Tag Archives: teamwork

Empowering Reasons to Say ‘IDK’

5823288833_IDK_answer_3_xlargeFor years, I just couldn’t say it. I don’t know why, but I would say anything except those dreaded three words. Three simple words: “I don’t know.”  Why are they so difficult to say?  It’s because we have to admit a measure of ignorance.  It’s humbling.  But I want to encourage you to not fear saying IDK any more.  Saying “I Don’t Know” is very powerful.  To admit that you don’t know is to empower yourself because:

IDK is not threatening to others. Pride is abrasive while humility is disarming.  When you admit you don’t know, you disarm others’ defenses. Most people (whether they realize it or not) operate on the philosophy of ‘Law to the proud; grace to the humble.’  Saying “I don’t know” allows you a certain grace afforded usually to rookies.

IDK invites collaboration and builds teamwork.  If you’re interested in doing something great – then you know it can’t be done alone. Saying “I don’t know” gets the ball rolling to really make a difference and do something big!

IDK criques the status quo. When approached the right way, “I Don’t Know” queries deep into the heart of big ideas.  It merits honest answers and opens the doors of understanding.

I am proud to say that I’m more humble than I used to be (*sarcasm) – and I readily admit that “I don’t know.”  And I’m excited to say that it’s paying off!  What about you?  Have you ever had trouble saying “I don’t know” or is that something you are good at?

RELATED POST:  5 Practical Ways to Question Authority

Article by Patrick Nix

@patchnix

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Tug and Not War Part 3 – Positive Tension on a Team

This is part 3 in the “Tug and Not War – Tension on a Team” series. See Part 1 and Part 2.

tug-of-war3In Part 1, we looked at four words associated with tension. They are: conflict, stress, strain, or pressure.  In Part 2 we discussed the word tension and how it can be defined as, “the act of stretching or straining.”  Both are action words and both create a pull in different directions; therefore, we get “tension”.  Note there is a positive side, “stretching”, and a negative side, “straining”.

Negative tension is a strain on a team, but positive tension will stretch a team.  The object is to rid a team of negative tension and foster an environment for positive tension.  How is that done?  The leader must immediately deal with the negative and never allow it to grow.  I call this process the Barney Fife model, “Nip it in the bud.”

Let me share 5 ways to develop positive tension on your team:

  1. Plan proper balance – I believe it is critical to have a diverse team as I have mentioned in Post 2.  Through Personality Assessment tools and personal coaching you can assemble a team that complements each other.  They do their part well, but are cross-trained to help their fellow team member when needed. The balance keeps the boat from turning over.
  2. Promote creativity – Each team member should be qualified and passionate about their area or they shouldn’t be on the team.  If that is the case, allow them to share their passions and goals.  When positive tension is taking place, the entire team will take their ideas and grow them together.
  3. Demand accountability – Once the team is in place and the road toward success has been defined, get ready, negative tension will surface.  It’s not a question of “if”, but of “when” and “how”.  The leader of the team MUST set up a plan of accountability.  A checks and balance system keeps things from going down a wrong road too far.  Don’t be shy as the leader to deal with something quickly and severely.  It may hurt for a moment, but will feel much better in the long run.  It will also set the boundaries for the team.
  4. Allow for personal growth – Every organization should have systems in place that allows everyone to know the rules, objectives, and what a win looks like.  When they are in place the leader begins to lead his leaders.  In turn each leader begins to train a third layer of leadership.  Give each team member opportunity to grow as an individual and the team will grow.
  5. Focus on a goal – When people get their eyes off of a common goal they will soon define their own individual goal and go in separate directions.  Work hard to achieve a team goal then celebrate when it is achieved.  When a goal is defined everyone will walk in the same direction. That way when the destination is reached, the entire team will be there.  You do not want to leave people behind.

Negative tension will kill you, but positive tension will energize you.

Do you have comments about positive tension?

To read more material by Dr. Agan, go to www.rodneyagan.com

Article by Rodney Agan

@rodneyagan

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Tug and Not War – Tension on a Team

This is part 1 in the “Tug and Not War – Tension on a Team” series.

When you see the word tension, you usually think about things like conflict, stress, strain, or pressure.  No leader wants these things for his team.  These things will cause a team to self-destruct.  It will implode and destroy anything connected to it.

Leaders spend a great deal of time working on relieving tension from the team.  By the time a leader realizes that tension is present on his team, it is probably already causing trouble.  The results of tension are simply acknowledging the deeper problems that have been missed or left unchecked.

In this opening post dealing with tension, let’s take a closer look at the four words already given that are usually linked to it:

  1. CONFLICT keeps a team from working smoothly and orderly.  It pits people against each other and breeds the wrong kind of competition.  Conflict creates a “look out for #1” mentality.  Instead of working like a team, they will work like individual enemies.
  2. STRESS causes nerves and tempers to flare.  When people are operating under stress they will not act rationally.  Decisions will be made more out of desperation and revenge than logic.  They will operate more in reaction mode than action mode.
  3. STRAIN makes for an unhappy environment.  Creativity is stifled because no one wants to be there.  Team members stop conversing on a personal level.  They begin to highlight only the negative issues they see, and that is all they WILL see.  When strained, teams do not have each other’s back, and will soon start to undercut the others on the team.
  4. PRESSURE is a sign of deeper problems.  Just like a fever is the indicator of an infection or something more serious, pressure affects a team the same way. It reveals that there are problems on the team.  Ask questions like: Who is it affecting? What is causing it? When is it most prevalent? Why has it not been alleviated? How can we solve it and keep the team intact?

In the next posts, I will be dealing with negative and positive tension on a team.  It will require you to be honest with the results you find and willing to do something about it.

To read more material by Dr. Agan, go to www.rodneyagan.com

Article by Rodney Agan

@rodneyagan

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