Be Sensitive to the Uniqueness of Every Member

You are a highly regarded young manager, in a fast-growing company. You were recently promoted up to a decision-making role. Your team is an exciting mix of youngsters and old experienced hands. You hold regular team meetings and huddles, create a sense of shared goals to ensure the team gels well together. This is great. But, is it enough? Sunil Gavaskar’s article in the Sports Pages of Times of India suggests, otherwise!

The headline screams “Management has messed up Cheteshwar Pujara’s mind.” And, in the article, Gavaskar says, “Then Pujara, whose mind has been messed up by being told about his scoring rate, went for a hook on the stroke of lunch and was caught at the deep square leg. That’s not his natural shot and just showed that when you and tell a batsman to change his approach after he has got more than 4000 runs, it can be counter-productive. Pujara’s strength is occupying the crease so that batsmen at the other end can play their shots around him.”

Isn’t Gavaskar implying two thoughts?

1. While team meetings and team huddles are excellent, there is also a need to be sensitive to and bring into play, unique characteristics, each team member, brings.
2. Experienced hands can deliver higher value, if the team management taps into the potential value inherent in their “set ways” rather than try to teach them new ways?

Do you see any parallels, vis a vis your team? What is your approach to building a winning team from a mix of fresh and experienced talent?

– by Ravi Santhanam for Zeus

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