Last week, I presented a keynote and workshop at the PAR Solutions Conference (http://www.par.net/) -- and met an extraordinary group of men and women who have dedicated their lives to improving the lives of others.
In the breakout session titled The Prism Effect(TM) & The Art of Teamwork, we explored ways that leaders can apply their own unique gifts, talents, passions and hobbies in their everyday work lives to improve teamwork, presentation skills and communication skills.
In a 5-minute high energy brainstorming session, we first explored what activities the participants loved. The answers ranged from cooking to sewing, hiking to rollerblading, singing to storytelling through collage work, photos, and imagery.
It was inspiring to hear all the ideas, and the room lit up during this entire sequence.
This type of energy and joy represent what's missing from teamwork today. People think of teamwork as a serious endeavor. They think of sports and war analogies such as rowing and crew, or fighter pilots and flying.
Teamwork, however, can (and should) be fun and engaging. People perform at their best when they are using their unique gifts--not just when they are under insane top down pressure.
And what better way to access this level of performance than to tap into the activities that make people happy outside of work and weave them into organizational & corporate communications--as a PowerPoint image, an analogy, a metaphor, a group activity, a prop, or even as room decor...
- One man loved golf. What if he started his next presentation with an image of the inside of a golf ball and compared this to the complexities of the government? Much better than starting his speech with a slide titled, "Government Funding Issues in 2011." Snooze.
- One woman loved sewing. Her team came up with the idea of creating a quilt with patches made by each person in the office, whether fancy or simple, and then framing it.
- One man loved running. His team came up with the idea of his using the analogy of preparing for a race to explain to his team the importance of training.
- And group of three expressed a passion for cooking, dessert, and research. Together they came up with the idea of bringing in a special dessert or international dish for one of their company's meetings.
The PAR leaders are off and running, back in their communities, tapping into The Prism Effect to energize and inspire their teams, their organizations and most of all, themselves. What will you do?
(c) MMX Victoria Labalme Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved.