How Does Your Team Celebrate?

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Pop Quiz:

What was the last success each of your team members had?

If you can’t answer the question, then I recommend spending more time inquiring about and recognizing the progress of your team members.

Why? Because leaders who focus on wins build resilience on their teams.

Curiosity, Recognition and Celebration

Focusing on wins begins with curiosity, so ask about what successes your team has had. This will help you learn what is working well. I encourage leaders to take their curiosity a step further, asking about their team members’ recent successes in weekly or monthly team meetings. When you ask about successes in team meetings people hear from their peers, get new ideas, and learn from each other.

But it isn’t enough just to be curious. You also need to recognize and celebrate their successes:

·        Thank people for their effort, commitment and creativity;

·        Draw connections between one individual’s success and the organization’s success;

·        Celebrate those wins as a team.

Some teams have rituals around celebrating. I have one group that has a giant metal gong hanging in their common room. When a really big achievement is made, they hit that gong with the mallet and celebrate their success. What are your habits around celebrating and how do you make sure that the way you celebrate matches the way your team wants to celebrate?

Tip: From time to time be sure to ask your team how they want to celebrate, both as a group and individually, so that you are creating celebrations that your team members appreciate.

Celebrating wins creates an essential ingredient needed for long term success: momentum.

Resilience and Momentum

The habit of regularly asking about what is going right, sharing the team’s best practices, and calling out the team members’ little victories, incremental achievements and big wins helps build both resilience and momentum.

When I facilitate a team of leaders I typically begin our time together asking about what is working, what has been successful, what they achieved – together and individually – since we last met. That short time at the beginning of the meeting has an important purpose: it reminds people they have solved tough problems successfully before. They remember what they have achieved and they bring that vision of success and the energy of achievement to the meeting.

Recognizing progress and celebrating success provides a key ingredient: momentum. People keep moving the ball down the field when they are recognized as they make progress.

So take the time in your next 1:1 and team meeting to be curious and ask about your team members’ successes. Prepare for your meeting by coming prepared with a list of achievements and successes you want to highlight.

And don’t forget to celebrate!

When you miss celebrating, your team’s momentum will flag, the chance of burnout increases, and you are more likely to lose talent as people get frustrated that they are making such an effort with seemingly no recognition or reward.

So take the time to enjoy the moment when you reach the summits of your success. Help your team see that they are working toward a common goal, that their effort is noticed, and that they make a difference.

I hope it can be said of your organization that it’s a place where the work of your talent is recognized and rewarded!