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  • The Watchman

Teamwork, Goals & Life

Most of the time, people will only do that which is required to win. That's it. No more, no less. Whatever it takes to leave the office, or finish the work, that's all they give. The result of that kind of behavior usually leads to poor teamwork and shoddy performance. Everybody wants to in, but no one wants to truly change or motivate themselves to do so. I see this all the time.


Now this doesn't always mean that "winning" will not happen; but as a team it makes it much more difficult. If someone isn't pulling their weight it can create a hindrance or an obstacle to success for an organization. When I was in the NAVY, I saw with utter clarity how detrimental a lack of teamwork can be to a body or an organization. In the armed services it could lead to a loss of life or limb (literally), in corporate America it could mean a loss of business, revenue, etc.


A corporate group from Comcast came to our location and exhibited some very interesting characteristics. They were split into two groups of 5 and tried our Crime Scene and Mad Hatter Room. One of the teams started working together immediately, right off the bat, and maintained their cohesion. The other team was more scattered, they didn't have cohesion initially. Some players did 'this', some did 'that'. They mused over clues and ideas, but none of them were able to focus their attention and energies and dissect information.


That all changed about 28 minutes into the activity. After chicken-dancing for a few clues that they realized were VERY do-able it began to dawn on them that they only had 3 to use. If they didn't get their heads straight and work as a team, they'd be out of clues and, conceivably, lose. The team that started off strong got bogged down a bit from time to time. They overthought a few steps and ran out of clues first. The team that started off slower overcame some key steps without having to ask for clues and that helped them to advance organically.


In the end however, neither team won. Both teams had a few more steps to go before winning and had some key steps to conquer. When it we all over we discussed together where they felt their strengths and weaknesses were. What kinds of things helped and didn't help them? And how can we do better next time? Winning always feels good, but so does self-discovery and effective teamwork. Although it wasn't a win for the teams both seemed to feel more confident about themselves as individuals and as a unit.


Sometimes, identifying that you CAN win is as good AS winning. We encouraged them to come back and perhaps switch rooms or try another of our other rooms. We hope they do; it'll be great to see them apply the lessons for next time. We appreciate the Comcast team for visiting us and showing us what good teamwork looks like; "winning" or not.


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