Teamwork training in Neusiedl
First conclusion -> Top food at Hotel Wende in Neusiedl am See.
I am so tired now, it was much more tiring than I had imagined it would be. Lots of "exercises" which really required a lot of concentration, especially if one was to learn the maximum possible from them. I must admit I went into it not expecting much (it was a mandatory course) but I tried my best anyway and did actually learn more than I thought i would (i.e. more than zero). (It did start a bit like S01E04 of the Office UK, I must admit..)
So here are my learnings, in no particular order – (as much for my benefit in the future as anything else)
- Individual creativity. If you ask everyone in the room for ideas, once the first person suggests an idea, everyone tends to discuss and build on that. If you ask everyone individually to write ideas down, in silence, then you have a much greater range of suggestions.
- Need for moderation in meetings. In the exercises, it became clear that without a moderator / leader, the subject would wander randomly, and away from what should be discussed. This is rather obvious, but seems to contradict "scrum" (or at least the way it's done where I work), where the belief is that if you put a range of people together, they'll "work it out" and magically great ideas will be formed (instead this leads to "design by committee").
- In meetings, write on a whiteboard not on paper. When dealing with a common idea, I am the one who tends to write the things down. Although it sounds obvious, I had never really noticed that nobody else can see what I'm writing it down. Writing the same thing on a white-board means everyone can see what's going on and can comment on it.
- Dealing with blocking people. When dealing with people who are excessively negative and blocking in meeting, where no one can suggest anything without being shot down by the "expert", it was suggested to try and actively split the process into two parts (1) Creation and collection of ideas, (2) Feedback/Risks to those ideas. I shall give this a try.
- If a new team member joins your team, try and treat them as equal to the existing team members as soon as possible. I certainly welcome when this is done. (I caught myself saying I was "new" the other day, although I've been at the company for 9 months. I wondered why that was. I realize now it's because the people who've been there longer guard their role, don't treat new people as equals, therefore I still feel new.)
- Write not only the answers but also the question on the white-board – When writing answers to a question on the white-board, if you don't include the question (i.e. just ask it verbally at the start of the meeting) people forgets that the answers increasingly don't fit to the question as the discussion progresses and the topic wanders.