"How do I translate personal performance into team performance?"
"How do I accomplish more things well and quick without reducing on quality?"
"How do I enjoy routine when necessary?"
Last Tuesday, the Dwelling team and our guests met at The Coffee Connoisseur at PoMo for the first time, for our final Fireside session for the Performance Series. Julia came with the silver bucket (fast becoming a fixed feature at the monthly Firesides) filled with questions from our guests, such as those above.
The conversations this Fireside were, as usual, varied and thought-provoking. For example, some brought up the debate of speed vs quality when it comes down to performance, wondering about how to balance quality of work done, and the time each task requires. Some people favored making sure quality was delivered over the time given, while others favored getting things out on time even if the quality was not as good. Eventually, Julia made the point that there is a notion of one or the other, and why aren't both important? After all, the better performer is the one who can produce a quality result in a lesser amount of time, which gives us the quest for mastery. Everyone also agreed that it depended on what kind of quality was sufficient for the task. Chai Ling shared about how labels were pasted crooked on the medicine packs, and we could be a stickler for perfectly stuck labels, but no sick person would really care as long as they got the right medicine and could read what's on the label.
Another good question was how to get people with different agendas within a team to work towards the same goal. Raymond's approach was to drive them hard and those who didn't perform would be culled from the team—a brutal but effective approach. Others agreed that alignment of the team is very important, and that since the group takes some time to perform, there has to be a sorting process to determine who is the best fit at which position or point.
Thirdly, the team discussed another conundrum: implementing policies quickly versus consideration of people's feelings. Sharon, being a people-person, would care about the welfare of people, but would be given feedback about the way tasks are done. Hellen, on the other hand, was more task-driven and concerned about getting it done. All in all, we agreed that our preferences lead to losing the overall picture and we would be blind to what's missing in the outcome. One solution was to place people in the roles they love and do well, and to be able to appreciate and accept others' differences. We also agreed that in a group situation, the vision needed to be communicated clearly for people to be sufficiently enrolled. But it was decided that you can't please everyone, so it was a question of managing expectations and objections.
We concluded the night at last with lots of laughter and cheer, as we looked forward together to the next Dwelling series on Charisma. For a recap of the Performance Series, check out the photographs right here in this album. See you very soon!