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  • Changing down - and then back on the gas

    18/05/2015 | Newport

    You have committed to win, your strategy is cutting-edge, your team of top professionals is ready to go - and then you do not win. This happened to Team Brunel, three times. It is hard when you just do not make it to the winner's podium - in yacht racing, as in business. The tendency is to try even harder, to focus on what went wrong. Well, if you have just suffered a heavy loss do not do this, says Hans de Bruin. This is not the way to ensure that you appear at the next start, charged with energy and motivation. 'Rather reflect, do some sprints, focus on your source of energy. That is the way to plot your course back to success.'

    'Grinding through a hectic day, we often behave as if we are running a marathon. While a series of sprints can work better. Give it everything you have got - and then consciously relax your pace. Get some perspective and reflect on what happened. Where did it go well, and how do we capitalize on that aspect of our performance? Was there interference? What did we do right - and wrong? What do we need most, now, in this situation? Where do we want to go? What delivers the most impact? What demands the least energy - and gives the most value? Only then put the pedal to the metal, focusing everything on that success. This way you remain flexible and can constantly adapt to changing circumstances. You do not get stuck in the sands of your old strategy, but continue to innovate and explore new solutions.
    This type of reflection is unfortunately not given too many. This is often because you are still in the middle of the process. There is no time for it on board, in the heat of the moment, and businesses also frequently trundle on, sticking to the accepted route. Input from an external source can also help to stimulate reflection. For team Brunel that source is their coach, Anje-Marijcke van Boxtel.'

    Tapping into your source of energy
    'A big risk when you are facing a disappointing result is that the team loses vitality. So how do you ensure that your people process their disappointment and yet remain vital? How do you motivate, inspire and challenge them to once again gather the same strength and spirit - to face the next challenge - and then indeed to win?


    The support and confidence flowing from the team leader or skipper then become even more important and for a large part determine the energy levels of his people. Now is indeed the time that he must tap into the sources of support and energy that will renew his team's flexibility and innovation, their daring to exploit new opportunities. Criticism, focusing on what went wrong and cutting back on energy-givers like new challenges, team building and training have the opposite effect. Criticism from sponsors can also be keenly felt as a lack of support and it can negatively influence the team. Whereas empathy and sharing in the disappointment will correctly be interpreted as support. 

    Important sources of energy are new challenges, investing in personal development and social support, both within the team and beyond. This is why it is good that the crew fly home during stopovers, so they can also receive social support at home. For leaders it is also important to have a network of resources at hand. Because trying to process your disappointments on your own can make your stress system do overtime. It is not the way to set your course on success.'

    Click here for more information on High Performance TeamsTeam CoachingChange Management and Personal Effectiveness.







    Personal profile

    Hans de Bruyn has been International Director at Schouten Global since early 2015. In this role he is responsible for international growth. He previously played various roles at Schouten & Nelissen, among which managing director. Hans obtained a bachelor's degree in Communication, a trainer's diploma at Schouten & Nelissen and an MBA from Business School Nederland.























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