Like thorough evaluators, you should definitely read the whole article. Or you could just skim the conclusion:
Social worker Melody Wilding has written that whenever we’re feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, we should always stop to ask ourselves if we’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Any of those feelings are likely to fuel poor judgment, which means that it’s time to stop what we’re doing, take a break, and either eat a sandwich or do some journaling or call a friend or take a nap.
These are all excellent ideas. Based on my experience in England, I would add that whenever we’re feeling anything at all, we should probably make some tea and offer it to whoever is in the vicinity.
At this point you have two questions, yeah?
First: “Tea?” Yes. (And if that was “Are you kidding me?” instead, then “No.”)
Second: “What does this have to do with proposals?” This.
Whether we’re on a team or managing one, it’s good to look for low-cost ways to manage our own stress and to contribute to team cohesion. Not to diss the “Wanna have a beer after work?” approach, but apparently offering a warm beverage is better. Who knew? Well, George Orwell.
A good cup, as George Orwell suggests, can make you feel wiser, braver, and more optimistic.
And we could all stand to be a little wiser, braver and optimistic-er in Proposal Land, yeah? So haul out that old coffee mug and re-purpose it today. Because effective teamwork (especially on ad hoc proposal teams) doesn’t fall from the heavens: Someone has to build it, from the ground up.
Want to read more on fostering teamwork? Try this Proposal Land series, based on a fabulous series written by Rhys Newman and Luke Johnson for design teams:
How to Foster Teamwork: Tip #1 – Say good morning and goodnight.
How to Foster Teamwork: Tip #2 – Be optimistic, embrace failure, and laugh more.
How to Foster Teamwork: Tip #3 – Good studios build good walls.
How to Foster Teamwork: Tip #4 – Design the designing (i.e. the process to fit the project).
How to Foster Teamwork: Tip #5 – Mind your language.
How to Foster Teamwork: Tip #6 – Meet out in the open.
How to Foster Teamwork: Tip #7 – Everyone leads at some point.
How to Foster Teamwork: Tip #8 – See the world through the client’s eyes.
How to Foster Teamwork: Tip #9 – Hire a bookie.
How to Foster Teamwork: Tip #10 – Bring the outside, inside.
How to Foster Teamwork: Tip #11 – No dickheads allowed.
Another suggestion: hold stand-up meetings. They’re shorter; they enable some fluidity of sub-groupings; they recognize that a meeting is not an end in itself.
Jim – Absolutely. Our retired senior military officers all held daily stand-ups. I’d never seen them before in business but they were great.
As a British tea-lover (drinking tea as I write this!) I wholeheartedly applaud this post! Even the ritual of making it, and waiting for it to brew, is calming in an emotionally charged situation.
Zena – 🙂 That’s a good point. Coffee can be immediate from a spout or a carafe, but it takes time to make tea. Time that can take you off the hamster wheel.