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It’s all about the atmosphere isn’t it?
I have been part of badly run teams, I have been part of well managed teams. I have been involved in clubs, societies and professional environments that have flourished and some which I watch sadly fall apart. But what is it that makes a successful environment to work in? Create a positive atmosphere.
I was approached to join my current club as it had started a transition. I was excited at the prospect as I saw massive potential from a club with over 150 years of history behind it. Not only that but I had admired it for many years. When I joined the local cricket club, it had two senior teams and no juniors. It had lost its accreditation’s and cash was very tight. Within the first year there was a bad atmosphere with distinct sections. Within twelve months a fall out reduced the club to one senior team and things were at rock bottom.
Develop a Goal
I wanted to change things significantly, I wanted to make a difference. So the following January I pulled a group of about ten people together. I invited a friend to come and chair the meeting, someone who was neutral and not particularly interested in the club or its history. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss what had happened, what we all wanted to happen and ultimately where we wanted to end up.
If you have ever heard of Brian Mayne and the World of Goal Mapping techniques, look them up. Listening to Brian for two hours in a seminar one day changed my life and outlook. So my facilitator was specifically chosen to help me utilise the goal mapping techniques to get the views of the people around the table.
At the end of this we all draw pictures and colour them in to illustrate where we want to get to, how, who and what will help get us there.
The Result – Every one of the people in that room came out with the same thing. They all wanted to create a prositive atmosphere at the club, giving them a place they want to be.
Make the Goal the Focus to create a positive atmosphere
So last year we set about creating it. Junior nights was on Friday night. The BBQ is on, the bar is open and parents bring their kids and relax whilst I along with a few others coach. We scraped a senior team together and enjoyed every game last year, winning promotion at the end as divisional winners. We threw the doors open for a massive event that generated great returns.
So this year we have around 70 juniors, with five junior teams and we are back to two senior teams. We are financially secure and the number of people wanting to be involved with the club is ever increasing.
So what was the key ingredient?
The atmosphere. If it’s positive then people will be attracted towards it. Create a negative atmosphere and people can’t wait to get out. I’ve seen this first hand at the company I recently worked for. It was a great place to be, but following changes, the atmosphere went downhill and people left in their droves. It will take some repairing and a lot of hard work to get it back to a good place to be.
So give this some attention, it can change quickly and can be the doing and undoing of many places of work. The best teams I have worked with in the professional or sporting world have created a great atmosphere.