

The assertive person uses statements that imply:

  • “I am confident about who I am.”
  • “I cannot control others, but I control myself.”
  • “I speak clearly, honestly, and to the point.”
  • “I know I have choices in my life, and I consider my options. I am fully responsible for my own happiness.”
  • “We are equally entitled to express ourselves respectfully to one another.”

 

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Reaching Team Goals Through the Four D Model

Reaching Team Goals Through the Four D Model

With positive thoughts and attitudes, your team can discover new ways of reaching team goals. The team can be free to dream new ambitions and set themselves up for success. After a plan is made, the team can design how to reach that goal and deliver the end result.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Discovery

Discovery is about finding what type of processes, organization and skills work for your team. It is also a process of learning to appreciate what has been given to the team and using it to their benefit. Team members often discover some of this information by speaking with other team members and learning about what has worked for the company in the past. This can lead team members to feel more appreciative about their role in the team and what they can do to make meaningful contributions.

Examples:

·         Conversing with other team members about their experiences

·         Asking team leaders what methods have worked in the past

·         Observing your past actions that have been successful

Dream

The dream phase focuses on what would work for the team and the company in the future. This ‘dream session’ can be run in a large group conference or can be done with a few peers. Either way, it should allow everyone to open up about what they want to see from the team and any ideas they may have for improvement. The idea of the ‘dream’ part of this model is to use positive energy to create a vision for the future, while creating goals and accomplishments that will help the team, and the company, reach that point. Dream up the ideal and perfect situation.

Examples:

·         “Would this work in the future?”

·         “What do I want to see happen?”

·         “What would be perfect for the team and the company?”

Design

The design plan is all about how you and the team members plan to reach the goals and dreams that were lined out in the discovery and dream phases. This part of the model focuses on what needs to be done to reach these goals and reach the progress needed. Generally, this part is carried out by a small group of members that concentrate on how to move forward, but it can be done with larger groups as well.  Anyone in this group is encouraged to remember to use positive language and encourage their coworkers to think positive in their work.

Examples:

·         “What do we need to do to make this happen?”

·         “Will things needed to be changed or altered?”

·         “Do we need to introduce a new element?”

Delivery

The delivery phase, sometimes called the destiny phase, is the final stage of the Four D model, and focuses on executing the plans and ideas that were thought out and developed in the previous phases. In this part of the model, team members need to take the necessary actions to progress toward change and positively obtaining the team goals. A plan isn’t worth the paper it is written on if it doesn’t have a dynamic team behind it to carry it out.

Examples:

·         Implement any changes needed

·         Remove elements that no longer work

·         Assign tasks and duties as needed

 

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How to Connect With Your Team Through Interpersonal Communication

Sadly, talking and listening has often been seen as a tool for simply communicating with other people, but not for building connections and networks. This assumption doesn’t recognize the fact that interpersonal communication is a great tool to connect with your team members on a deeper level and form a connection with them. Speaking interpersonally allows both parties to feel more at ease and open up to one another. Just remember to be an active listener and watch your own body language.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Give Respect and Trust

It is a common courtesy in any conversation to treat the other person respectfully and professionally. By treating their ideas and opinions respectfully and with due consideration, you are showing respect by hearing them out, listening to them, and considering what they have to say with an open mind. When communicating with your team, it is important to build rapport and trust by speaking with each other respectfully and giving each other your full attention. After all, they deserved to be treated with dignity and courtesy for their thoughts and opinions. In addition, give your trust to them and let them know that you feel confident enough to speak with them openly. The motions and feelings we put out into the world will come back to us, so don’t be afraid to speak openly with your team. They will be impressed that you can give respect and trust so freely and appreciate the effort you are trying to make with them.

Related: Trust Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Be Consistent

Consistency is a key factor that builds interpersonal relationships. Being consistent in what we say and do shows knowledge and reliability because it helps build a familiar base to start from. Your team members will want to communicate with you because you will become a factor they know they can trust and depend on. In addition, ensure that your actions are consistent with what you say – in other words– do what you say you’ll do. If you say you will meet someone after lunch to review a report, ensure that you are there early to greet them. If you volunteered to give a speech at the next work convention, be prepared ahead of time and be ready when the day arrives. Showing you are consistent in turn shows how reliable you are and what an asset you can be for the team. Take a few minutes to reflect back on your actions and note if they have been consistent over time. Are there behaviors you can change? What can you do differently in the future?

Always Keep Your Cool

Keeping our cool in tight or stressful situations can be tough and takes a lot of skill to make it through gracefully. It is perfectly normal to feel embarrassed or hurt when someone does something you don’t like, such as speaking rudely to you or pointing out a mistake you made. Our first instinct is to possibly lash out at them or try to retaliate by hurting them in return. But the key to strong and professional communication is to keep your cool at all times and not let the negative feelings take over. When something happens that may send you over the edge, take a minute to reflect on what was said and what happened. If needed, you should step away for a few moments to compose yourself. Don’t deny the other team member to their opinion, but let them know how you feel and how it affects you. Kinder team members will back track their statements and try to address the problem in less negative terms. If the team member is unwilling to give respect, realize that their opinion may not be worth the fight.

Tips for keeping your cool:

·         Try not to take words personally

·         Stop and reflect what was said, not how it was said

·         Make a note to learn from this experience

·         Ask yourself if the person had reason for what was said – if so, what can you do to change it?

Observing Body Language

Body language can speak volumes between people, even if it does not have words to accompany it. Many times people may say one message, but their body language can say another, meaning they may not be truthful in what they say. By observing and becoming more aware of body language and what it might mean, we can learn to read people more easily and understand some of their body movements. By better understanding their movements, you can be better prepared to communicate with them, while at the same time better understanding the body language you may be conveying to them. Even though there are times that we can send mixed messages, we can try to get our point across using certain behaviors. Our body language affects how we act with others and how we react to them, as well as how they can react to ours.

 

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Building Consensus in a Team

Building Consensus in a Team

Consensus is a point of maximum agreement so action can follow. It is a win-win situation in which everyone in the team feels that he or she has one solution that does not compromise any strong convictions or needs. To reach consensus, team members share ideas, discuss, evaluate, organize, and prioritize ideas, and struggle to reach the best conclusions together.

Related: Problem Solving Outcome Based Team Building Activities

A good test for consensus is to ask the question “can you support this decision?” If everyone can support it, the team has achieved 100% consensus.

Consensus is not always the best strategy. In some cases, reaching consensus does not result in a better decision or outcome. For example, team members are capable of unanimously agreeing on a completely incorrect solution to a problem. But generally, reaching consensus remains a highly desirable goal.

To make consensus work, the team leader must become skilled at separating the content of the team’s work (the task) from the process (how the team goes about doing the task). But the process should get the most attention.  A facilitative leader helps a team to solve its own problem.  The problem-solving process is as follows:

  1. Identify the problem or goal.
  2. Generate alternative solutions.
  3. Establish objective criteria.
  4. Decide on a solution that best fits the criteria.
  5. Proceed with the solution.
  6. Evaluate the solution.

Everyone involved in the process should understand exactly which step is being worked on at any given point. When team members sense a problem, they are usually reacting to symptoms of the problem. But they are the side effects of the real problem which usually lies below the surface.

 

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Strategies for Setting Team Goals

Strategies for Setting Team Goals

Effective goal setting is essential to the success of a team. Goal setting, however, requires careful strategy and execution. Simply writing down a list of things to do is not goal setting. Goals need to be made on an emotional and intellectual level in order to be achieved successfully.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building

Listening to Emotions

Teams often fail to reach their goals because they ignore the emotional aspect of goal setting. Emotions affect every aspect of a person’s life. They influence health and factor into how well people perform in a team. Feelings towards goals, determine whether or not they are achieved. Feelings of obligation will only motivate someone so far. Goals need to be based on personal vision in order to be effective. Vision statements allow teams to create goals that relate to their convictions and emotions.

  • Recognize team values: Reflect on what the team truly value and how these values will shape the team’s future.
  • Consider team goals: What do you want the team to be like in the future?
  • Write it down: Draft a vision statement, and revisit occasionally to make any necessary adjustments.

Prioritizing

Teams often fail to achieve goals when the number of things they need to do overwhelms them. Goals must be prioritized. It is not possible to concentrate on every goal at once. They should be ranked in order of importance, so that plans can be made accordingly. It is essential to have balanced goals that reflect all areas of life. Personal values and visions should be used to prioritize personal and professional goals.

Re-Gating

Sensory gating is the process that the brain uses to adjust to stimuli. There is a direct connection between the ability to filter out distracting stimuli and performance. Stress, anxiety, and depression can alter the chemistry of the brain and reduce the effectiveness of sensory gating. In order to prevent cognitive issues related to gating, it is important to try re-gating. Gating can be improved by using relaxation techniques that help the mind focus and filter out the distractions. Setting goals require focus and a calm atmosphere. Before setting goals, attempt to use relaxation techniques such as meditation to clear the mind of distractions.

 

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Rebuilding Your Team After a Setback

Rebuilding Your Team After a Setback

Are your team developing the persistence and resilience to keep getting up when they get knocked down, but they are getting weary to get themselves on their feet again without any progress? Your team needs more than the ability to get up again after a setback, they need a plan to help determine what they need to do after getting back up again.

Related: Resilience Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Finalize The Team Goal

The team needs to settle on a definitive goal that they want to reach. Determine what that goal is and remember that goals shapes plans, plans shapes action, action achieves results and results bring success. If your team cannot finalize their goal they will not be able to turn their failures into successes. It is always better for your team to aim at something they want, even if they miss it, then get something they did not aim to get and did not want. If the team looks long enough for what you want, they are almost sure to find it.

Order The Team Plans

There is no guarantee that the plan will be carried out correctly, the way the team envisioned it. But if the team neglects the plan, chances for success will be slim.

Risk Failing by Taking Action

Planning alone will not bring your team success, they have to take action. Moving forward on a plan and actually doing it always involve risk. The team has to put themselves on the line if they are going to reach the finish line.

Welcome Mistakes in the Team

Encourage your team that mistakes are not to be avoided but embraced. Mistakes are signals that the team is moving into new territory, breaking new ground and making progress.

Advance Based on Character

Every time a team faces a mistake and attempt to move forward, it is a test of character. After a team has been knocked down and they had the will to get back up, the intelligence to plan a comeback and courage to take action, they had a defining moment. In these moments the team is defined as achievers or quitters. Being prepared for these moments and knowing they are coming, increases your team’s chances of winning their way through it.

Develop New Strategies to Succeed

After your team has developed a plan and put it into action, they are still not finished. In fact, if your team wants to succeed, they are never finished. Success is a journey and a continual process. Your team will never create the perfect plan or execute it without error. They will never get to a point where they no longer make mistakes or fail. Failures are merely milestones on the success journey.

 

Source: Failing Forward, John C. Maxwell

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Seven Myths About Failure

Seven Myths About Failure

The following are some of the myths about failure which you can use to help your team to change their perspective on failure.

Myth Number One: Failure is Avoidable

One of the most persistent myths about failure is that it somehow possible to avoid it. Everybody fails and make mistakes. If you are human, you are going to experience some failures. On the road to success  your team will:

  • Learn lessons.
  • Find out there are no mistakes – only lessons.
  • Find out lessons are repeated until they are learned.
  • Find out that if they don’t learn the easy lessons, they get harder.
  • Know that they have learned a lesson when their actions change.

Related: Resilience Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Myth Number Two: Failure is Objective

What determines whether some action is a failure? Is it the size of the problem it caused or the monetary cost. Or is it the heat from the boss or the criticism from peers? Only the team members themselves can really label something that they did as a failure. The team’s perception of and response to  mistakes, can determine whether their actions were  failures. It is important for your team not to see setbacks as failures.  Three steps forward and two steps back is still progress.

Myth Number Three: Failure is the Enemy

Most teams are afraid of failure, but it takes adversity to create success. Teams that achieve don’t see a mistake as the enemy. If your team has permission to fail, they have permission to excel.

Myth Number Four: Failure is an Event

Failure is not a one time event, failure is a process. Success is also not a destination, but a journey that the team takes. Just as success is a process, so is failure a process. Failure is not a place your team arrives at, but how your team handles the challenges along the way.

Myth Number Five: Failure is Irreversible

Mistakes are not irreversible if your team is able to keep everything in perspective. Problems arise when your team only sees the spilled milk and not the big picture. Teams who correctly see failure, take it in stride. Every event, good or bad, is one small step in the process.

Myth Number Six: Failure is a Stigma

Mistakes are not permanent markers. When your team makes a mistake, they should not allow it to get them down. They must not allow it to become a stigma, but make each failure a step to success.

Myth Number Seven: Failure is Final

What appears to be a huge failure, doesn’t need to keep your team from achieving.

 

Source: Failing Forward, John C. Maxwell

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