How can you make more use of the available talent in a team in dealing with work pressure?

How can you make more use of the available talent in a team in dealing with work pressure?


‘Kijk vaker over teamgrenzen heen’

Samula Mescher, independent coach and trainer for academics

‘By creating teams that are as diverse in nature as possible, cross-pollination will follow of its own accord and good ideas will develop more quickly. Remember to look beyond the confines of your team as well. How are other teams dealing with a certain issue, whether at your own faculty or at another? By looking beyond the confines of your own team more often, you will often find inspiration. Subsequently, it is necessary to fight the impulse to immediately introduce a comprehensive solution in your team; instead, start experimenting on a small scale with measures that decrease work pressure and take it from there. You can always adjust matters later and scale them up.’

‘Discover someone’s strengths’

Kim Huijpen, the VSNU’s Acknowledgement and Appreciation programme manager

‘In order to better harness the talent in a team, I think you need to first look at talent at an individual level. What are an individual’s strengths? After that, it is necessary to find a better way to divide up the various team duties, so that these optimally suit the talents of the individual team members. While this might sound perfectly logical, it still doesn’t happen often enough in practice, with everyone often having to more or less meet the same expectations. If you take a closer look at what people are good at and truly acknowledge this, this can certainly lead to less work pressure.’

‘Pay attention to interpersonal dynamics’

Claartje van Sijl, independent coach and trainer for TU Delft staff

‘My advice would be to take a close look at the interpersonal dynamics within the team and to see how these influence the communication and collaboration. For example, directive behaviour evokes compliant behaviour, and vice versa. If this is a standard pattern that the team automatically reverts to, as it were, the question is whether all of the talents and ideas of the individual team members are heard and acknowledged at all. This means missing out on opportunities for innovation and greater effectiveness. If you understand how these interpersonal dynamics work within your team, people will ultimately be more willing to use their talents to further mutual interests.’




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