Teamwork and team chemistry can seem like difficult topics to wrap our brains around. Partially because it differs person to person and team to team, but also because there isn’t tons of information out there about building great teams. Sure there are team building exercises and workshops, but what about the day to day work of building teams? Not much out there. But for you faithful readers, you know that this is a topic near and dear to my heart. Here are five posts I wrote based on TEDtalks that should help all of us manage our teams and build great chemistry among them.
Increase your teamwork and team chemistry by listening to these TEDtalks
I’m all about cheesy team building ideas, I think they’re a great way to quickly build bonds between folks who may not know each other well. If we believe that team chemistry is important to our team’s success (and I know we do!), then we’ve got to believe in building those bridges. In a TEDtalk titled “Try Something New For 30 Days”, Matt Cutts talks about the benefits of personal 30 day challenges. I propose in Building Team Chemistry Through 30 Day Challenges that our teams receive all sorts of benefits from the shared experience of going through a challenge together.
Try as we might, every team (the good ones and the bad) will go through the normal ups and downs of a season. Dealing with those changes is part of our jobs as coaches and I’d hazard a guess that “happiness” isn’t too high on our list of goals for our teams. Afterall, we know from experience that we can’t make everyone happy, so we stop trying. But what if we focused on team, rather than individual, happiness? This is the idea behind The Secrets Of Happy Teams, based on a TEDtalk by Dan Gilbert. Perhaps we can manage our team’s expectation of what happiness in a group setting should look like, to show them that it’s a possibility. In The Evolution Of Happy Teams, I talked about the idea that there can be tangible steps to a group’s feeling of happiness. In a TEDtalk by Martin Seligman, called “Positive Psychology”, he shows us how true happiness is about a person evolving from being self-focused to others-focused…something all of our teams could use, I’m sure! And in Why Having Less Options Will Make Your Team Happier, I talk about why less is sometimes more.
I opened up this teamwork post talking about team chemistry because I think it’s hugely important. In my opinion, I think more problems occur on teams because of personality conflicts or misinformation than people who truly have a problem with one another. As a card-carrying member of the “I always think I’m right” club, Why Being Wrong Feels So Right was a good one for me and I figure I can’t be the only coach out there who feels this way…we’re coaches after all! Based on one of my favorite TEDtalks (“On Being Wrong” by Kathryn Schultz), this post talks about the many ways we (coaches and players) can feel we’re right, but really end up being very wrong. Being able to open our teams up to the possibility of being wrong is a key coaching skill in my opinion. If everyone on the team is in a battle to be right, our team chemistry will suffer.
I hope you take out some time to listen to these TEDtalks, they’re well worth your time. It’s great to listen to folks outside of the coaching industry talk about this sort of thing and figure out how to bring it into our world.