Snowflakes, Rugby and Great Teamwork

Snowflakes, Rugby and Great Teamwork

Why a rugby player is like a snowflake “A snowflake on its own is a delicate thing but when they team up they can shut down a city,” so said Steve Maraboli and it’s a great way to think about the power of people working together. Rugby players would probably take exception to being referred to as snowflakes but the evidence of incredible teamwork in virtually every game in the recent Rugby World Cup was fantastic, and judging by the size of them, shutting down a city wouldn’t be beyond their capabilities. Click to Tweet: “A snowflake on its own is a delicate thing but when they team up they can shut down a city.”   When team members crystalise In organisations when teams don’t function effectively, we very often find that the team members are unclear of their own and each other’s roles with the result that vital tasks ‘slip through the cracks’ and everyone (understandably) denies responsibility. Unless something is done, the negative effect of this is likely to permanently affect the team’s performance and they are unlikely ever to achieve their full potential. In almost every game in the Rugby World Cup there was plenty of evidence of absolute clarity of role and there was also great trust and communication between players consistently ‘offloading’ the ball without looking, in the sure knowledge that their team mate was exactly where he needed to be to collect it and use it positively. When the members are all in agreement about the team’s purpose; when each individual is clear about their own and each other’s responsibilities and they have developed trust...

Conducting Communication in the Workplace

Conducting a meeting is like conducting an orchestra? Definitely. The ‘conductor’ in a meeting needs to ensure that all the ‘instruments’ get a chance to be heard, that the tempo is right and everyone is on the same page of the ‘music’.  The conductor in an orchestra uses many subtle signals and cues to communicate with the musicians and in the same way we, as leaders and managers of people, employ a huge repertoire of words and movement to convey meaning and understanding to those around us. Watch how Itay Talgram – conductor of music turned “conductor of people” – masterfully and entertainingly demonstrates how conductors communicate effectively and why these are good lessons for leaders. Talgram  guides us through a range of conducting styles in this 20 minute TEDGlobal talk, Lead like the great conductors. Check out this too: 8 Leadership Lessons from a Symphony Conductor . We communicate constantly and we do it consciously and unconsciously.  As a leaders and managers, being able to convey our meaning clearly and concisely to those who need to understand it; being skilled at listening and well as talking and being able to construct communications that hit the mark again and again are essential skills.  Without them we won’t inspire others, we won’t influence anyone, we won’t take the people with us; we won’t be leaders. For further reading and ideas: Peoplewatching: The Desmond Morris Guide to Body Language by Desmond Morris Powerful Listening. Powerful Influence. by Tim Hast Humour Works by John Morreall The Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto If you would like to communicate better, we can help with one to one coaching or through one of our many...

Good Gossip & the Information Vacuum

We all like gossip I read an article recently that suggested that everyone — men and women — like a bit of gossip, the generally harmless chat that happens when people gather together and have a few minutes to spare. They might share a moan about everything and anything but they also talk about the good stuff and share non-essential but welcome information about what they did at the weekend, what’s happening with the kids, the cats or the latest movie. We seem to enjoy gossip as long as it’s not too much, or too little… we don’t like it when people don’t gossip. You know the situation when someone is sitting in on your every-day conversation but isn’t contributing, you may feel a bit uncomfortable. You may begin to mistrust them… after all, gossiping is pretty relaxed and unguarded. The need for information All this got me thinking about how people feel about information and how they react when they don’t get information which they think they need. After observing this for some time I came to the conclusion that when we don’t get information which we think is relevant to us it creates a vacuum… a vacuum that sucks in nothing but negativity. The information vacuum in action In the airport when the screen says ‘flight delayed’ we only last a few minutes before we start thinking negative thoughts. If, after ten minutes, the screen is still giving nothing away, we’re not just thinking bad things, we start telling other people just how incompetent this airline really is. However, when a member of the airline staff comes out...