Here’s the 3 best ways of building teamwork my friend James learned from watching his coach…
They include some teamwork exercises that can easily be applied to business.
In training after two athletes have competed against each other (sparring) it is very important to him that they both sit down and share what they learned with each other.
He facilitates the conversation and asks both what is one thing your opponent did well and one thing that you think they could do better?
**Important distinction he gets the athletes to speak to each other NOT him…
After they are done sharing with each other he will tie it all together, praise each of them and reinforce that if they keep working together and talking to each other they will both get better faster.
Having had many of these conversations I find there is something different when I get feedback directly from an opponent or a teammate than from my coach.
Applying to business: We have started doing this on our team through daily huddle calls. Sharing with each other what’s working, what’s not, etc. Very effective and creates great bonding opportunities.
Let me give you an example:
Typical boxing coach would have each individual athlete do separate drills on a heavy bag. Since it’s an individual sport the athlete will be focused on what they doing and not really have an interest in anybody else. In that situation some will work harder than others with no real consequence.
Coach Grant will sometimes set an environment where each individual participating in the drill is apart of the whole and he judges the result as a “team effort”. Therefore if somebody on the team isn’t trying their hardest or “fades” (gives up at the end or slows down)
EVERYBODY does the round again even if individually they were working as hard as they could.
What makes this really interesting is he typically saves a situation like this for the END of a work out when everybody is physically exhausted and just wants the work out to end!!! He doesn’t take any pity or make it easy. Instead he gives a challenging drill.
He does this intentionally because it’s how he gets us to develop the habit of “finishing strong” and develop superior mental toughness because at this point in the work out its ALL mental.
VERY Vince Lombardi like.
As you can imagine this creates an environment where EVERYBODY works together because if one of us doesn’t do our best everybody suffers the consequence. Trust me at this stage of the work out nobody wants to do another round.
So you can see how this plays out. Instead of just focusing on yourself everybody is now encouraging each other to do their best! Coach Grant will monitor and prompt us when somebody is performing below his standards…
“Looks like Johnny is fading on me… If he doesn’t pick it up everybody is going to be doing this round again”
EVERYBODY then starts encouraging and coaching Johnny…
“You can do it Johnny, Let’s go… only 30 seconds left, don’t give up… keep going…”
Incredible seeing this happen.
When the drill is complete the team naturally bonds because we ALL just helped each other push ourselves beyond what we thought possible.
If you are into football I read Coach Belichick once used a similar strategy. It was Friday the team was exhausted and wanted to get off early. He said everybody can get off early if one of of the offensive linemen could catch a punt successfully….
Only once chance and if he doesn’t catch it everybody has to do laps.
Offensive linemen never catch footballs so it was a huge challenge.
What happened is all the wide receivers were coaching him, the punter was coaching him. Everybody was working together and bonded. He caught it and the team got off early because they all worked together.
Despite being the clear leader of the gym and head instructor during training Coach Grant frequently let’s OTHER coaches or students lead drills or give feedback.
Example: Bridget is going to lead the warm up today…
After doing some technical drills he won’t give feedback he’ll get another coach to share.
Sometimes during sparring he’ll get another student to “work the corner” and coach.
During competition or critical times of course he leads the whole time..
It’s very impressive how in a subtle way once again he gets EVERYBODY involved and does 3 things in the process: creates an incredible team atmosphere, helps others develop leadership skills and creates multiple feedback channels.Tweet 5 Comments