Dec 201524

Be Open to How Work Gets Done

Sled dogs such as huskies and malamutes are elite competitors. These dogs perform in harsh winter conditions, love working together as a team, and can travel as far as 100 miles a day.

This intense effort requires racing sled dogs to consume 10,000 calories a day.

When putting together a sled team, the musher will not choose dogs that are picky eaters. The team simply cannot afford to be out on the trail with a dog that will not consume enough calories to pull their weight.

Just like being a picky eater is a liability for a sled dog team, discriminating against ideas, resources, and the guidance from a team member may cause your entire work team to suffer.

Being open and flexible about how work gets done, especially on diverse teams with many different perspectives, invites healthy collaboration and the col- lective pull of the entire team towards the end goal.

Here are a few questions you can ask at your next team meeting:

  • Are we open to new ideas?  Why or why not?
  • How do we respond when someone puts forward a very different or radical idea? How might we respond differently?
  • Diverse backgrounds and perspectives often challenge the norm. How can we help ourselves as a team to be open when these ideas are presented?
  • What phrases can we adopt such as “tell me more,” that will help us to encourage a diversity of thought and ideas?

Note: In today’s work environment, finding ways to stop and explore teamwork issues is not easy.
Investing 10-15 minutes in a conversation will provide a quick and easy way for teams to work more effectively together.


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