How the Kindergarteners Won

In the previous post I related an experiment that was done to highlight aspects that create a good culture in which teams can be productive. As a self-improvement business coach in the Woodlands one of the areas of focus in corporations and small businesses that I collaborate with has been regarding culture and how culture impacts not only a team’s efficiency but effectiveness.

The kindergarteners in the experiment won against teams of business students. They also carried the experiment to other groups. The kindergarteners defeated lawyers and CEOs. So, what was going on that created this unexpected result?

Let’s start with what we focus on, which is individual skills. If you think about it, individual skills are easy to focus on because they are the most visible. But, when it comes to team performance, it is not individual skills that matter. What matters is the interaction.

Let’s take a look at the business students. As a personal business coach in Houston, I have worked with talented young people. The business students had more talent individually than the kindergartners. But they were not engaged in collaboration, so much as what psychologists call, status management. They were figuring where they fit into the larger picture. Who is in charge? Is it okay to criticize someone’s idea? What are the rules here? Their interactions appear smooth, but their underlying behavior is riddled with inefficiency, hesitation, and subtle competition. As a result of managing status their first efforts collapse and they run out of time.

The kindergarteners, on the other hand, appear to be disorganized on the surface. But when you view them as a single entity, their behavior is efficient and effective. They are not competing for status. They work energetically together. They move quickly, spot problems and offer help. They experiment, take risks, and notice outcomes, which guides them toward effective solutions.

The kindergarteners succeed not because they are smarter but because they work in a smarter way. As we know, and the kindergartners prove it, group culture is a very powerful force.

Culture: When One Plus One Equals Five

I have observed in my in my practice of personal business coaching in the Woodlands and also in business coaching in Houston that certain concepts become the major focus of the time. Time management was big and coming into its own in the 1980’s and 1990’s. You just weren’t with it if you hadn’t taken a time management course. And, time management is still just as important today as it was back then.

Today, much of what I encounter has to do with company culture and how it is either helping or hindering a company. Culture comes from the Latin word cultus, which means care. Culture at its highest level has a clear purpose as expressed in the vision and more importantly, the vision statements.

These statements are more than just words. They define a purpose and a way to get there that is bigger than any one person. It gives the individual something to belong to and helps form a sense of team and cohesiveness. Culture sends a number of signals of how we belong to something. And when we belong to something as a teamwe can do greater things than if we siloed ourselves off and did it alone.

This is where one plus one equals five. This is where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. When it comes to culture, I become more of a personal development business coach in the Woodlands with an emphasis on self-improvement business coaching.

In order to have a geometric progression in growth, efficiency and effectiveness a team must feel safe. This allows them to be creative. The members of the team must feel like they belong. And, the individuals in the team must focus on their personal development or self-improvement. Why? Seldom will whatever we want to achieve individually or as a team exceed our personal development.

How to Have Your Best Year Yet- Part 1

When you come to the end of a calendar year, it is a wonderful time to reflect on our past year. What did you accomplish? What were our disappointments? What did you learn? These are a few questions that can get you started on reflecting and evaluating.

I have learned over the years in my personal business coaching in The Woodlands and surrounding areas, that this reflection is good to do annually, yet if you truly want to stay on track with your goals, it works even better to do a quarterly evaluation. If you are getting off track, you can more easily alter your course to refocus on your goals. If you get too far off, the difficulty and energy required to get back on track is much greater.

In a way, your life is like a football game. If you divide your year into quarters, you can see how you are doing at the end of each quarter and make the necessary adjustments to win, to achieve your goals. That’s what football coaches do.

At times, a large part of what I do when I collaborate with clients has to do with their personal development in their business. Yes, we find ways to improve processes, hire better people, streamline operations for efficiency, be more effective in our communication in the teams we have, create and execute a better marketing plan and the list can go on and on. To achieve these things, the client has to embrace the idea that self-improvement business coaching will accelerate the process of his or her successful performance.

Quite simply, you and your business will only rise to the level of your self-improvement, which in essence is your personal development. Fortunately, the clients in The Woodlands I have collaborated with over the years understand this. They understand that something has to change on the inside before it will manifest itself on the outside in attaining their goals both business and personal.

To start on your path to having your best year yet ask yourself these three questions as regards your business and life. Why look at your business and life? As a personal business coach in the Woodlands, or anywhere for that matter, I see that there is always a dynamic link between your personal and business life. If you achieve a goal on the personal side, it may have a great effect on the business side and vice versa. Once you have your answers to the following questions, write them down. Writing down your answers increases the odds of taking the necessary actions to have your best year yet. Here are:

1. What did I accomplish in the past year? Or what did I accomplish in the last 12 months? You can start having your best year yet at any time.

2. What were my major disappointments?

3. What did I learn?

Those three questions will get you started. In the next post I will give you three more questions to accelerate your process of having your best year yet!