Thursday, 13 May 2010

Positive, construction, professional teamworking

I've been working with a variety of groups all over the UK recently. I can't help but notice how some groups work so differently from others. In some, where despite people not knowing each other very well yet, they are just a 'happy' positive groups. It is all smiles, the group is getting to understand each other, (I hate the word "bonding") and everyone is listening to each others comments. Questioning and alternate views are respected and positive creative ways forward are found, including to some very difficult and challenging issues. It really is fun and professionally rewarding to be present.

We have all worked in other types of groups where negativity is the first battle to be won. This can be induced by people who do not fully understand the project, see no benefit in change, or who want an easy life. However, the impact of negativity on progress made or work achieved can be dramatic. Meetings become hard work and there are always a few who begin to 'lose the will to live' due to frustration at lack of progress.
This happens everywhere of course, not least in schools. We all know the impact of a teacher, (and yes, even Headteachers), who are 'in a bad mood' for no apparent reason to the group in front of them. The result is everyone tenses up. I have pleaded guilty to this myself at times, although hopefully I didn't do it often.
Each meeting, or lesson is a new event carrying on the learning from the last one, even when some people do not agree with each other. Each session deserves a positive and fresh start. (And no, I am not advocating 'happy clappy, scream with joy sessions' before I get misinterpreted.) When teamwork is strong and people are being constructive, whatever their views, it really does make a massive difference to progress made.

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