PLAY NICE! The Ins and Outs of Working Well Together on a Show

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You were a cohost or a producer with mic time. Your creative talents moved you up to host your own show. Now you are calling the plays and spinning the action to the second, third even fourth cohost. You suddenly find yourself playing a different role off-air. You are now leading and managing a staff of people.

Wow! You are now a manager and a coach. Some of the most creative and talented hosts are often not as skilled in managing a staff of people because they’ve never been in that position. Even shows with only two or three total people on the team face issues such as:

  • Clarifying roles
  • Ego
  • Balancing mic time
  • Passive aggression
  • What to do when someone is having an off day

10 Action Steps Show Hosts Can Take To Create a Cohesive Team

  1. Set clear expectations. We have seen some of the top performers (including famous ones) not clearly define what they expect of each show member and then get upset when they don’t deliver to their expectations. Continual communication is the key to a cohesive team.
  2. Conduct regular one-on-ones with each player on the show. Be an active listener and ask lots of questions such, “How do you want to contribute more to the show? What do you want to do that you aren’t doing now? Is there a responsibility that you would like to pass on to someone else? What’s the one thing that I do make your role easier? What could I start stop doing to help you and improve the show?”
  3. Be collaborative. Involve all players in decisions that impact the show.
  4. Asking is better than telling. Telling or dictating is an act of control and actually only gives you the feeling of being in control. Develop the art of asking questions, even if they’re leading questions. You are likely to get personalities themselves to arrive at the point you want to make, which gives them ownership and makes them more likely to follow through.
  5. Empower the team by setting up an atmosphere that allows the team to challenge and question you in a non-personal and respectful way. As the host, you reserve the right to make final decisions yet team members will feel like they matter even if you don’t go with their idea.
  6. Everyone responds to a different management style. If you’re not sure how to manage a particular player, ask them how they like to be managed and given feedback.
  7. Be supportive and encourage creative risks. You want team members to feel safe when they fail so they will continue to try new ideas. Share success and failure as a team.
  8. Implement the 24 Hour Rule. Everyone on the show agrees to talk about anything that is bothering them within 24 hours. All team members also agree to bring up an issue in a respectful and non-personal way. This rule will eliminate resentment, anger, hurt feelings, etc. from building up over time.
  9. Praise great performances and creative efforts publicly and privately. Most creative people thrive on recognition and positive feedback.
  10. Get out of the building and spend time with the team socially. You get to know one another better, the timing and rhythm on-air will improve and you will likely bring back stories that can go on-air.
  • What can you do when one of the show members is having an off day? We will discuss this issue and more next week.


Photo credit: Philippe Leroyer/Flickr

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