When the wheels stop turning

by Bill Nelson - Date: 2007-02-07 - Word Count: 593 Share This!

As a result of a team's commitment and efforts, it would be fair to expect that its productivity, synergy and efficiency not only will be forthcoming, but that they also will be around for an extended period.

Often, they are. But what about those times when the team starts to slow down; when the momentum is not what it once was. What are some of the key areas that could be causing the team to stagnate?

1. Can't get it done: we are too busyThe team is busy; really busy. Everything and everybody is moving at the speed of light. There is so much going on that no-one has really taken the time to ask, "Is this what we should be doing? Are we heading in the right direction?"Just because you are busy doesn't mean that you are productive or moving forward and upward.

As US basketball coaching legend John Wooden has often said, "Don't mistake activity for achievement"

2. On the road to nowhereThe team resembles a new driver, first day out on the road with their provisional licence. They are out driving: don't know where they are going or why. They are just driving and doing a great job of it, and hey, eventually they have to end up somewhere.

Make sure the energy, passion, commitment and focus of the team are directed towards its primary purpose.

3. Effort V ResultThe team is outlaying a tremendous amount of effort, energy and time but the results that are coming in return are negligible.

Obviously at times the team is going to have to put in the hard yards with very little evidence for return on investment; however, this should be at times when the team knows this will happen.

But if the team measures results against time, effort and commitment, and they donít get the answer they expect, then there will be problem on two fronts:a. No resultsb. Disgruntled team

4. Defence V OffenceThe opposition is all over you and the team. Every move you make they seem to be one step in front of youDon't start focussing on what they are doing. Understand it but don't focus on it. Instead, focus on you.

Create a common purpose. In this case it could be to beat the opposition. Nothing brings a group of people together like a common enemy.

But the mindset has to be to go after the opportunity and not to just defend from the oppositionís attack.

5. No-one in Everybody out!Do not let the team turn on itself so that each team member becomes an opponent of another.

Create a culture that brings the team together, in line with the purpose and objectives of the team. Develop a system that recognises and rewards unity.

Have clearly defined roles and responsibilities and highlight the importance of those roles being accepted and fulfilled.

6. The zip-zip begins to slipEnergy, enthusiasm and effort is all generated by a number of factors.

As a member of a team or as the team leader, you need to know the triggers for these types of emotions and attitudes and how you can bring them to light each and every day.

Generate a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging, an opportunity to excel. Bring to the individuals and the team a process that challenges and excites and an outcome that they will take pride in achieving.

Now the interesting thing about these aspects is that you should not wait until the team stagnates before you check on them.

You should be checking these, and other aspects that influence collaborative performance, on a regular basis.

The journey continues!

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Bill Nelson is an elite international sporting coach who has turned his knowledge of developing peak team and individual performance into a world-class corporate consultancy, Total Performance Concepts Pty Ltd.Bill's wisdom on the science of motivation, performance coaching and team building has been utilised by business organisations, defence forces, the real estate and telecommunications industries, educational institutions, local government, numerous businesses and elite sporting programs throughout the world. Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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