PLAY NICE! Part Two: The Ten Elements of Establishing and Maintaining a Cohesive Team

 In Blog

What can you do when one of the show players is having an off day? There’s a three-step plan that will help resolve that. We’ll get to that shortly, but first:

1) Acknowledge and reward good performance. Most creative people thrive on recognition. It fuels them for even greater performances.

• Be sure everyone on the show acknowledges that the most successful shows create friendly conflict and dramatic tension on the air for entertainment purposes. Get everyone to agree that:

2) No one will take or give anything personally, that all teasing and riffing on one another’s flaws on-air is to highlight character and to create entertainment for the show.

• Recognize that communication and trust are the foundation for having a harmonious relationship for a group of people.

• Use matter of fact and non-personal language with one another like “am I hearing you right?”, “I hear you”, “I understand my part to be”, “I feel some tension around…”, “how can we work to change this?”, “this isn’t easy and I appreciate your willingness to try”, etc. Avoid confrontational language such as “you are…”, “I can never”, “why don’t you…” you always…”, “you never…”

3) RLC recommends conducting a team exercise at least once a year with each show that we coach to determine how cohesive or dysfunctional the show is particularly when the mics are off. It’s based on Patrick Lencioni’s book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. One of the components is a trust exercise that works like this:

• Each show player identifies the contributions that each of their peers makes to the team, as well as the one or two areas that they must either improve upon or eliminate for the good of the show. It is vital to maintain harmony by delivering the improvement points in a sincere, matter-of-fact and non-personal tone.

4) Everyone agrees to practice “active listening” when the mics are on. Active listening is listening with your entire being – body, mind and soul. That means making eye contact with one another and no social media, emailing, etc. Some shows have had to go to a “close all screens” policy to avoid distractions so that everyone is fully engaged in the conversation. The producer or one person on the show can be designated as the Google person when needed.

5) When you are having a bad day own it and try to get yourself out of it or allow the others to joke you out of it. When the room realizes it but the person doesn’t realize it, bring it up lightheartedly, with humor. You can even make it a game, “Who’s Bringing the Show Down?” Follow these steps to pull out of ‘having a bad day’.

Step 1 – Momentum is powerful whether it’s going up or down. Stop the negative momentum. Reset and pivot. (“I realize I’m having a bad day, I’m going to reset and start over with a wholenew attitude.”) Get altitude – step back and get some perspective.

Step 2 – Look for a small win. Try to do something well just to get yourself feeling better. Ask someone to make you laugh (“Help me here!”).

Step 3 – Have ‘best-of’ promos running during your show. Hearing them will remind you that you don’t suck!

Next week, we will conclude this series on how shows can play nice together, with tips on how you can use personal growth seminars, days outside of the office and rotating show quarterbacking to improve the vibe – and the content – of your show.


Photo Credit: MGE Artworks/Flickr

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.