Using NLP and Coaching to Build Successful Teams (1)

Have you ever worked on a team that was dysfunctional, inefficient, or ineffective?

How did your experience contrast with the characteristics of teams of successful teams previously discussed?

“A major reason capable people fail to advance is that they don’t work well with their colleagues.”

– Lee Iacocca

Story: The Sales and Marketing Rugby Analogy Story (for teams, motivation, team-building, departmental cooperation, training, public speaking)

A consultant was asked to give a talk at a sales conference. The CEO asks him to focus on the importance of cooperation and teamwork between the sales and marketing teams, since neither group has a particularly high regard for the other, and the lack of cohesion and goodwill is hampering effectiveness and morale. The marketing staff constantly moan about the sales   people ‘doing their own thing’ and ‘failing to follow central strategy'; and   the sales people say that the marketing people are all ‘idle theorists who   waste their time at exhibitions and agency lunches’ and have ‘never done a   decent day’s work in their lives’.

Being a lover of rugby, the consultant decides to use the analogy of  a rugby team’s forwards and backs working together to achieve the best team performance:

“……So, just as in the game of rugby, the forwards, like the marketing department, do the initial work to create the platform and to make   the opportunities, and then pass the ball out to the backs, the sales   department, who then use their skills and energy to score the tries. The   forwards and the backs, just like marketing and sales, are each good at what   they do: and they work together so that the team wins…” said the consultant, finishing his talk.

The audience seemed to respond positively, and the conference broke   for lunch. At the bar the consultant asked one of the top sales-people what   he’d thought of the analogy – had it given him food for thought?

“Yes, I see what you mean,” said the salesman, “It   does make sense. The sales people – the backs, yes? – the backs need the   marketing department – the forwards, yes? – to make the opportunities for us,   so that we, the backs, can go and score the tries – to win the business. We work   together as a team – each playing our own part – working as a team.”

The consultant beamed and nodded enthusiastically, only to be utterly dashed when the salesman added as an afterthought,

“I still think our forwards are a bunch of wankers…”

Excerpt taken from

The above example clearly illustrates that it can be difficult to get people to co-operate, work in harmony, and synchronize their efforts, but it is possible!

It is important to realize however, whatever your role within your organization, that team building is not a single event. To the contrary it can be a lengthy process and one that requires an ongoing commitment from leadership, management and all team members.

Be prepared! Expect the team building process to last longer than a single event

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