Which Boat Are You In?

Which Boat Are You In

We are at Darling Harbour in Sydney for the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Five boats are lined up for the race.

Imagine this:

Boat 1

Behavioral traits of a team

* Incoming

* Everyone likes to be the leader

* Results-Drive

Outcome – While everyone wants to be in control, not all are willing to follow the instructions.

Boat 2

Behavioral traits of a team

* Generates enthusiasm

* Chatty

* Not organized

Outcome – A group that is sociable but not well organized.

Boat 3

Behavioral traits of a team

* It works well with other people

* Supportive

* Wants to be part of a group, not stand out

The end result – Everyone works well together, but no one wants to be the leader.

Boat 4

Team behavior traits

* A systematic approach for the race

* Attention to detail

* Do not believe they are fully prepared for the race

Outcome – Everyone is focused on the race, but no one wants to make any crucial decisions during it.

Boat 5

Behavioral traits of a team

* Clearly defined roles

* Focused on race

* Supportive

Outcome – A team that supports the goal of winning the race.

The starter then says, “Paddlers! Are you ready?” Attention! Attention!

The boats are heading towards the finish line. The atmosphere is electric as people cheer them on from the shoreline.

What boat will be the best team to get to the finish line first?

Every member of the dragon boat team is vital. Without each person doing their job well, the boat won’t run smoothly. The pacers are the three front rows. They determine and maintain a pace for the team. Rows 4-7 are the engine room. They provide power and strength that lift the boat off the water. The rockets are in the final three rows. As the ship moves through the water, they must give their final push.

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The drummer is closely involved with the sweep. They motivate and support the team. They help the team stay focused in the chaos of race.

The sweep must steer the boat and guide the team to the finish line.

Your team

This is true for all functional teams. Teams that work well together have a better chance of reaching their goals.

Would you like your team to be exactly like you? Your strengths and weaknesses would be highlighted if they were. This aspect of teamwork is underscored by the fictional dragon boat race team members. The team is not able to function effectively if it has the same traits throughout the group.

Each member of a team should be able to use their strengths, which will benefit the whole team.

What is your role in the team? What does this have to do with your team’s goals and objectives? Are you utilizing the strengths of each member of your team?

Which member of your team is the pacer?

Which boat do you want to be in?

Maria Pantalone, director of Infinite Growth, is a Sydney-based business that helps individuals and companies improve their communication skills. Infinite Growth offers one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops to help them professionally present their products or services. Her specialties include business writing, presentation skills, effective communication with clients, and leadership development.

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