Here’s another post from our guest blogger John Campbell. John knows what he’s talking about when it comes to teams, as he has a formidable success rate working with sports teams.
Hi there. As we head into a New Year, it’s a great time to consider the importance of the team structures in all sporting and working environments. How can we extract the maximum potential from our team?
Everything in our Universe is formed in ‘systems’. Like all humans, I have a nervous system, a circulatory system, a cellular system, a respiratory system – and all these come together to form what, in my case, is known as John Campbell. Then I belong to a family system, a cultural system, a country system, a religious system, and then finally a universe or cosmic system. So, whatever we are dealing with – from the microcosmic to the macrocosmic – we will always find ‘systems’.
Bring The Family
The interesting is, that when we consider group or team structures, we notice that our family system is often unconsciously replayed or recreated in our work or group systems and we often find similar challenges in our team work that we experienced in our family of origin. We might start to notice that certain members of our team unconsciously ‘trigger’ some of our childhood memories and we can find ourselves developing coping strategies to avoid any conflict we may have experienced in our past.
Just as in any family system, the most important relationship is the relationship between the two parents. The essential ingredient in that relationship is the ‘chemistry’ between the parents and in any group or team work there needs to be ‘chemistry’ within the group. Chemistry is somewhat difficult to define, as it is not something which can be learned or introduced: it is an intangible connection between the various members which creates a powerful and enduring bond – essential when tough times are experienced.
Smells Like Team Spirit
If you examine the most successful sporting teams in any field of sport you will always find that the ones who have this type of chemistry – and thus ‘spirit’ – within the group are the teams who seem to be able to perform at their highest level over a prolonged time. Consider this in the world of professional football: despite the massive amounts of money spent by teams like Chelsea and, latterly, Manchester City, they seem unable to create the kind of ‘spirit’ created in teams who have developed a ‘family’ type of atmosphere where the Coach and Chief Executive have a great working relationship resulting from a ‘chemistry’ between them.
In a small team environment, therefore, it is even more essential to be looking for that ‘chemistry’ between the members. Its presence is essential as this is what will provide the mutual support during the challenging times ahead. So it is a great idea for teams to engage in activities that can deepen the bond between the members. There are numerous activities which can create this, even in a short period of time, and I can recommend these to anyone who is interested.
The most important ingredient required in any team is mutual trust. Again, this can be developed and deepened by doing certain exercises within the group – and this can also be a lot of fun!
Play To Your Strengths
I believe that it’s also essential to discover the particular strengths and weaknesses of each team member. You also need to know what each member likes to do and what they don’t like to do. This way, you can ensure that these likes and dislikes are balanced across the team. I find that it is completely counter-productive to attempt to get people to do anything which they do not have an interest in doing: it saps the energy of the individual and, ultimately, the group in which they are working. The negative energy created physically and mentally weakens the individual and, therefore, the whole group.
I wish you all a very Happy New Year. 2011 promises to be another year of huge growth in the awakening of human consciousness. It may prove difficult for those who are not ready to embrace change – for massive change is what we will experience. We can either embrace this change and go with it – surrender – or resist and feel the consequences! Enjoy the ride.
‘Inspiration rather than Motivation’