Posts Tagged ‘Communication’

beehive LBK

I share a wonderful passion with my children.  We love to be involved with and watch programs about nature.  You can learn a lot about teamwork from studying nature.  Recently I discovered some fascinating facts about Honey Bees.

On a warm day about half the bees in a hive stay inside beating their wings while the other half go out to gather pollen and nectar.  Because of the beating wings, the temperature inside the hive is about 10 degrees cooler than outside.  The bees rotate duties and the bees that cool the hive one day are honey gatherers the next.

Isn’t it interesting to see the POSITIVE EFFECTS of Teamwork in Nature!?  There are so many examples for us to learn from.  I believe our Creator sends us constant reminders through nature.  There are three I am reminded of for effective teamwork:


1) The team members must care for one another
Without Sacrifice there can be no Success!  Sometimes we are called to sacrifice: time, effort, comfort, or our own desires for the sake of the team.  Uncaring people on a team remind me of two guys in a sinking boat, sitting together at one end doing nothing.  As the people at the other end are bailing furiously, one says, ’Thank God that hole isn’t in our end of the boat.’


2) The team members must communicate
In Hurricane Katrina, hundreds died while those who could have rescued them stood by.  Why? Communication broke down.  We might not die, but poor communication sure cripples a team.


3) ’Your rights’ must take second place
The old ’I’ll do it myself, so it’ll get done right’ attitude, robs others of the opportunity to participate, learn and grow, and leaves the job undone or poorly done.  The team’s success must be of greater value than your own interests.

A widely shared quote from one of my favorite leadership gurus, Stephen Covey certainly describes the success of people working interdependently on a team as well as our friends in the air conditioned beehives.

“Dependent people need others to get what they want.  Independent people can get what they want through their own efforts. Interdependent people COMBINE their OWN efforts with the efforts of OTHERS to ACHIEVE their Greatest SUCCESS.” -Stephen Covey

Written by Jim Shearer for Leading Hearts: the Spirit Ranch Blog; http://spiritranch.us/airconditionedbeehive

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enemy of unity

Whether you are leading a business, a competitive team or whatever your context for unity might be, your team is a big deal.  Teams lacking in unity rarely gain any sort of momentum, and will either fail or live in the misery of mediocrity.

A couple of years ago Dave Ramsey unpacked what he calls The Five Enemies of Unity on an Entreleadership webcast: 

Poor Communication: If one half of your team doesn’t know what the other half of your team is doing, or only a few know what’s really going on, you have communication issues.  Providing timely information about what is going on throughout your organization allows your entire team to have clarity, accept challenges and celebrate wins together.

Gossip: I like how Ramsey’s team handles gossip: the first time it happens, you get sat down and warned, the second time it happens you are fired.  They have a policy of “handing negatives up, sending positives down.”  This policy has a great ring to it, but effective implementation of that policy requires you to handle the negatives when they come up quickly, and effectively.  Responsive leadership kills gossip every time.

Sanctioned Incompetence: When one team member struggles, the entire team struggles.  When a team leader ignores the obvious shortcomings of a team member they send a message that says performance doesn’t matter.  When performance doesn’t matter, people begin to question why they are working as hard as they do.  Acknowledging, and addressing performance issues (whether through training, reassignment, or termination) ensures your team will function at a high level.

Unresolved Disagreements: Letting issues smolder under the surface will kill your team.  As a leader, you need to kill the elephants in the room whenever they creep up by addressing issues head on.  One uncomfortable conversation can spare your team years of dysfunction.

Lack of Shared Purpose: If your team is not headed the same direction, you really don’t have a team.  Being committed and enthusiastic about your vision, mission, and strategies help keep your team stay on the same page and moving in the same direction.

Where have YOU seen the enemies of unity wreak havoc?

Written by Jim Shearer for Leading Hearts: the Spirit Ranch Blog; http://spiritranch.us/theenemiesofteamunity