Thursday, July 16, 2009

Staff Cohesion: Do you know how to fight?

Do You Know How To Fight?!?

Or does your staff interaction resemble this?

A skill not inherent in everyone, but are there ways you and your staff cultivate a deeper appreciation for CONFLICT in your program / among your staff?

Getting along may not always be conducive to the overall health of the program.
Tearing each other apart can be the quickest way to sabotage a season.
Swallowing thoughts and resentments is evidenced in many of the coordinator to head coach threads on here.

When an idea has moved beyond infancy, but is still unproven, constructive conflict is crucial for developing and testing its value. Conflict is a sign that there is a contest for ideas in the organization, that people are developing and assessing many possibilities. Even at this stage, however, not all conflict is constructive. Arguments are crucial to creativity, but people need to learn how and when to fight. In the very earliest stages of idea generation, conflict (and the criticism it entails) is damaging when it causes ideas to be rejected before they can be developed well enough to be evaluated. Worse yet, when conflict rages, fear of ridicule or humiliation causes people to censor themselves before proposing silly or strange, but possibly useful, ideas. This is why idea generation techniques, like brainstorming, require participants to "withhold judgment" or "avoid criticism."
Through this unique combination of tools and techniques interactions become less turbulent, more productive, and in fact result in stronger more invigorating relationships.In order to make conflict a positive and productive factor it is necessary for the organization, or at the very least, the main individuals involved to complete some assessment of both themselves and the climate around them.
Are there ways in which you and your staff have found ways to build respect within your group, to ensure everyone has an opportunity to share, contribute, and receive?

Have (and encourage) the knock-down-drag-outs with conviction (not the nodding agreement on 'what should we have for dinner?') to challenge the way WE think (as a staff).

The more we argue / conflict, the more certain we will be that we're doing the right thing, and ensure we are all on the same page. This isn't about 'speaking your piece' as much as it is challenging the way we do things.

Sure, all decisions ultimately lay on the Header, but the point of 'fighting' is to exhaust all avenues (and effort) which circumvents any hurt feelings (nothing is left to interpretation) or back-biting (going over your head)......and as the studies (links) indicate, efficiency and innovation.

As the article / study points isn't just welcoming confrontation, but understanding how to USE it, how to "make light and not fire" (sort to speak).
We have to be wary of bullying thought in the coaches office.

Coach Skip: "Versus this team this week I was thinking of
running veer concepts"
Coach Bill: "Interesting.....what do you mean? Draw it up
and sell me......."
Coach Skip may be completely out of his element (or maybe he does have good input), but the 'creative/innovative' thought process should be allowed to bring things up and opened up to scrutiny. Let them say their piece.....then let them defend how it works within your scheme / teaching methodology - you may uncover a better play / efficient teaching style.

If Coach Skip is out in left field he will see it for himself when he is unable to articulate the idea in a cogent concept (rather than just being stiffled / shouted down by the old salts on staff), but better than that he will UNDERSTAND why it does/doesn't work and why the scheme you use is so important (and what elements you face).

And this is about looking at ways to MAKE YOUR STAFF BETTER (not bitch, gripe, or backslap about how we have it). Hopefully, looking at evaluating the ENTIRE TEAM (in the off season) to make a top-down, bottom-up approach to bettering the product - exploring ways and perspectives on how to view our staff cohesion

1 comment:

NoHuddleAirRaidForTheWin said...

I would love to hear Coach Huey's thoughts on this...