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Entries in teamwork (41)


Good Credo For A Ringmaster

 I have a blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship,
will win out against all odds.
-Walt Disney

As you go through leading the "performance" of your day, what difference would it make if you based your actions on:

  • Quality
  • Good judgment
  • Showmanship

You might just get more standing ovations.


One Lineup Affects Another

I was boarding a flight and someone was in my assigned seat. When I inquired about their seat assignment they replied, "Oh, I didn't want to sit in my seat up front so I just took a different one. You can sit somewhere else." Having been through this before, I politely told them I wanted to take my assigned seat so it didn't cause problems when other people boarded the plane. They gave me a disgusted look but moved to a seat close by.

By the time the plane was ready for takeoff, this person had caused 4 other people to have to move to a different seat. It was literally a chain reaction with several people "miffed" at having to sit somewhere else. All because someone wanted to change their place in the "seat lineup" without thinking about it's impact on others.

The next time you plan on making a change in your lineup, think about how the change will affect those around you. If it's for the better, perfect. If not, and you want to maintain a positive relationship with the other performers, you might want to think again... or come up with a solution that works for them too.


To get your performers working more effectively in your organization's circus, click here.


Steps To Stepping Up The Performance Of Your Performers

 I had to laugh. A business associate called and in the conversation he mentioned his frustration with one of his employees. When I asked him how long this had been going on, he said "three months." "Three months!" I replied. "Why have you waited so long to address the issue?" His reply was all too common... "I just didn't know what to do."

It can often seem overwhelming to map out a plan for improvement for an individual, but failure to do so not only affects their performance-it also affects YOURS. Sometimes a simple process to follow might get them on the road to a standing ovation and you can stop juggling THEIR elephants. Once you have determined the desired outcome you want to see in one of your performers, try these steps to make it happen:

  1. Figure out what motivates them. Determine some realistic and meaningful ways you can provide the motivators.
  2. Be the Ringmaster. Most people like to work with people who are goal-oriented and focused on achieving certain objectives. If they recognize that their performance is part of a bigger goal, they are more likely to go along with the plan. Share your strategic plans and objectives-often!Use small steps. Break the desired outcome down into smaller parts. Reward them when they achieve each step and encourage them to continue their growth (using some of the identified motivators from step 1).
  3. Keep the spotlight focused on the act. Determine possible distractions that could cause the performer to fail, and remove or minimize them when possible.
  4. Minimize their juggling elephants routine. Remember, they have other acts to perform besides the new ones you have for them.

Our Juggling Elephants programs include a section on improving the work of your performers. Click here to learn more.


The Forgotten Performer In Your Circus

It's the one who will be most resistant to your new idea.

Have you made plans to address their concerns about the new direction? Thinking about the ones who will support you may make you feel warm and fuzzy, but it's the person who will not be in favor of the idea you need to plan for.


I Have A Question

You can learn so much by just asking questions:

  • If you are stuck for conversation with someone you just met, start asking them questions.
  • If you are stuck for conversation with someone you know (especially a teenager), start asking them questions.
  • If you are interested in becoming an expert at something, find an expert and start asking questions.  Be sincere.  Pay attention.  Take notes.  Find another expert and repeat.  Continue to repeat.  Look for patterns in their responses and then apply what you have learned.
  • If you really want to get to know someone, make a formal list of questions and talk about your answers together.  Answer your own questions as part of the conversation.  Discuss, debate, agree and/or agree to disagree.  (When my wife and I were first married, we would do this when we would go on road trips together.)
  • If you don’t know something, don’t be afraid to admit it and ask for help.  Seek to understand.  It is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.

What questions should you be asking?