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7 things successful teams do every day

7 things successful teams do every day

When was the last time you had fun, loved the people you worked with and got an insane amount of work done? Thinking back, do you think it luck? How could you make it happen again? It might have been luck. But it probably wasn’t. Successful teams begin with good leaders bringing on the “right people”. The right people embody the habits, values, and attitudes that are positive reinforcements for everyone on the team. Check out the list of things these people do every day to make their teams successful.

1. They do what they love.

What made Steve Jobs succeed? What made his teams able to continually innovate new products that built the world’s most successful tech and lifestyle brand? As the late Jobs said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Loving what you do helps you push through all the tedious and boring – essential – tasks that lead to success.

Loving what you do doesn’t mean only choosing tasks you like, but rather about caring about something enough to persevere through everything to achieve your goals.

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2. They work less and play more at work.

Being busy is almost a mark of achievement in this day and age. However, output is more important than input. For example, Tower Pedal Board’s 5-hour workday helped the company grow even faster because the founder’s targets were clear. How can you do more with less time?

Try using the Pomodoro technique to break down your tasks. For tasks that need a larger block of concentrated effort, give yourself a 30-minute break after finishing. Make yourself a coffee, go for a walk, or play a game of football with your team members.

3. They control their hours.

Successful teams help every team member work in the most optimal way. Successful people are productive because they are in tune with their working styles. Instead of checking when people arrive at the office, require that team members deliver their work on time.

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Successful teams give members the autonomy to do what makes them most efficient. When working in a bigger company, make sure you have transparent communication channels with your team to coordinate meetings and deadlines.

4. They invest just as much into life outside work.

Being passionate about work isn’t the same as making work your life. Successful teams have people that constantly bring energy and inspiration from outside of work. Productive team members put as much passion into their hobbies as they do their work. Because they have time take care of their health and personal interests, they return to the office recharged.

Don’t think of your sports league, photography club, cooking class, or a good night’s sleep as “bonus” if you have time. Think of these as essential parts of your life that make you happy and more effective.

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5. They hold themselves accountable to goals.

Successful teams also hold themselves accountable to targets. Targets are measurable goals that can be tracked, day by day, week by week, month by month. Planning these goals keeps everyone focused on delivering their part to succeed together.

How can you start with your company? Start by listing your own goals for today, the next week, the month and one year out. Share your list with your team members and schedule a follow-up review by the end of a project or work cycle.

6. They value transparency.

Traditional corporate culture may value hierarchy and “discretion” but in the digital age, transparency builds trust. Sharing learnings and struggles with team members is the best way to earn the respect of others and rally their support. Working as a team should be constructive (sometimes friendly competition is good too!).

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7. Everyone buys into the big picture.

Good companies know how to break down teams to deliver on projects effectively. Great companies have teams to deliver their projects in a way that brings value to the company as a whole.

It’s easy to become focused on the details and only the perspective of your tasks at hand. Different departments will compete for limited resources in order to perform well. Truly great teams know how to coordinate and share resources in a way that allows every team to deliver.

Featured photo credit: Margarida CSilva via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

Traditionally, when you have a lot of ideas in your mind, you would create a text document, or take a sheet of paper and start writing in a linear fashion like this:

  • Intro to Visual Facilitation
    • Problem, Consequences, Solution, Benefits, Examples, Call to action
  • Structure
    • Why, What, How to, What If
  • Do It Myself?
    • Audio, Images, time-consuming, less expensive
  • Specialize Offering?
    • Built to Sell (Standard Product Offering), Options (Solving problems, Online calls, Dev projects)

This type of document quickly becomes overwhelming. It obviously lacks in clarity. It also makes it hard for you to get a full picture at a glance and see what is missing.

You always have too much information to look at, and most often you only get a partial view of the information. It’s hard to zoom out, figuratively, and to see the whole hierarchy and how everything is connected.

To see a fuller picture, create a mind map.

What Is a Mind Map?

A mind map is a simple hierarchical radial diagram. In other words, you organize your thoughts around a central idea. This technique is especially useful whenever you need to “dump your brain”, or develop an idea, a project (for example, a new product or service), a problem, a solution, etc. By capturing what you have in your head, you make space for other thoughts.

In this article, we are focusing on the basics: mind mapping using pen and paper.

The objective of a mind map is to clearly visualize all your thoughts and ideas before your eyes. Don’t complicate a mind map with too many colors or distractions. Use different colors only when they serve a purpose. Always keep a mind map simple and easy to follow.

    Image Credit: English Central

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    By following the three next steps below, you will be able to create such mind maps easily and quickly.

    3 Simple Steps to Create a Mind Map

    The three steps are:

    1. Set a central topic
    2. Add branches of related ideas
    3. Add sub-branches for more relevant ideas

    Let’s take a look at an example Verbal To Visual illustrates on the benefits of mind mapping.[1]

    Step 1 : Set a Central Topic

    Take a blank sheet of paper, write down the topic you’ve been thinking about: a problem, a decision to make, an idea to develop, or a project to clarify.

    Word it in a clear and concise manner.

      What is the first idea that comes to mind when you think of the subject for your mind map? Draw a line (straight or curved) from the central topic, and write down that idea.

        Step 3 : Add Sub-Branches for More Relevant Ideas

        Then, what does that idea make you think of? What is related to it? List it out next to it in the same way, using your pen.

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          You can always add more to it later, but that’s good for now.

          In our example, we could detail the sub-branch “Benefits” by listing those benefits in sub-branches of the branch “Benefits”. Unfortunately, we already reached the side of the sheet, so we’re out of space to do so. You could always draw a line to a white space on the page and list them there, but it’s awkward.

          Since we created this mind map on a regular letter-format sheet of paper, the quantity of information that fits in there is very limited. That is one of the main reasons why I recommend that you use software rather than pen and paper for most of the mind mapping that you do.

          Repeat Step 2 and Step 3

          Repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as you need to flush out all of your ideas around the topic that you chose.

            I added first-level (main) branches around the central topic mostly in a clockwise fashion, from top-right to top-left. That is how, by convention, a mind map is read.

            In the next section, we are covering the three strategies to building your maps.  

            Mind Map Examples to Illustrate Mind Mapping

            You can go about creating a mind map in various ways:

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            • Branch by Branch: Adding whole branches (with all of their sub-branches), one by one.
            • Level by Level: Adding elements to the map, one level at a time. That means that firstly, you add elements around the central topic (main branches). Then, you add sub-branches to those main branches. And so on.
            • Free-Flow: Adding elements to your mind map as they come to you, in no particular order.

            Branch by Branch

            Start with the central topic, add a first branch. Focus on that branch and detail it as much as you can by adding all the sub-branches that you can think of.

              Then develop ideas branch by branch.

                A branch after another, and the mind map is complete.

                  Level by Level

                  In this “Level by Level” strategy, you first add all the elements that you can think of around the central topic, one level deep only. So here you add elements on level 1:

                    Then, go over each branch and add the immediate sub-branches (one level only). This is level 2:

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                      Idem for the next level. This is level 3. You can have as many levels as you want in a mind map. In our example, we only have 3 levels. Now the map is complete:

                        Free-Flow

                        Basically, a free flow strategy of mind mapping is to add main branches and sub-topics freely. No rules to restrict how ideas should flow in the mind map. The only thing to pay attention to is that you need to be careful about the level of the ideas you’re adding to the mind map — is it a main topic, or is it a subtopic?

                          I recommend using a combination of the “Branch by Branch” and the “Free-Flow” strategies.

                          What I normally do is I add one branch at a time, and later on review the mind map and add elements in various places to finish it. I also sometimes build level 1 (the main branches) first, then use a “Branch by Branch” approach, and later finish the map in a “Free-Flow” manner.

                          Try each strategy and combinations of strategies, and see what works best for you.

                          The Bottom Line

                          When you’re feeling stuck or when you’re just starting to think about a particular idea or project, take out a paper and start to brain dump your ideas and create a mind map. Mind mapping has the magic to clear your head and have your thoughts organized.

                          If you can’t always have access to a paper and pen, don’t worry! Creating a mind map with software is very effective and you get none of the drawbacks of pen and paper. You can also apply the above steps and strategies just the same when using a mind mapping tool on the phone and computer.

                          More Tools to Help You Organize Thoughts

                          Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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