Using friendly competition to boost performance in your business…

Competition is seen as a natural part of life and work. There is always a creation stage when an idea must compete for its place in the world. You have to compete for a new job. The entrepreneurial stage in business is when the start-up must prove it’s worth and activity is primarily about winning customers without which the product or service will not survive.

But not everybody enjoys competition whilst some people thrive on it. Leaders have to be careful that when they frame competition that it doesn’t create anxiety and negative impacts on people’s wellbeing.

Competition increases psychological and physiological activation and exercised correctly leads to creativity and supportive behaviours. Done incorrectly, competition leads to cheating and sabotage as we’ve witnessed by banks leading to long term pain for the organisation, employees and clients.

Competition needs to lead to happiness not humiliation if you want to get positive outcomes.

Here are some key points to consider.

Compete originates from the Latin Competere meaning to strive together to achieve a common purpose. Chances are that competition was a key driver of human progress along with the peak performance flow states that competition can engender. It is important to remember that humans collaborated their way to the top of the evolutionary tree, probably in friendly competition.

Constraints

Introduce constraints and be clear about boundaries and ethical values that you are all agreed to upholding. Research has shown that saying the Lord’s Prayer before a competition decreased the cheating that took place by a group of students in a test when the answers were easily obtainable.

Open to Feedback

As a leader encourage the right behaviours and attitude by modelling them such as being open to feedback. Also, introduce the concept of ‘After Action Reviews’ so that the focus is on improving the behaviours and processes not just achieving the results. Keep it non-threatening and friendly.

Mutual accountability

Measure team results more than individual results so that the team members are mutually accountable to each other not a manager. Peer pressure is more effective than dominant pressure. We feel more compelled to help our own people more than a person who is not ‘one of us’.

Purpose vs Material

Make competition success about improvement and personal growth, don’t design rewards purely based on money or status. If you introduce monetary and status rewards then it can lead to jealousy and resentment. Peer-to-peer recognition is useful as we do enjoy basking in the limelight sometimes, even the quieter team members.

Excellence

Regularly emphasise that the aim of competition is to encourage the pursuit of team excellence. If an individual achieves great results, that process should be modelled and shared with the other team members.

Team Building

Brain storming sessions, quizzes around work, shared social experiences are all excellent ways to bring people together and build esprit de corps.

Egalitarian

In military special forces units, hierarchy is shunned and people are recognised for their indivdual expertise. They’re not encouraged to be clones but have individual skills. If you promote egalitarianism and appreciation of individual strengths in your organisation, then it will encourage creative teamwork but harnessing that creativity is a skill.

Collective intelligence from a diverse group is just as effective as having a lone genius- and there aren’t many lone geniuses around- so work on boosting team engagement.

With everything that has happened this year and how that will impact us all going forward, when would now be a good time to make facilitating effective meetings, decision-making and learning to use collaboration tools for effective communication and coaching, a core competency in your business?

Interested in learning more? Mission Power meeting Facilitation Online Course

Overcoming Zoom Fatigue & Enjoying Effective Online Meetings with Mission Power!

With the desire for remote working from home increasing, then becoming a necessity due to Covid-19,

Richard Elwell and I discuss the complexity which makes online meetings an evolution in some ways but also a well-being challenge because it can be so exhausting.

We discuss the Mission Power Meeting Methodology and how this can be used to optimise the technology whilst also leveraging the potential for people to enjoy effective and rewarding online and face-to-face meetings.

Making Decisions Effectively & Why Politics is Pointless

See below the video for a PDF download with some notes to help you understand this material. Download the notes then listen to the video as this would probably be the best way to understand the content.

New to all this self videoing so b with me while I learn the skills! 🙂

 

PDF Making Effective Decisions

Leading in Challenging Times

In the third in our series of weekly webinars, we spoke to special guest Martin Murphy, ex-special forces soldier and founder of Elite Leadership, on how to lead your team through a crisis.

Some of the top takeaways included:

1. Good leaders look after the people first
2. Don’t stare at the fire, look for opportunities
3. Top behaviours of effective leaders: emotional intelligence; learning agility; humility; courage
4. How they lead: engage with their teams; align them around common objectives and goals; evolve if things change; practice radically open communication
5. Leaders often cannot escape the storm so they must be able to create peace and tranquillity within the storm to allow them to think clearly and make great decisions. The SOAR model is a way to slow down the reactive thinking process and induce a creative interlude in which higher order thinking is possible:
a. Suspend snap decision making
b. Observe the problem
c. Allow wisdom to percolate up
d. then Respond quickly
6. Promote positive behaviours by adopting a HERO mindset. So be: Helpful; Effective; Resilient; and Optimistic.

There were many more top tips he had to share which can can watch in this video.

 

Leading your Team Through a Crisis

Whilst this is not a definitive step by step guide, it will cover some basic principles and points to think about when leading your team through a challenging period.

The first thing to remember is that people are not very good at responding. Sure they’ll react to an immediate danger, but won’t acknowledge a danger that’s approaching slowly.  Read more: here

How to minimise biased thinking when briefing your teams

“Humans never communicate as effectively as they think they do” Christine Comaford

So, I am working with this group of team leaders and I notice that they are greatly biased towards a certain style of behaviour and communication. They’re very collaborative and inclusive when they are briefing their teams for a task to be carried out. The problem is that they continue to collaborate and communicate until they leave themselves little time for achieving their task.
This is because the group of leaders have grown up in a certain type of culture. Their culture drives their way of thinking and behaving. Just as an individual has a personality, an organisation or country can have its own culture. There is much to be said for being aware of such biases and overcoming them because neuroscience is finding that to have a diverse and inclusive culture creates better performance. But it’s one thing to be aware of them, that alone will not stop biased thinking and behaving. What we need is a process to overcome this when briefing teams. READ MORE