Sweet Dreams Might Actually be Made of This

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    This Episode: Pro tips on how to get a good night’s sleep. Specific skills you can hone to be a better team member, and finding joy.

    Team Tactics

    Last week I looked at how a shift in mindset can help you as an individual be a more effective team member, and how that should affect how leaders build teams.

    But being an effective team member isn’t just about mindset, it’s also about specific, practical skills you need to hone. There are three we focus on helping team members develop, particularly if they are working asynchronously often.

    • Skill 1: Making your work activities visible – this is about letting your team members know how you are driving the team goals forward. It helps with overall team dynamics, raises trust, reduces overlapping work, and creates opportunities for spontaneous collaboration.
    • Skill 2: Making your work PRODUCT visible. Building in public, even within an organization is something that many of us feel uncomfortable with. But getting comfortable at letting others see our work can save a huge amount of rework and allow collaboration to happen earlier when it’s typically cheaper to change course. Studies done on Wikipedia pages have shown that pages that begin life woefully incomplete end up being some of the most accurate and complete pages over time.
    • Skill 3: Building on the work of others – ideally you aren’t the only one building in public. This gives you the opportunity to use other’s work as a starting point, saving time and creating better results. Scientists and creative people intrinsically understand that there is no such thing as truly original work – everything builds on something. Yet in business we frequently try to start from scratch, even if a colleague has great work we can build upon.

    As individuals if we hone these skills, we will be massively more effective team members. Next week, I’ll look at what leaders can do to help make sure it happens.


    Essential Practice

    In 2021, Sunil Gupta wrote a terrific book called Backable – The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance on You. It’s a great read whether you are an entrepreneur, or just someone that knows they need help from others to fulfil their dreams. The book is a combination of self-introspection and compelling case studies, and will likely make you think again about you make a case to people.

    Now Sunil is back, and this time he is delving deeper into the human psyche with Everyday Dharma – 8 Essential Practices for Finding Success and Joy in Everything You Do. The premise of the book is that we are ignoring the deep-seated connection between strong wellbeing and being successful at work. Whether or not you are familiar with the practices he mentions, you will likely learn from the mix of ancient wisdom and contemporary science. As with his first book, at a minimum, it will make you think.

    It’s Not Just Counting Sheep

    Video Length: 2 mins 25 secs

    Despite sleep being something we all do for at least a few hours a day, few of us are expert sleepers. There are some great books on the topic, including the excellent Life Time: Your Body Clock and Its Essential Roles in Good Health and Sleep by Russell Foster – but for this week’s tip, I decided to go back to basics, and find the common patterns among people who have got this sleep thing really nailed.

    Sleep is NOT for wimps. If you do it better you will get more done more easily. So check out the video below and see my animated twin suggest three simple things that just might change your relationship with sleep.

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