Three rules for collective success

Throughout our Spotlight series on fulfilling potential we’ve focused quite heavily on how to get the best out of ourselves, or others, on an individual basis. But what about team success?

On the latest episode of Live.Life.Better. author of The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle, explained how managing group dynamics is the key to productivity and success. Here are three things we learnt from his appearance on the show which you can implement today in your own place of work.

1. Pay deep attention to the first five seconds of every interaction

"You really need to invest attention and energy into the start of interactions, as our brains are built to decide whether we’re safe or not really quickly. What you see in great groups or with great leaders is this facial expression... it’s total absorption. It’s eyebrows up, face very still, head tipped, intently listening and connecting to the person who comes in - really making a big deal about that.

"When someone has a first day in a big group then that’s a big deal. It’s a time to spend a lot of effort on, thinking how can we maximise our connection."

2. Send your co-workers this two line email

"When you’re interacting with co-workers you should send this little email, it’s something I learnt about from Laszlo Bock [entrepreneur, formerly Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google]. He said "look, just send an email with two lines:

What do you want me to keep doing?

What do you want me to stop doing?

That’s it."

It’s very simple but it sends a large signal, which is that I care about getting better and I care about getting feedback. This is especially important from leaders, they need to be fallible first."

3. Start using after action reviews

"This is a heavy duty, military term but in reality it really doesn’t need to be a heavy duty process. When you do something as a group you should circle around and ask two questions; what went well and what are we going to do differently next time?

"The good groups I’ve met do that immediately after an action and it’s a tremendous learning opportunity. It’s hard to do as you’ve just finished doing something, so it’s hard to drag your attention back. And it’s hard to admit weakness, it’s like we’re allergic to it. If we just had a meeting and 90 per cent of the things went right then it’s hard to make ourselves admit the 10 per cent that didn’t - but that’s the single most important thing you can do to make the group function better."

If you'd like a new episode packed full of self-improvement advice sent directly to you every two weeks, head over to iTunes or Acast in order to subscribe. You can also browse previous episodes right here.

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