Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
There I was, parked in front of my laptop, tapping out a new workshop, and I wondered how I could make it fun.
I believe good education needs a fun side to it, because we learn when we laugh. It’s a positive experience that stays with us. Think of how we used to quote comedy sketches in the school playground.
We delighted in the language and the word play and in doing so carried the writer’s words around with us. We laughed and we learned.
The workshop was about team management. An interesting take on leadership. I teach a lot of leadership skills, which are great fun, as I weave in useful model and tools about Transactional Analysis. If you’re interested then please get in touch.
Team management includes the team, which sounds obvious, but can be left out of leadership work. There we can focus on the self, and forget there is a team behind us.
To make the team management day fun I included a classic ‘desert island’ exercise. On the day I split the group into smaller teams, appointed leaders and gave the task only to them, the rest of the delegates being banished from the room.
The leaders had a list of items to choose from and were sent out to discuss things with their teams. Sounds simple? Would they choose the water bottle, or the fish hooks, or the gold coins to take with them, and so on. Would they invite discussion and come to a healthy consensus?
Would they all complete the task?
Well, the answer was no.
Out of 5 groups, 2 had their answers back on time and 3 failed. They were so late back that I locked the door on them. They hadn’t expected that. A little wrinkle for them to remember! I did let them back in eventually. I’m not so mean really.
Although there was no set answer, the task wasn’t about choosing items. It was really about completing the task, which meant sticking to the time deadline.
The task also became more fun for the successful teams when I awarded +5 points for success and -5 for failure.
There were consequences to the failure, which people hadn’t appreciated.
The task can be completed in 30 seconds, if you take the trouble to understand what the task is really all about. It’s easy!
Before the task I had taught the whole group a useful leadership routine that runs:
1. Grip self. Take a moment to ground yourself and catch your breath.
2. Grip task. Read the task carefully, ask questions and gain a clear understanding of what’s being asked.
3. Grip team. Only when you are in control of yourself and have the task fully understood do you engage with the team to complete it.
Leaders often fail because they rush off and start doing something. They fail before they start because they don’t stop and make sure they are fully in control.
A stress load means we can forget what we’ve just been taught, and we revert to type. The task sensitises us to this.
The workshop was great fun. We laughed at the failures, celebrated the successes and the education was, to use a favourite term of mine, sticky.
You don’t forget being locked out of a room in a hurry. Losing points hurts too.
Team management is easy when we take the time to grip self, grip task and grip team. If we skip a stage then we run the risk of being locked out of a new contract, or an important new piece of business.
So, this week take a fresh look at how you manage your team. Do you take time for yourself first, or do you dive in and start working a bit too hastily?
I love running fun and useful workshops. They are such a joy!
Next week: What Are You Looking For?
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