Experiencing Success as a Team

When do you set up for success? I recently conducted a board retreat, and after a good but very tough discussion, thought I should do an exercise to pull everyone together. As it turns out I inadvertently set the group up for success instead of a bigger challenge. Is that bad?

When you were a kid, did your parent or uncle or aunt ever do that with monopoly, cards, etcetera? You sort of knew they did but felt good about winning anyway.

Why shouldn’t a team be given the same chance to feel what success feels like and looks like? In doing so and giving them an early win, they can feel positive the rest of the time and know that success is at hand.

In Whistling Vivaldi , Claude Steele writes about different groups taking tests, with some bring told they are examples of a certain group (women, minorities, etc.) and others just being told this is a test. The latter always yielded higher, and most importantly, lasting results. I’m wondering if this is a technique we should be using with employees and teams, not just college students taking psychology experiments?  (Note: This is the featured book this 2014-15 school year for One Book, One Northwestern.)

In working with teams or new employees why not find ways for them to succeed? Let the imprinting of success stay with them as they continue to learn and grow in their job and on their teams.

About hprager

Father, husband, brother and son. Delighted to be friends and mentor to so many wonderful people. Passionate about: leadership, learning and development, education, nature and the environment, youth, music, jazz, the tuba, Israeli dancing, networking and helping others, humor, laughter, swimming, hiking, the Cubs, Northwestern athletics, theater, musicals, concerts, traveling and making new friends wherever I go. Helping the world be a better place when I leave it.
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