An excerpt from The Power of Teamwork: Inspired by The Blue Angels by Scott Beare and Michael McMillan
An effective review process is fundamental to successful teamwork. After every performance, the Blue Angels hold a debrief session. Starting with Boss, each member assesses his or her individual performance. Around the table, team members are peers and each performance is reviewed and graded equally, regardless of rank or position. Nothing is held back during a debrief session. By each member recognizing his or her shortcomings and taking corrective action, bonds strengthen and the team stays focused on continual improvement. When each individual on the team accepts full responsibility and speaks truthfully about his performance, it builds team trust.
Once the self-critique is over, the team reviews videos and ground notes of their performance. If something is reported or revealed on video that wasn’t discussed during the self-critique, it’s seen as a violation of trust. Not being upfront or completely honest to yourself and your teammates is unacceptable. It breaks the most important team bond-trust. In the Blue Angels, there is no place for politics and no room for excuses. High-performance teams require people who can accept criticism and continually strive to improve. Most importantly, when deficiencies are noted, action must be taken to improve and correct. Repeated occurrences of the same mistake or deficiency is unacceptable.
Is your team open and honest? How often does your team hold a debrief session to review performance and lessons learned? Does rank or position cloud performance issues? Do individuals accept criticism and strive for improvement-regardless of title?
By confronting our failures, we come closer to reaching perfection.
When each member accepts full responsibility and strives for excellence… trust and performance increase exponentially… the team is ready to take off.
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