Tag Archives: teamwork

Respectful Teamwork.

Respectful_Teamwork

We’re all busy, we’ve all got stuff to do, lots of stuff… And when you work in a team, when you depend on other people’s input (and here I mean anybody you need to work with, whether they are colleagues or clients), you need collaboration, everyone’s “best” collaboration… right?

What happens when someone doesn’t collaborate, doesn’t give their best? Frustration, delays, rework, etc.

The key point here is respect.

A lack of respect is like a pot hole or a road block… They make you go out of your way to avoid them, and they make you take alternate routes so you don’t have to deal with them again.

Sometimes it’s unintentional: we get so busy we don’t realize we… lack respect. If we are too busy, we just need to say it.  Acknowledge the request, say what you can do and when you can do it.

Do for others what you expect others do for you.

Respect goes a long way. It drives people. It energizes them:

  • It makes them want to work with you!
  • It makes them want to give you their best!
  • It makes them want to figure it out with you!

When working in a team, we all need to:

  • Give enough time for others to respond to request – it’s hard sometimes, because things move so fast, but you’ve got to try – I [try to] remind myself regularly… 🙂
  • Be helpful – if it doesn’t come naturally, remember that what goes around comes around.
  • Take the time to communicate properly – especially when using email: short, concise, to the point… re-read yourself, as if you were the person who is going to read it.
  • Confirm you are understood.
  • Confirm you understand.
  • If you can’t do something right away, let others know.

One last thing… For those who forget: respect is earned.

Make sense?

I’ve thought about it so much… I must be right. Right?

Am i right?

How many times have you been  involved in a situation where you had to deal with someone pushing their position or ideas on you?

How many times was it YOU doing the pushing?

The way we approach things and the way we make decisions, comes from our knowledge and experience and the more we have, the more assertive we become. This can be good, especially when we’re in a lead position: someone needs to take charge, while others need to be directed. But it doesn’t mean we’re always right! We have to be careful not to become a bully!

Side note: It’s not because we’ve done it a certain way before that we shouldn’t look at finding a better way to do it. There is always room for improvement, right?

Side note #2: It’s not because we dreamed up a way to doing something (meaning we never actually tried it) that it is the right way of doing it!

When we’re looking at doing something different, whether it’s completely new, or bigger in scope, or working with people we have never worked with before, or tackling a type of activity we have never done before, we always need to step back and consider alternatives, especially when people around you are TRYING to tell you so. At the very least, we need to keep an open mind. And this means listening and understanding what others are trying to say: not just humoring them!

Side note #3: I remember something like this on Linkedin recently… “Listen to understand, not to prepare your reply.”

Makes sense?

Creativity and Innovation: Getting a boost from a “naive” perspective

a naive perspective

I read an interesting passage in a very interesting book this morning (MAVERICK by Ricardo Semler), highlighting the value of having “naive” eyes in a discussion about looking for improvements. Here’s the gist of the mini-story:

First, a bit of background: this book is about a leader wanting to make his large organization more efficient, reduce overhead, be more engaging for its employees. It this specific part (chapter 29 to be precise), employees came up with the idea to “take a small group raised in Semco’s  culture and familiar with its people and its products […] and set them free.” This meant no more responsibilities other than think about stuff, “invent new products, refine old ones, devise market strategies, unearth cat reductions and production efficiencies, even dream up new lines of business.” What a great idea!!!!   🙂

Now the mini-story is about one of this “thinking” group’s new product successes, and the fact that the successful idea came from the group’s non-technical person (she actually was a coordinator for training and organizational development). She and her two engineering colleagues were studying a paint mixer, and after she found out that those mixers were manually cleaned between paint batches, she suggested that “someone should invent a giant toothbrush to clean the tanks.”

The result: a new “brushlike appendage that, hooked on our mixer, swept the sides and bottom of the tank automatically, eliminating manual labor.”

Having a “naive” perspective put into the mix may not automatically yield such a successful result, but I strongly believe that it gives a “boost”, even if very small, to the creative process. It helps connecting the dots, it triggers other thoughts, it even helps you clarify and support what you’re already thinking…

The key of course is to keep it under control, not let it take you all over the place, which ends up wasting time. It’s part of that creative process that goes up and down, from high altitude to the ground floor and up again… Usually need someone to keep things into perspective, usually the lead or PM.

Of course, there is the “fresh” eyes perspective too. But they are not the same. The “fresh” comes from someone with a very similar background and experiences as most of those involved in the discussion. The “naive” eyes perspective is from someone with a different background and experiences. Actually, I would go so far to say that there are possibly two types of “naive” perspective:

  • From someone with experience, that can infer from it;
  • From someone without experience, that can infer from non-applied knowledge, like the newbie fresh out of school.

The point is: never dismiss the value of someone else’s input. Unless this someone is known to provide input without a valid interest in adding value…  😉

Make sense?