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A few years ago, I was driving in southern Maine with a friend, talking about teams. I was lamenting how so many teams never quite realize their full potential. The team members all know what needs to happen for them to be wildly successful, but each is waiting for someone else to do it. Individual accountability is what’s lacking, was my thought. My
friend taunted me, ‘‘Brian, remember: There’s no I in team.’’ a shot back, ‘‘Yes, but there’s a me in there somewhere!’’
Teams are made of individuals. They are a group of me’s.
But as long as everyone keeps believing there is no I in team a they can continue to abdicate to others—often the team leader—the responsibility for their team’s success. It shouldn’t be all on the team leader’s shoulders to make the team work. Each member has responsibility.
Is Your Team Too NICE?
This book is for people who want to step up and accept responsibility for the success of their team. Over the years,
I’ve learned that the foundation of any team’s success is open and honest communication. Unfortunately, our society has taught us that acting this way can hurt people; so we ‘‘play nice’’ with each other. In this book, I dispel the myths of NICE teams and show you how any team can become
BOLD, simply by following some basic principles of communication.
If you are a NICE team, you will learn communication skills that will transform how you interact with each other.
Because the focus is on individual responsibility, you need to know what is not in this book.
/ I won’t be teaching team leaders how to lead a team (except by example, as a member of the team).
/ I won’t be showing you how to create or lead a culture change, beyond the shift that naturally occurs when you apply the skills contained here.
/ Nor will I be telling you how to resolve conflict. (What a will do, though, is give you the tools you need to avoid unnecessary conflict in the first place.)
Chapter 1 is all about NICE teams. I expose the seven myths that are common for teams that are stuck in NICE.
Then I describe the nine classic team members. Each of them has his or her own motivation to be NICE.
There is a lot of information about the team member types, and here’s why. If you’re going to initiate or lead a change in your team’s dynamics, you need to understand these types in order to improve your chances of success. Understanding how different things motivate people is critical to appealing to their collective conscience. The Team Member
Style Assessment in Appendix 2 helps you identify which team member style you have, as well as the other styles found in your team, so that you can address them effectively.
When NICE teams realize that NICEness is stymieing their potential, they often err by going to the other extreme:
FIERCE. In Chapter 2, I describe the seven myths of FIERCE teams, as well as how the nine team members adjust in a FIERCE environment.
Your Goal Should Be a BOLD Team
BOLD is the delicate balance between NICE and FIERCE.
In Chapter 3, I show how the myths of NICE and FIERCE
become truths for BOLD teams. When the nine kinds of team members rise to BOLDness, each can make a unique and valuable contribution.
These are all good concepts, but how do you put them to work? That’s what Chapter 4 is about. Here you find the four basic principles of BOLD communication. It all starts with how team members interact with each other. These principles can be applied to just about any interaction in a team setting.
The next three chapters show how to apply the BOLD
principles to the most common team interactions.
/ Chapter 5 is about giving feedback: how to share your reactions with others.
/ Chapter 6 deals with making requests: how to ask for what you want or need from others.
/ Chapter 7 covers disagreeing: how to share differing opinions and viewpoints.
In each chapter, I divide the topic into easy-to-follow steps built on the four basic BOLD principles.
Finally, Chapter 8 is for team leaders. The aim of this book is primarily to guide and encourage team members to become BOLD, so I won’t get into traditional team leader topics (such as how to be a team leader, how to hold people accountable, or how to manage change). I will give you some direction, tips, and exercises for leading your team toward BOLD. You’ll find even more help in the appendixes a where I’ve included assessments and worksheets that can help you apply what you learn from the book.
True, there is no I in team. But there is a me. And it’s time for all of the me’s on your team to stop waiting around for somebody else to create the ideal team. So let’s start with the me who’s holding this book right now.
Be bold, be bold, and everywhere be bold.
1. NICE Teams Are . . . Well, NICE!
2. The Opposite of NICE Is MEAN, Isn’t It?
3. The Sweet Spot Between NICE and FIERCE: BOLD
4. BOLD Principles
5. BOLD Feedback
6. BOLD Requests
7. BOLD Disagreements
8. Become BOLD
Appendix 1: NICE Team Assessment
Appendix 2: Team Member Style Assessment
Appendix 3: BOLD Conversation Assessment
Appendix 4: BOLD Feedback Planning Sheet
Appendix 5: BOLD Request Planning Sheet
About the Author
Posted August 2, 2010
How would you best describe your team's work dynamic? Sugar and spice and everything "Nice"? "Fierce" as a fever? Or "Bold" as brass? This book's main premise is that teams are often too nice or too fierce, when instead they should be bold to succeed and get their work done. Management and training consultant Brian Cole Miller, a bestselling author, explains how to create a bold team. He organizes his ideas by identifying the roles participants play and by discussing the myths and truths about how best to manage teams. His suggestions for giving feedback, making requests and handling conflicts are especially helpful. Miller's examples are basic and instructive, and he writes in a straightforward style. getAbstract recommends his book to anyone charged with leading or managing a group of people for the first time, and to seasoned leaders and managers who seek a skills review to bring their teams to new levels of performance.
To learn more about this book, check out the following link: http://www.getabstract.com/summary/13686/nice-teams-finish-last.html