We wanted to touch base with you and let you know about a few upcoming opportunities and resources available through First Steps Training.
First, we are now providing public sessions of our most popular workshops, "Trouble Shooting Logic" and "Advanced Management Skills." The next public session of Trouble Shooting Logic will be held in Brandon, MS March 23 - 25, 2009. Three intense days in which you will learn the skills needed to solve complex problems, saving your organization time and effort. For more information, download our brochure or visit the website. We have a few seats available, reserve your spot.
Advance Management Skills is a powerful, one-day workshop that will teach you how to manage the performance and commitment of individuals and work teams. Get your people focused on results! The next Advanced Management Skills workshop is March 26, 2009. Combine it with Trouble Shooting Logic for significant savings. Click here for more information.
Dates are set for our annual open-enrollment Experiential Expertise Train-the-Trainer. Learn how to incorporate the power of experiential learning into your human relations or team development training. Download the brochure. Read more and register on the website.
Performance Builders Live: Real Tools, Right Now! is broadcast every week through World Talk Radio. Tune in every Thursday morning 11:00 AM Eastern, 8:00 AM Pacific Time for tips, strategies and tools that you can use right now to improve individual and organizational performance. Recent shows, available free through our archive, include "Performance Coaching", "Confrontation Skills", "Effective Interviewing", and parts 1 and 2 of "Managing Conflict". Upcoming topics include "Managing Conflict" (parts 3 and 4), "Status Assessment: the Only Skill a Leader Truly Needs" and
"Better Meetings (Please!)" Find out why we are fast becoming one of the most "listened-to" shows on the network. More info here.
If you are delivering training on Communication skills any time in the near future, you'll want to incorporate "Silence is Golden," a new activity which we detail here. Or search through over 30 different activity descriptions in our Activity Archive.
Team Leaders: review our thoughts below as to why superior individual performance does not necessarily equate to superior team performance. In tackling any job, team members need to share a common language and use a common approach.
Trainers: Visit our website for a new (free) tool to help you facilitate experience-based leadership training more effectively.
|Why a Team needs a Common Approach|
We’ve been actively involved in problem solving and decision making as program developers, consultants and delivery resources for close to 40 years. During that time we’ve worked with thousands of people and hundreds of teams. Individually, many people are good-to-excellent problem solvers and decision makers. Yet, team problem solving and decision making is generally fair to horrible. How can that be? You’d think that if you put a bunch of people who are good-to-excellent problem solvers and decision makers together, you’d have a stellar problem solving / decision making team.
Team problem solving and decision making doesn’t just happen on its own. No inherent synergy erupts when you put a bunch of good problem solvers on a team and tell them, “Go fix that.” Usually, quite the opposite happens: the overall quality of problem solving and decision-making actually deteriorates at the team level. Let’s analyze why this is a “truth”.
As individuals are faced with problems and decisions in their life, each person develops a problem solving and decision making approach that works for him or her. They get good at their approach. Virtually every senior mechanic we’ve ever met that has worked his or her way to the top is an excellent problem solver and decision maker. Why? Because he or she would not be at the top if that were not true.
Unfortunately, each person’s approach to the problem or decision is different. Each person on the team approaches the problem or decision using the problem solving or decision-making method that has worked for him or her in the past. As a team, this collection of individuals is often unsuccessful. They are not looking at the same thing at the same time. Although it is never actually stated, we observe an undercurrent of competition, with each person, subconsciously we’d guess, trying to be the first to come up with the “right answer” and prove that “my way is the best way”. The result? Little or no progress. Little or no cooperation.
Complex problems and decisions – those that, when poorly addressed, cost your organization lots of wasted time and lost revenue – require a coordinated, systematic team approach. Why? Because, for complex problems and decisions, one person does not have all the information required to get to a quality solution quickly. So, how do you tap into all those good problem solving and decision making skills on the team that has ground to a halt? You teach them a common approach.
Trouble Shooting Logic (TSL) is one of our Reality Based Technologies. Reality Based Technology is not based upon an unproven, theoretical model. Rather it is based upon the observation of successful problem solvers and decision makers doing what works, then quantifying what is observed and putting it into a logical, easy-to-follow sequence. The common approach of Trouble Shooting Logic (TSL) exploits the fact that success requires the team to pool their information into a single, focused analysis. TSL gets them all working on the same part of the problem or decision at the same time, and when good problem solvers and decision makers are on the same page, synergy does develop, progress is made, costly and incorrect actions are avoided.
Many, many times, either during or after a TSL workshop, we’ve had participants who were already experienced trouble shooters make a comment such as, “Before I came to the workshop I didn’t think I’d get anything out of TSL. Now that I see what TSL is all about. TSL makes problem solving visible to all and gets us all working on the same page.”