6 Tips to Help Event Teams Play Nice in the Sandbox

Helping Event Teams to Play Nice in the SandboxEvent professionals are naturally wired for positivity. They're real troupers who will do everything possible to work through conflicts and get to the finish line without causing a ruckus.

That said, if you're managing an event team, in today's change-charged world, there could be more rumbles going on in the event team sandbox than you know. Team members are tackling more responsibilities than they did just a few years ago. Stress levels rise, causing team squabbles to escalate.

As team leader, it's your duty to keep peace, harmony and a happy productive workforce moving strong. Here are 6 quick tips to help you do just that:

  1. Update Job Descriptions
    If Sally worked for years on registration, but now her scope of responsibility has expanded, invest time to update and even co-create a new job description. Whenever possible, find metrics to support performance evaluations. Drill down deeper and describe what successful achievement of key deliverables looks like.
  2. Understand the Signature Strengths Within Your Team and Align
    Make sure you have the right people doing the right things. If Tom's a big-idea guy, having him pore over spreadsheets for hours might not be the best way to capitalize on those strengths. The book StrengthsFinder 2.0 includes an online tool to identify five signature strengths for each team member.
  3. Praise Often and Be Specific
    "Great job" is a blanket affirmation with low motivation value. When somebody goes above and beyond, notice and be specific: "Jane, I really appreciate how proactive you were in getting those AV specs down to the letter - it really helped to make that General Session special. Great job!"
  4. Delegate and Watch Out for Over-Delegating to Favorites
    Successful teams are led by smart, confident people who can delegate well and often. It's tempting to give Mary the lion's share of projects, because she's your top performer. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Spread the projects out among others and invest time to spell out parameters, resources and expectations. Conduct debriefs to improve future results. Project assignments, when executed well, accelerate professional development across all team members.
  5. Find Something Right - Then Coach to Make It Better
    Start with something they're doing well. This helps bring down defenses and creates more openness for constructive coaching. And if you can't find something right? I hate to be blunt, but you need to coach 'em up or coach 'em out. Slackers left unattended will drag down the performance of others.
  6. Celebrate the Wins!
    Event cycles are running tighter these days. No sooner do you wrap up one event and you're already gearing up for several more. Be sure to find time to stop and celebrate with your team. Go do something fun together, totally outside the scope of work. Collegiality is hardly frivolous. Great teams work hard together, play hard together and they care about each other.

Looking for more tips to inspire team performance excellence? Check out these Cvent blog posts: The "E" In Event Is Also In "Team" and Intrapreneurial Meeting Planner: Are You An IMP?

(photo by DLR via Flickr)

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