TEAMWORK- Lessons from a 12 year old tennis match

As I watched my 12 year old son play his first doubles tennis match yesterday, I was eye witness to what happens when a team doesn’t work well together.  In this case, these two boys had never played together.  They had no established communication, no respect or trust for one another and because they are relatively new to the game, confusion over basic strategy and rules.  The end result was mixed.  They won some games but mostly due to errors from the other side.  They lost the match.  They were angry with themselves and each other.  There was finger pointing.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that bad- no shouting or temper tantrums.  I can’t speak for the other guy, but my son cooled off and now the teaching begins.

I am thinking about teamwork in organizations and these basics apply.  For a team to work effectively together and succeed on any project the following must exist:

  1. Understand the objective (my tennis boys did know this- to WIN!)
  2. Understand the rules and how to keep score.
  3. Apply strategy.
  4. Strong communication
  5. Respect for others on the team
  6. Keep a level head even when you hit roadblocks. The game is not only skill based but also about attitude and perseverance.

About annspoor
Ann Spoor is the Jerry McGuire to Corporate Executives and Professionals. She is an Executive Talent Agent, Executive Coach, Career Manager, Executive Branding Expert, and Social Media Coach. Ann lives in Denver with her husband Mark and their 2 kids. The Leadership Lattice is an interview series conducted by Ann Spoor CEO & Founder of Executive Lattice. The series focuses on Leadership in the private & public sector. Please subscribe to this blog to follow along in the discussion.

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