TArticles tagged with: team management

The single biggest communication problem – and how to fix it

You talked. They listened. Soon enough it becomes clear that you talked, and they did not hear you. As George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Project and proposal teams are melting pots. With the globalization of business, we face physical distances, clashing time zones, and a variety of cultural differences. Teams are comprised of individuals of different genders, generations, and native languages. Studies have shown that people gravitate towards like-minded teammates, especially those with the same cultural background. The result is often that we fail to understand the words of those who we perceive as different. Today, teams have the ability to communicate in so many ways—in-person, phone, text, email, chat, social media, and Web meetings—yet somehow the message is still garbled. With both verbal and non-verbal cues lost in translation, what can we do to truly connect? Here are 5 ideas. … Continue reading The single biggest communication problem – and how to fix it

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5 strategies to get your team performing…and winning

Productivity is getting maximum results for time and effort expended. For business development, capture, and proposal professionals, maximum results provide a greater number of qualified bids and/or bid-related activities, increased quality, and decreased error (non-compliance)—all resulting in more wins. Yet most companies are content with a win rate of no more than 50%. On one of my favorite Mad Men episodes, aptly named Commissions and Fees, Don Draper says “You’re happy with 50%? …I won’t settle for 50% of anything. I want 100%.” Clearly, we can’t achieve a 100% win rate except perhaps in our dreams, but we can expect and demand 100% productivity. Everyone is facing tight budgets and more and more competition. We simply cannot afford unproductive teams that decrease our win probability, waste time and money, and result in proposal losses. Educator and psychologist Bruce Tuckman defined the 5 stages that all teams experience: Forming, Storming, Norming. … Continue reading 5 strategies to get your team performing…and winning

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Three lessons learned from a college homecoming weekend

I recently spent Homecoming Weekend at my son’s university. Many alumni attended. Over and over, I heard recent graduates tell their friends, “Don’t ever graduate! The real world sucks!” It got me thinking…what is so great about college (besides the obvious) that we can apply to the workplace? Engaging: College has a lot of fun activities that increase group engagement. Worldwide, only 13% of employees are engaged at work according to a recent Gallup poll. Why should you care? Because engaged employees generate 2.5 times the revenue than those who are not engaged. As a manager, you are responsible for an engagement strategy to get your team involved and performing. Engagement also increases retention, which in turn benefits the bottom line. Bonding: As undergraduates, we find our group of friends, and they become friends for life. Of course, living, eating, socializing – and studying – in close quarters enables bonding. … Continue reading Three lessons learned from a college homecoming weekend

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Facing up to face time

Focusing on productive time rather than face time yields desired results

Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Face time: time spent at one’s place of employment especially beyond normal work hours. An extensive and often re-quoted 2006 study published in Harvard Business Review declared the 40-hour work week dead and face time to be paramount. However, researchers warned that too much face time actually lowers productivity due to burn out and attrition. In a more recent study published in Human Relations, researchers conducted extensive interviews with 39 corporate managers. These managers reportedly perceived employees who put in more face time as more dedicated, hardworking, and responsible. These managers judged employees not based on productivity or results, but rather on ability to sit at their desk for more than 8 hours. Those efficient souls who completed their work in 8 hours or less were penalized. As Woody Allen said, 80 percent of success is just showing up! It is interesting that even in this era of … Continue reading Facing up to face time

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