Thursday, January 27, 2011

Teambuilding Lessons We Can Learn from Geese

Thank you Jennifer M. for sharing this. It is a fun analogy for organizations. Similar to approaches taken by athletes in training as well (e.g., biking, swimming, running).

Fact #1 – As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent greater flying range than if one bird flew alone.

Lesson Learned – People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the strength of one another.

Fact #2 – Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

Lesson Learned
– If we have as much sense as geese, we will stay in formation with those who are ahead of where we want to go and be willing to accept their help as well as give ours to others.

Fact #3 – When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position.

Lesson Learned
– It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership.

Fact #4 – The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Lesson Learned – We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging, and not
something else.

Fact #5 – When a goose gets sick or wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it is able to fly again, or dies. Then they launch out on their own, with another formation, or they catch up with their flock.

Lesson Learned – If we have as much sense as geese do, we too, will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.

Who are you? (Check all that apply. Then * the one that is most descriptive)
____ A lead goose ____ A backup goose ____ A honker from behind
____ Helper goose ____ Goose in need ____ Goose nurse

Considering your personality and experiences as a group member, which lesson best reflects your current role in the group? Have you learned all these lessons?

In what ways could you take on other roles?

Based on your experiences working with this team, which lesson is most important for the success of the group? Which lessons do the team need to learn?

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