TArticles tagged with: communications

Lessons learned from the circus: consistently succeeding

There’s more truth than jest to the saying that a proposal submission is a bit like a circus. In today’s post, learn from professional performers how to handle mistakes.

Several years ago, a performer at Cirque Du Soleil died during a performance because of a mistake in her rigging. This was newsworthy not just because of the tragedy, but because this was the first time a Cirque Du Soleil performer died during an act, despite the death-defying, acrobatic feats that fill their show. Everyone involved in a circus performance works diligently to have a successful performance, free from mistakes. While the mistakes we make as proposal professionals may not cost us our lives, there’s certainly a lot on the line. From circus performers, we can learn the importance of communication and adaptability to succeeding consistently. Communication is critical in collaborative projects like trapeze and other circus performances. Acrobats and aerialists have to communicate about what is working and what’s not in real time in order to succeed. Sometimes people are afraid to express their needs because they think it … Continue reading Lessons learned from the circus: consistently succeeding

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Strategies and tactics to bring your team to a win – Part 3: Norming, performing, and adjourning

Recently we asked Lisa Pafe, Lohfeld Consulting Group Principal Consultant, to share her thoughts on the five stages of teamwork and how to jump-start team performance… In previous blog posts, Lisa discussed how to move your proposal team quickly through the forming and storming stages of team behavior. In the norming and performing stages, your proposal team members are more comfortable with their roles and responsibilities. Here are some strategies to move your team through norming and performing into adjourning. Communicate. To ensure high performance, use praise and constructive, actionable criticism as needed. Continue to communicate, ensure clarity, and resolve conflicts. As people take more responsibility, you need not be quite as directive, as long as you are able to review daily agile iterations from team leads. Circumvent. Quite often, a team member or two refuses to norm and perform. You may have to remove them from the team if … Continue reading Strategies and tactics to bring your team to a win – Part 3: Norming, performing, and adjourning

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Strategies and tactics to bring your team to a win – Part 2: Storming

Recently we asked Lisa Pafe, Lohfeld Consulting Group Principal Consultant, to share her thoughts on the five stages of teamwork and how to jump-start team performance… After proposal kick-off, proposal team members quickly get over their initial politeness and conflicts emerge. You cannot avoid the storming stage. Real teams are made up of real people with varying personalities and viewpoints. You may not like them; they may not like you. How do you progress more quickly from storming to norming? Use an agile, iterative approach with coaching. Monitor work in smaller agile increments (daily stand ups, individual status checks, and written iterations) and talk to people – and not just in team meetings – to avoid miscommunication and correct invalid assumptions. Insist on clarity. Conflicts often arise from a lack of clarity. Review daily iterations, communicate using honest feedback, and recommend corrective actions. With work divided into smaller increments, re-writes … Continue reading Strategies and tactics to bring your team to a win – Part 2: Storming

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Strategies and tactics to bring your team to a win – Part 1: Forming

Recently we asked Lisa Pafe, Lohfeld Consulting Group Principal Consultant, to share her thoughts on the five stages of teamwork and how to jumpstart team performance… The previous blog post provided five strategies to move proposal teams quickly out of the first two stages of team behavior (forming and storming) to norm and become high performing. These include: Clarity Communications Coaching Agility Circumvention As the proposal or capture manager, you need to take a directive role in the forming stages when clarity and communications are key, especially when you have team members with varying experiences and competencies. Strive to answer the following questions: Why are we here? To win, but what does it mean to your company, to the project team, to future growth? Who owns the team? Make it clear that you are in charge. Who are these people? Explain roles and responsibilities. How will we meet the schedule? … Continue reading Strategies and tactics to bring your team to a win – Part 1: Forming

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