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Team event success

We have all seen it many times. Everyone is present in body, but we haven’t necessarily got their full attention or commitment.

Running powerful team events can be a game changer for the business, and every manager aspires to hold team events which deliver committed and ongoing change. From a board strategy meeting right through to a local ideas group, the aspiration is always that everyone attending offers their full intellectual capability to help solve problems, identify opportunities, and build solutions.

But hand on heart how often does this happen? How often do we run high impact team events which deliver well, but not quite as well as they could? What is it that separates great team events from average ones?

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Getting the best from millennials

Successful organisations win and retain key talent. Age is not a barrier to success; however, it may be a barrier to gaining and retaining the key talent from the next generation of movers and shakers.

Many organisations have already developed their culture and employment practices to gain and retain the best on offer. For example, many working parents now gain value from employer led initiatives in ways which go far beyond the statutory minimum requirements of the law. The benefits of this accrue to both employer and employee. In the same way, organisations should look at their culture and employment practices to ensure they gain & retain millennials. Organisations need people who are ambitious, educated and technologically “savvy”. So what are some of the challenges we face in getting the best from millennials?

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How to establish good team climate...

We know we can’t control the emotional state of others but we can definitely influence them by creating the right thinking environment and developing our own leadership behaviours in support.  We have already looked at how, as leaders, we can create generative thinking by designing the best climate for thinking in the team. But leading a great team event is a particularly strong challenge. Leaders also need to look at themselves and consider whether they behave in the best possible way to create a positive climate in the team. 

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Key elements to successful team events

A friend of mine once told me that “people only change behaviour when they win” and I do believe there is truth in that.  It is so easy to give up trying something new if at first you don’t succeed.  Neuroscience tells us that it take 10,000 practices to form a new habit, allowing the old habit to slowly die.  So how can positive change work in groups where each person has to believe they can win before committing to change? Each person will have their own fears and insecurities and will potentially avoid changing the way they do things, so galvanising a group becomes more difficult. The leader’s role and their role modelling are pivotal to changing a group’s thinking and attitude.

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How to run great team events

We have all had that Eureka moment when running team events, that moment when they ‘get it’. It’s a brilliant feeling for the person running the event, at that moment in time we see the energies fuse and the participants serious about making the event a success. It’s a great thing to experience.

Events are sometimes held for ‘team building’ reasons, which is really all about enabling people to feel comfortable with each other. The best events in my opinion though, are those which have a clear purpose and targeted output. In other words, the team builds a solution to something which gives a direct benefit to the business.

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How to manage millennials - communication

When managers look at their younger subordinates, they should be thinking “how can I get the best from these people?”

Unsurprisingly, as with all staff, effective communication will play a key role. Research by Neuro-Insight discovered that both genders in the millennial age group found a female digitised voice more compelling that its male equivalent. Estate Agents Hamptons has recently reported a record number of Londoners selling up & heading north. So it seems that the key to effective communication is to have a digitised female voice assistant talking to millennials with a northern accent!

Failing that we need to identify the triggers which resonate with millennials and then use them effectively. Known affectionately as the “anxious generation” (Vogue 2018), this generation more than previous generations look for affirmation of their actions.

When communicating with any individual the starting point should be “what do we want this person to think, feel, do and/or know as result of this communication?” To achieve this, effective communication is about the right communication channel at the right time in the right way with the right message. 

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Millennials need good Managers

A client recently complained to me about some of his team being a little less grateful regarding their forthcoming Christmas party for which he is footing the bill.

He is paying for a traditional sit down meal with wine on each of the tables along with the usual Christmas crackers and party poppers. He has done this every year and has organised it again for this year. For many of his staff it is one of the work highlights of their year.

Some staff wanted something very different. They wanted it to be more informal, with a casual stand-up buffet served & available throughout the evening with the opportunity to make their drink choices at the bar. This group was made up entirely of millennials within his workforce. 

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Motivational team events

Prior to running a team day or three, it's worth knowing a little bit about motivation. The psychology is very interesting as we endeavour to run motivational team events.

Daniel Pink has conducted some fascinating studies indicating that (surprise surprise) its not all about money. People are strongly motivated by three key factors: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. So to get a great team event going, to hold an event with a great buzz, maybe it's worth thinking about these three factors.

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Reflection skills to improve our performance

Our minds are incredibly clever things. But if your mind is like mine, it needs directing from time to time.

 In Hardwiring Happiness 2013 Dr Rick Hanson outlines how the most basic primitive brain at the top of our spinal cord, is the driver of much of our behaviour. Evolution has built onto this brain stem of course, the latest addition being the cerebral cortex and all its logical capacity. Wouldn't it be good if we could apply this logical capacity first, but we are simply not wired that way. Logic enters our thinking only after emotion and reaction has run its course and had its way.

 

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