As I write this from my hotel room there’s a cacophony of birds chirping outside, which is blending with the sweet sounds of Zap Mama (a Belgian, Congolese group) singing Brrrlak from my playlist.
The sun is streaming through a lush canopy of trees, with Mount Kenya shrouded in the mist in the background. I woke up to a peacock outside my door, quietly strutting its gorgeous technicolour gown of feathers (that’s him there).
It’s delightfully chaotic. Like working with people & teams.
Yesterday I did a full day of team building with a World Bank client. I’m about to hit the road home back to Nairobi but first I wanted to share some themes I’ve picked up from working with clients in & from more than 80 countries, plus give you a chance to assess your own team’s assets & gaps (& see how others have assessed theirs).
Effective teams come down to point of view & perspective. Teams that work well together build on their differences. They are able to understand how, as individuals, they see the world & what their unique perspectives are, while at the same time, being able to shift & take in other points of view.
Easier said than done. However here are 3 things that can help increase your team’s ability to expand their points of view & perspectives are:
- Assets & gaps: teams work better together when they are aware of both their assets/strengths, as well as their gaps/weaknesses. Not one or the other but both. Teams who are too asset based can avoid conflict. While teams that are too deficit based hamper motivation.
- Creativity: teams who can take advantage of their differences, tend to be much more creative & innovative.
- Assumptions: effective teams can identify when assumptions are blocking their thinking & move past them.
I’ll be talking more about #2 & #3 above, the role of creativity & assumption busting, in future posts but in the meantime check out this fast, one question survey that will help you identify your own team’s assets & gaps. Once you fill it in you’ll be able to see how others have answered the question as well (don’t worry, it’s all anonymous).
In the meantime I’m enjoying the feather from my fine feathered friend, which now adorns my desk (below).