As the 2016 Olympics gets closer, we are running a range of special team games inspired by the ultimate sporting competition.
Getting enough sleep is important not just for our health, but in order to function as a good leader. This, combined with a positive team, honesty and much more is the perfect recipe for great leadership. Follow these 10 tips closely and you yourself could be on the way to becoming a great team leader which can improve the efficiency of both your colleagues and your business.
How many times have you reached the end of the working day only to find that you have barely made a dent in your ever-growing to-do list?
However good your intentions may have been that morning, if you are not working efficiently then this can happen all too often.
We’ve got 5 tips to share with you, from the most productive people we’ve worked with:
1. Get enough sleep
To get the most out of your day, start the night before by making sure that you get enough sleep. Take time to wind down and try to avoid looking at screens right before bedtime- the blue light they emit stimulates your brain which can make it harder to get to sleep. Wake early and try to include some exercise- a 30 minute walk is a great way to kick-start a productive day.
2. Prioritise your task list
Stephen Covey coined the phrase ‘Keep the main thing the main thing’, along with ‘Begin with the end in mind’, one of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Remembering these rules can help us focus on the work that matters and to avoid getting caught up in distractions of the day that hold us up from reaching our goals.
3. Get the right fuel
Tempting as it might be to skip meals because you simply ‘don’t have time’, you need energy to keep you working at your best. Breakfast is essential to prepare you for a productive day, and if you can try to eat lunch away from your desk- even a 10 minute break from looking at your screen can make for a much more productive afternoon.
4. Beat the clock
Challenge timings to fit more into your day- if you feel that meetings always drag on far longer than necessary, why not see if a 60 minute meeting can be squeezed into 30 minutes? If you have been dreading a certain task, set yourself a timer and dedicate your focus to it fully- you may be surprised how quickly you get it done!
5. Make 1 Minute Count
In the seminal One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson explain how just 60 seconds spent giving one to one praise, coaching or correction can have a substantial impact on the staff we manage, and consequently our own time.
How often do you take time out to reflect on your business?
To be more effective and productive, sometimes you need to take a step back and review things- past successes, future plans, and perhaps those which didn’t go as expected.
In reality we don’t always get a chance to reflect as often as we should thanks to the fast pace of life in the business world, and so we are forced into making speedy decisions on the go without always having the chance to think them though. This can increase the risk of bad choices being made, as it is through reflection that we learn from our mistakes. By having clear plans we are able to make good decisions with conviction.
The benefits of reflecting
Reflection sets us up for success, as it can help to bring clarity to our thoughts and enables us to work out the goals that are most important to us. It also provides an opportunity to come up with new ideas, by giving our thoughts the space they deserve.
If you struggle to remember the last time you took some extended time to reflect, then consider booking in some time over the coming months- whether individually or with your team. Facilitated discussions can be a great way to come up with new ideas as well as providing an opportunity for team building.
Time to get out of the office
Taking time away from your desk can help to allow reflection, and Team Building London offer refreshing and motivating activities to get you and the team in a different frame of mind.
From the bustling markets, to the iconic historic buildings of the city, London provides the perfect backdrop to inspire reflection and change for your business.
Receiving an unexpected resignation letter is a big hit, not only to you but for the company too. Losing an employee who is a productive and trusted team member is hard to replace and means the start of a tedious, uncertain recruitment process.
Choosing a new recruit correctly is great, but making a bad hire is a sap on precious management time, energy and emotion.
Here are some quick tips to help you increase your chances of hiring someone quickly and efficiently:
Approach Good People Before Vacancies Arise
It is always good to keep an eye and ear out for rising stars within the industry, or people who possess certain skills that could make them a strong team member. It is a good idea to take an interest in their career, their life and try to understand their aspirations. Building a relationship with a network of people will always make filling a vacancy much easier.
List The Character Traits That Are Non-Negotiable
Finding people for a role is easy, but finding people that will be a good fit can be much harder. By making a list of the character traits that are definitely required, it will make you much less likely to make a bad hire. After an interesting bad experience with a dishonest sales person one organisation simply added ‘liars need not apply’ to their next posting and saw the amount of responses drop but the quality of these candidates rose.
Answer Every Answer With A Question
Although someone may come across well in an interview, the chances are they have had time to practice their responses. If you can find a way to answer every answer with a question, you will be able to find out if the candidate’s answers lack substance. Finding out what happened in their previous role is helpful but by drilling down into the details is much better.
Involve The Team
Some roles are often best recruited not through interview but through an audition instead. By inviting the candidate to work amongst the team for a day, you can ask the team at the end of the day to comment and vote on the candidate’s suitability of that person for the role.
Question and Answer conferences can go either one of two ways. Either there is a deadly silence or they become adversarial battles between the audience and top brass.
We have put together 7 tips to help you manage the discussion and make it a pleasant and productive session for all concerned:
- Always try to channel the questions through the host to a panel. A good conference host will demonstrate their independence by gently challenging the panel and by ensuring that the members of the panel answer the questions honestly.
- Mix the questions up. Mix business questions with ‘about you’ questions like what did each panel member have as their first job?
- Prepare questions beforehand. The host can have these on cards and can start a debate or switch to a new topic easily.
- If you can be confident that there won’t be anyone in the audience that will hog the microphone then you could consider using a ‘catch box’ which helps to inject energy into the audience and means you can help to get more people involved, much more quickly.
- You could consider having delegate’s text their thoughts and questions in during the conference, or you could use a hashtag through social media for people to use.
- It is important to allow the host to change the discussion amongst those from people in the audience. For example, if there was a conversation about pay and this was stuck on topic for a while, the host should look to ask a question about working environment to move the subject on.
If you’d like some more free advice ahead of you upcoming conference, do get in touch with our team at Team Building London today.
A lot of time can be wasted in meetings at work because they are unproductive and often arranged without an agenda. But meetings should in fact be the opposite.
A good meeting will help improve communication, produce good decision-making, generate useful ideas and motivate teams. Unfortunately though, too many meetings lack any kind of purpose, energy or structure. This makes them a waste of time and can, in some cases, demotivate people.
Patrick Lencioni suggests a fresh approach to business meetings in his book, ‘Death by Meetings’, by adapting the structure, purpose and location to prevent discussions from going off track and failing to reach a conclusion.
Here are some pointers from the book that will help make your meetings more productive:
Instigate Brief Daily Updates
This reduces overuse of email, eliminates misunderstandings and false assumptions and ensures team members are well aware of what one another are up to.
- No agenda
- No minutes
- 5 minute duration
- Same time
- Same place
- Every day
- Standing in circle
- Meet even if several are absent
- Include coffee
Introduce Weekly Tactical Meetings
- Start with 60 second ‘my week’ update from each attendee
- Agree priorities from those updates to create an agenda
- Agenda items must be topical, relevant and tactical
- 6 agenda items max
- 60 minute duration
Introduce Monthly Strategic Meetings
- 2 or 3 topics only
- Strategic not tactical
- Embrace debate and courteous conflict
- Research topics in advance
- Reach decisions
And consider Quarterly Off-site meetings
- Deep review of strategic direction
- Team development
- Competitor analysis
Lencioni argues that this approach to meetings will create energising discussions that build momentum and help to drive your organisation toward reaching your company’s goals.
If you would like help with making your team meeting more productive, contact our team at Team Building London today to hear how we can help.
Finding time to enjoy team building exercises on a day-to-day basis within your workplace can be difficult, but if you can it is both convenient and useful.
Nathan Sawaya using LEGO to create art is an example we know works well that you could adopt in the office. He uses pieces of LEGO to recreate versions of well-known works of art from around the world. These works of art may not always be to critical acclaim but show initiative and creativity to create them. His exhibition has been hailed as an accessible, creative and fun way to use everyday objects.
Our team at Team Building London have been using LEGO over the years to playfully help team development. So we agree with P Kristiansen and R Rasmussen that LEGO is a great business tool. Read their book on ‘Building a Better Business using the LEGO Serious Play Method’ which highlights the benefits of LEGO in the workplace.
If you would like to find out more about how LEGO can help inspire creativity, teamwork, planning and financial budgeting, contact us today to discuss how we can help you incorporate everyday objects into your team building.
There are a whole host of team building activities available but finding one for a large corporation can be a challenge.
The reason for this is because larger teams have more personality types to cater for – Activists will want to run about while Reflectors will rather just observe. Pragmatics will more than likely ask ‘what’s the point?’ whereas Theorists might prefer to study or solve a complex puzzle.
Here at Team Building London, we have developed a team building activity for everyone to get involved and use their skills, combining a wide range of competitive team building challenges so that every member can showcase their style and skill. Demonstrating everyone’s differences can be the source of success within a team.
Teams of 6 are able to use their wit to solve problems and a number of practical team challenges. During each challenge teams will compete against one another before they move onto another conundrum. Bonus points are earned throughout by those who successfully complete these puzzles which require both analytical and lateral thinking.
There are also opportunities for physical challenges which are selected to suit the location and the participants – many of our tasks can be performed indoors and out.
It is important to think about everyone’s skills and strengths because their varied learning skills will affect their input into the team building activity. By incorporating fun into a number of exercises, everyone has the chance to excel without needing to be the fittest or cleverest.
If you would like to learn more about our team building activities and how we can make sure everyone gets involved, contact us at Team Building London today.
Meetings can easily fall into the trap of being unproductive and a waste of time, but there are ways to make sure this doesn’t happen to your meetings.
We first saw these meeting ground rules in a conference room of a Japanese car company, and have been using and recommending them ever since.
The next time you decide to hold a meeting, try and enforce these meeting rules and see what difference it makes:
1. Make sure you start and finish on time Continue reading