You’re smart. You have good ideas. You share them liberally. You create defensiveness. You get frustrated. Neil Gaiman offers terrific advice on why, when reviewing someone else’s work, you should identify problems but not propose solutions.
Since the seminal work of Charles Spearman at the turn of the 20th century, we have been studying, measuring, and eventually selecting for, individual intelligence. If you want to, you can find out if you’re smarter than a fifth grader. Until recently, we haven’t looked for a similar general intelligence factor in teams. In the […]
I was preparing to facilitate a day-long meeting for a new team leader. He had just joined the organization and was pulling together the team of direct reports he had inherited. As we discussed his objectives for the day, he mentioned that what he really wanted was “juicy discussions.” By “juicy discussions” he meant […]
Last week I wrote a post about crying at work. Interestingly (but maybe not surprisingly), I didn’t get much feedback from men. (Too radioactive to weigh in, maybe?) I did, however, get very polarized feedback from women. While there were many who wrote to say thank you for expressing what they have felt, there […]
What are we solving for? Do your meetings go off on tangents so that two hours later you’ve covered a wide swath of territory but made no decisions? Do you find yourself at cross purposes with teammates getting frustrated that you can’t seem to figure out why you’re fighting? Does your team run off […]
“95% of the time, two smart people with the same goals and the same facts will come up with the same plan. So I tell my team to spend their time figuring out if they have the same goals and the same facts before arguing about what to do.” That’s a gem that came from […]
I’m not a big fan of trite team building activities, but I have been known to use an exercise or two to change things up and add a little levity to what can be challenging discussions around team effectiveness. One exercise I pull out every now and again is called “Pass the Problem.” In this […]
We are ridiculously obsessed with experts in our society. Sure, experts have their place: I’m not keen on the idea of being operated on by an amateur, but we’ve taken things too far. There are risks of being so dependent on, and deferential to, experts. Risk #1: experts have tremendous depth in one particular area […]