The Trooper Bowl

By: Shelly Sobol

This past Sunday night most of America witnessed something that has become our annual past time- watching the championship game of the 2015 NFL football season. While MVPs are regularly debated, it’s always agreed that the team wins the game. So when your team is pushed to the limit- can they pull out a victory?

Office and team morale can sometimes be the deciding factor in a team win. If the end result of a project or initiative isn’t the same shared goal amongst the group will they ever get there? And if they do, can they continue or are they broken down from the journey? Here are four ways that you can improve team morale.

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“That’s a great idea!” Many years ago a colleague and I were discussing a project and the common phrase “That’s not a bad idea” came up. We realized that phrase can be perceived as a somewhat negative. We decided together that a better way of recognizing someone’s efforts were to replace that phrase with “That’s a great idea”. It’s a small change but I promise it will start to yield big impacts with team communication.

Leave egos at the door.  I may step on some toes here but, whatever entitlements you may feel you’ve earned you should leave at the door of the group meeting. The newest member of a group deserves as much respect and input as the most senior member. A lot of barriers can be broken when the entire team carries the same weight.

 Nominate a quarterback. Everyone has sat through a meeting for a newly assigned team and there’s no clear “leader” and nobody typically wants to assume power (or maybe you have too many who want to volunteer). But what happens when there is no clear leader? You tend to lose the passion and driving force for that project. So instead of asking who wants to head up your next committee, how about asking for others to nominate someone. You may be pleasantly surprised how others perceive colleagues’ skill sets and the quiet introvert in the back (who would never volunteer) may impress you with their creative solutions for getting the job done.

Be a Trooper. Being a trooper on a team takes a lot: patience, confidence (usually in someone else), trust in your team and a dash of inspiration. You have to be willing to go through the trenches with and for your team-mates…sometimes even following them blindly. You may not reach the end goal the way you had hoped, but I promise you will learn something about yourself and your team at the end.

Almost everyone wants a winning team, but how many of those individuals are willing to put in the work, day in and day out for months like the Denver Broncos? It’s not always easy or fun but projects have to get done. So sit your group down and see what creative solutions they have for inspiring others.

2016 Shelly Sobol

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