Author Archive

Building A Team

Monday, May 17th, 2010

I recently came across an old article on team-building by noted business guru Peter Drucker called, “There’s More Than One Kind Of Team”. Though the article was written in 1992 the premise is extremely valid for today’s business marketplace. It provides helpful insights that today’s corporate executives and business leaders should consider applying to their organizations. So much of today’s traditional thinking has been rocked by the economy downturn over the past 2 years, that Drucker’s points should have renewed interest as we work to rebuild, redesign, and “re-team” for the future. Here is a portion of his comments;

“Team building” has become a buzzword in American business. The results are not overly impressive. One reason — perhaps the major one — for these near-failures (of several corporate icons) is the all-but-universal belief among executives that there is just one kind of team. There actually are three — each different in its structure, in the behavior it demands from its members, in its strengths, its vulnerabilities, its limitations, its requirements, but above all, in what it can do and should be used for. Teams, in other words, are tools. As such, each team design has its own uses, its own characteristics, its own requirements, its own limitations. Team work is neither “good” nor “desirable” — it is a fact. Wherever people work together or play together they do so as a team. Which team to use for what purpose is a crucial, difficult, and risky decision that is even harder to unmake. Managements have yet to learn how to make it.

What holds a team together? TRUST – Part 3

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Here are the last 5 TRUST statements we can still use today, even if they were written* about nearly 20 years ago.

  1. They look out for other people’s interests as well as their own.
  2. They are fair in their dealings with everyone.
  3. They clarify their intentions so others will understand their actions.
  4. They seek input on issues from the people who will be affected by their decisions or actions.
  5. They are genuinely interested in other people.

*Source: “Others Will Trust You If You Follow This Guide”, 1991, April 29, Working Summit, p.4.

Find Part 1 and Part 2 here.

What holds a team together? TRUST – Part 2

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Here are a few more critical TRUST statements, that apply as much today as they did when they were written* several years ago.

  1. They are good listeners – they listen at least as much as they talk.
  2. They generously praise people – they are constantly looking for what others do right and comment on it.
  3. They willingly cooperate with their colleagues – they are more interested in achieving good results than in who will get the credit.
  4. They strive to understand how others feel – they are sensitive and empathetic to others’ feeling.

*Source: “Others Will Trust You If You Follow This Guide”, 1991, April 29, Working Summit, p.4.

Look for the last five TRUST statements in my next blog.

Find Part 1 Here

What holds a team together? TRUST

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

I recently came across something while conducting research for an upcoming presentation. It was of those things we occasionally come across, but that make so much sense. It’s a bit dated*, but still 100% applicable today!

Any way we look at it, trust is critical for success in every enterprise, from corporations to churches to families. Some people build trust quickly. Their attitudes and behaviors make it easier for others to trust them. In reality, there are several characteristics in those who strive to be strong trust builders;

  1. They keep promises — whether to clients, colleagues or children. You can rely on them to do what they said they would do.
  2. They tell the truth – even when it may be painful or when it may be to their disadvantage.
  3. They are quick to apologize when they do something wrong – they sincerely regret doing wrong to others.

*Source: “Others Will Trust You If You Follow This Guide”, 1991, April 29, Working Summit, p.4.

More in my next blog – Part 2.

Words to Use to Better Serve Your Customer – Part 2

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Here are a couple of additional “helpful” ways to use your words more effectively when talking with your customers.

  1. Say, “Can you help me understand …?” rather than “Why?”. Saying the word “why” might carry a suspicious tone. I’m sure we’ve all had someone ask you “why?”, and in your own mind you’re going through a quick mental drill of wondering to yourself, “why are they asking me why?”, or “what ulterior motive do they have for asking me why?”. Don’t be in a situation where your customers are going through that mental exercise with you.
  2. Say, “I understand” rather than “Yep”,“I see”, or “Uh-huh”. Saying “I understand” implies that you fully comprehend what the customer is saying, and that you and your customer are advancing the conversation. If you really don’t understand, then refer to #4 above.
  3. Say, “Here is what I can do now” rather than “Should have”. “Should have” might imply that it’s too late to fix it. Even if something “should have” been done, had we known the “should have” at the time, it wouldn’t be a “should have” now. Deal with the current situation. It’s better to say, “Here is what can be done now …” and move forward.