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Lessons from the Front

The Power of MINE

I had a revelation. At a volleyball game.

I have watched many games over the years, but as I sat and watched this particular game a light went off in my head. The light illuminated as I watched my daughter’s team move about the court like a well-choreographed dance troupe on their way to a straight sets victory. 

The sequence was the same, time and again: Opponent hits the ball over the net, a player on my daughter’s team digs it out and passes to the setter, the setter passes to the hitter, the hitter gets it over for a kill shot. And although the location of shots and types of passes varied, the one team constant was a simple, four letter word yelled vociferously by teammates to keep other teammates out of their way: MINE

Yes, my revelation was that the most powerful word on the court was MINE. Said by players to declare their intent to retrieve and hit a ball, this possessive word can be the difference between a win and a loss.                                                                                    pst setter 01

It stood out to me because the team had lost their previous game. As I compared the games in my mind, communication, or lack of, was the difference. The game before, MINE was absent. Balls dropped untouched between players, quizzical looks and shoulder shrugs ensued. 

Some days we forget to communicate and lose. It happens.

In a game, a loss caused by poor communication can be quickly recovered from, often at the next  game. At work, not so much. When all factors are considered it can cost upwards of $70,000, and take many months, to fill an open healthcare facilities position. That’s a big loss.

A 2014 survey from About.com found the top three reasons people do not like their jobs, accounting for 62% of responses, were communication related. The biggest issue, a lack of direction from management, followed by poor communication, followed by constant change not well communicated.

Staggering, which is why Gosselin Associate’s Beyond Competency Healthcare Leadership program, in partnership with the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, spends time on communicating, listening, and providing honest and specific feedback. Communicating is difficult work and takes discipline and commitment to succeed.  To communicate well you must first listen well, and then speak and act in an honest manner that is understood by employees.

On the Team USA volleyball web site they write about effective on-court communication. They say success is predicated on:  

  1. Knowing what you are communicating about;    
  2. Speaking in a language that is understood by the people communicating;
  3. Keeping the words quick, short, and specific.

Great advice to win on the court and at the workplace.

For more information on Gosselin Associates education opportunities, please see http://www.ashe.org/education/beyondcompetency/index.shtml and http://www.gosselin-associates.com/education/

Best regards,                                                                                                                                         

Peter Martin                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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