Episode 20 Transcript

You're listening to the business in Morocco
podcast the podcast that discusses all
things business and all things Morocco my
name is Ryan Maimone I'm here with my
co-host Ryan Kirk and our goal is to
share our knowledge and experiences with you in order to help you gain wisdom skills
and habits that can help you succeed in
business and in life you can learn more
about us by going to our website
moroccopodcast.com and all right let's
get started with today's episode it's
gonna be a lovely day.
you're listening to Episode 20 of the
Business in Morocco podcast we're going to be
talking today about teamwork and good
habits and practices of team but before
we get started Ryan I wanted to mention
your interview from last week with dr.
Ben Makhlouf it was a great interview
and I think he shared a lot of wisdom so
if our listeners have not listened to
episode 19 I'd push them back to that
episode I think there's a lot of good
practical advice in it yeah definitely
he's been a leader in the corporate
world in Morocco and also very very
entrepreneurial so there's a lot of lessons
to be learned from his journey he's got
a lot of good things to share yeah you
packed a lot of good questions into just
30 minutes and I think you could easily
do another interview on a variety of
other topics so maybe in the next few
months we'll be able to sit down with
him again yeah yeah as you said for one
of the questions he said well I could
speak all day about that right say what
else you got going on this week I just
got back from Essouaria I was there not
for the gnaoua festival which was
happening at the time but for some team
building with a company based here in
Casa so we did a little getaway and did
some activities and had some training
times but we did also manage to take in
one of the concerts so that was a great
experience although it was jam-packed
the city was full of people but a lot of
fun isn't that the city that's known for
windsurfing
yes yeah kite surfing is huge there I
went for a short run on the beach and
after the first three kms I thought
wow I'm cruising my time is amazing and
then I turned around and started going into the wind
and my times plummeted
so yeah it's always windy there yeah I
think it's known around the world for
being one of the best places to do kite
surfing and windsurfing yeah that's
TRUE
what about you how are things going
welcome back by the way it's good to be
sitting across the table from you see
you face to face it's good to be back
still settling in still getting used to
life back here in Morocco reconnecting
with my clients here and trying to do
some business development before the
summer season hits I've got some new
initiatives that I'm working on I'm
looking to rent some office space I've
been going through that process over the
last week because I'd like to have a
contract signed before the end of the
summer I know that it can be difficult
to find places especially for reasonable
prices and I'm looking for a specific
type of place in a specific area and so
that'll be one of my main focuses for
the next few months that's exciting we
can track the progress and hear about
the victories and defeats that you
face yeah another thing you know what
I'd like to keep this podcast
transparent and one of the things we've
talked about one of the ways that you
build trust over time with an audience
and you demonstrate that you believe
what you're saying and you're willing to
tell the truth no matter how it makes
you look is I actually lost a client
while I was traveling to the States
Moroccan client I'm not sure if it was a
hundred percent due to my travels in the
United States not being here or it was
because the work that I was doing for
him was not meeting his expectations.
I had mentioned this client before the
one that wasn't really following the
process that I told him he needed to
follow in order to be successful yeah I
did some work for him I got paid but
ultimately the relationship has ended
and you know that happens, it happens. you
can't get discouraged you have to do
your best that's what I did one of the
things I did learn is that when you
get a referral this client was a
referral from one of my other customers
who I've been working with for a
long time and continues to be happy with
the work that I'm doing one of the
things I realized is that when you get a
referral you need to be very careful
with how you handle it because the work
you do for the new client it can impact
the relationship with the old client who
referred you to the new business so as
of right now because it didn't work out
with the referral the potential is that
he goes back to the the person who
recommended me and complains and gives a
bad report so I think going forward I'm
going to be a little bit more careful
about clients that I accept through
referrals and if I have a feeling that
they won't follow the process or I won't
be able to help them in a way that they
need then I think I'm going to hesitate
if not, not take the business yeah yeah
that makes sense when you receive a
referral there's a connection back to
that original client so there needs to
be an extra buffer of confidence that
you can meet the expectations or
serve them in a powerful
way because otherwise it could damage
your relationship with the the referrer
I hadn't really considered that but yeah
that makes a lot of sense as opposed to
someone who just finds you through your
own marketing efforts you don't have as
much to lose because they're not
interconnected with the other parts of
your business right I think you can take
more risks with new customers and new
clients when you're the one that finds
them and you do a hundred percent of the
business development but when one of
your existing clients refers new
business to you it's smart to be more
careful all right let's get into the
topic of the day which is team work we
have talked about what it means to be a
good employee
what it means to be a good leader but
today we're going to talk specifically
about what it means to be a good team
member and what good team work looks
like Ryan this is your profession this
is what you're skilled in doing and
training what are your thoughts on
teamwork yeah I've had the opportunity
to connect with several different
directors managers heads of departments
and one of the things that comes up a
lot is either taking no initiative so
having employees that are on the team
that are very very bound by the exact
details of their job description and
they don't go anywhere outside of that
and not because they're afraid of
stepping on people's toes it's because
they are just looking to do the bare
minimum and they're just doing what they
get paid to do and
nothing more and that's very very
difficult for directors because they
don't want to micromanage employees they
want employees to take initiative and to
have creative ideas and to see a need
and to find solutions and solve problems
on their own another thing is just being
focused on themselves as an individual
rather than taking ownership of the
team's results so they don't necessarily
have a vested interest in the team
success but all of us have experienced
you know group work in school or been
part of project teams in our career
where you recognize that even if you do
solid work for your part when the team
fails it reflects on you and the manager doesn't say well this project
was a total bust but hey at least you
did a good job you know at least all the
spreadsheets were in order even though
we lost the bid and you know it was a
total waste of our time hey at least you
you know your part was good it doesn't
work like that when you're part of a
team you've got to have ownership in the
team's results there needs to be a
vested interest in that and some people
miss that and they're only focused on
what they're supposed to do and making
sure that their part is good and not
worrying about what everyone else is
doing yeah if you're ever going to be in
a position in a company that is not that
is not like a robot in the sense that
you're doing repetitive tasks all day
long you have a process you have a set
of rules and you follow those and
basically you could be replaced by
anyone who could follow those same set
of rules...those jobs are typically low-wage jobs
and they don't require a lot of dynamic
thinking a lot of creativity and they'll
eventually be replaced and you'll
eventually be replaced by software or a
literal robot if you're going to move up
in the ranks and you're going to be
involved in the higher levels of
companies you're often going to be doing
team related activities so becoming a
good team member is essential to moving
up in many organizations the habit that
you mentioned first be proactive goes
back to episode 16 where we talked a lot
about being proactive so if our
listeners want to learn more about being
proactive go back to episode 16 where
we talked a lot about that your second
point having the goals of the team
be your priority and really taking
ownership of the outcomes of the team
it's essential for any well-functioning
team if every member on the team is only
concerned about themselves then that
team is not going to function well one
of the essential aspects of a team is
knowing yourself your strengths and your
weaknesses and then knowing the
strengths and the weaknesses of everyone
else so that everyone can harness what
they do well to achieve the outcomes of
the team and some of the general
that best practices of being on team
that that any team member needs to
employ is just simply being helpful
being encouraging being positive I think
we've all been on teams where someone is
just negative all the time yeah while
there is a time and a place for constructive
criticism and honesty negativity is
usually not helpful the other aspects
that are good for team members is being
flexible being a good listener being
honest I've been on teams where one or
two people they wanted to do all the
talking and they didn't want to listen
to anyone else and if you need the whole
team to succeed then everyone on the team needs to feel like they've been heard
yeah anyone who's been on a team knows
that your ideas are not always going to
win the day but when you feel like
someone has heard your ideas and then
considered your ideas you're much more
likely to embrace the final decision
which is also what needs to happen on a
good functioning team a well-functioning
team is that everyone gives their honest
opinions they present their ideas and
someone makes a decision and then the
whole team rallies behind that decision
and takes ownership of that decision and
does their best to have a good outcome
What you described there we've all
witnessed that when someone's idea
isn't taken there's a temptation to want
to see the other idea fail and to even
possibly undermine the success of that
just so that you can can say well that's
what I thought is happening I thought
this might go this way I knew this would
happen I told you so but that really
comes back to that personal focus
that individual attention rather than
owning the success of the team so you
put forward your thoughts you give your
opinions but usually the manager the
director is going to weigh those and
then make a final decision and sometimes
they'll be wrong but it doesn't help to
put a spotlight on that
to even work against them or to bad
talk them to other team members
yeah that's an example of short-term
thinking where you sabotage the
work of the team because it's not your
idea or you celebrate its failure if it
wasn't your idea if you are engaged in
long-term thinking you will understand
several things one you are not the
source of all good ideas yeah
two if the team decides to do something
that you don't agree with if you want to
have credibility and influence in the
future you will embrace the idea you
will do your best to make it succeed and
if it doesn't succeed you will naturally
have more credibility going in the
future because you weren't against it
and because you accepted it so a
long-term view embraces the idea that
I'm not always going to get my way on a
team but I will be a reliable and honest
team member and I will be consistent in
my advice and opinions and ideas that I
give but I'm not going to sabotage the
team when I don't get my way today's
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now back to the show that's very true
and I think even your language can
reveal where you stand on this when you
say well Meryem decided, or Meryem told us we should do this rather than we decided
even if ultimately it was Meryem's
decision if you feel hey I'm part of
this team I'm in her department then we
can own it we could say that we decided
to go in this direction it didn't end up
working out and now we're adjusting
where we're making changes but you can
tell by your language whether or not
you're throwing the person under the bus
whether or not you've joined
forces you've aligned yourself
with it or you've been secretly
undermining it for those of us who are
married we understand this concept very
well pick your battles if there's an
ongoing discussion on a team regarding
which direction to go which idea to
select which project to work on don't
fight every battle and every decision on
a team save your passion for those
things that are most important don't
pick a fight over every little issue
because then you'll just be known as the
one who picks fights you will have more
influence and you will be more
persuasive if you reserve your arguments
and you reserve your passion for a
select set of topics another thing that
really contributes to successful teams
is trust and Trust is really it's built
up over time and it's built up in all
kinds of ways it's just that I love the
analogy of a bank account where you have
a positive interaction with somebody and
that makes a small deposit in your
relationship
and that just signifies that the amount
of trust has increased slightly and over
time you have more and more and more of
these positive interactions and there's
just a lot of trust which can act as
almost like a lubricant in the ability
to work together whereas the opposite is
also true if there's a lack of trust
than it operates as a tax and everything
takes longer you have more problems it
costs more there needs to be much more
discussion false assumptions happen and
so the the act of building up trust is
really really important and sometimes
people forget that it's these small
things it's saying hello it's
being pleasant it's hearing how
somebody's day was it's helping somebody
in just a small way it's built up over
time and that's the reason why companies
invest in team building like I'm taking
part in where we're going away we're
getting outside the city as a team and a
lot of the stuff we're doing is fun it's
relaxing but the team members are riding
the bus together they're eating
meals together we're doing fun
activities like kayaking or hiking and
just interacting and hearing about each
other's lives and it's separate from
work but that increased trust on the
weekend means we'll be more effective
getting back to the office on Monday
because we've increased the level of
trust between us absolutely agree Trust
is essential to a high functioning team
team members need to be reliable they
need to complete tasks on time and
according to specification and here's a
big one they need to warn the other team
members regarding delays and if a delay
is going to disrupt the project you need
to ask for help I've seen situations in
my work life where instead of asking for
help people were too
embarassed or they thought they could do it
themselves
and you get to the last minute and they
haven't completed their part and nobody
knows about it and as a result the
entire project is delayed or the team as
a whole fails yeah and when you talk
about building trust I have a
partnership here in Morocco and this was
a small thing he said he was going to do
something on a Monday and at the end of
the Monday I texted him and said hey
what's the status and he says oh I went
and decided to do something else and so
in my mind when he says something it
doesn't mean a lot and I am NOT going to
go and make promises to other people
based on what he tells me now it would
have been better if he had just told me
in the beginning in the day hey I've
changed my plans for the day and that
thing that I told you I was going to do
I am NOT going to do it I'm going to do
something else like that's fine it's not
great but it's better than no show no
call right surprise yes I think one of
the other things that we really need to talk
about in terms of teamwork is
understanding people's roles and
understanding strengths and weaknesses
and I don't know if we've talked
specifically about this in the past
but the myers-briggs Type Indicator the
sixteen different types of personalities
and people I think that's essential for
any team in terms of understanding who's
on the team what is their personality
type, when do they thrive and when do
they have difficulty Ryan - do you deal with
the myers-briggs at all on your training
no not specifically I had I was part
of a team years ago and we did
myers-briggs and it was extremely
helpful probably especially because I
was very young and didn't realize how I
didn't know myself really well and
realize how diverse we are as humans and
so it really increased my self-awareness
and my understanding of others just this
knowledge of recognizing oh wow that the
way that I do it isn't necessarily right
and that way they're doing it is wrong
we just see it differently we operate
differently and if we want to work well
together we need to understand and
adjust our behavior so that we can be
effective as a team it was very very
very insightful to go through it so I
definitely highly recommend that yeah
maybe we'll do a special episode on
personality types and working with
different personality types I don't
think we have enough time to get into
the differences of myers-briggs but the
bottom line is that people are different
and if you're going to be a successful
team member you need to understand how
people work and the difference is not
everyone is exactly like you not
everyone makes decisions the same way
you do not everyone has the same
priorities as you and to the extent that
you can appreciate differences of other
people you will be a good team member
Google did a study on the critical
criteria for a successful team and what
they found was that it wasn't as
important who was in the team or what
skills they had it was more about the
culture of the team that was built and
they identified five criteria that were
most important and the most important
one was what they called psychological
safety meaning that people on the team
felt they had the freedom to ask
questions they had the freedom to be
vulnerable when they didn't understand
something or when they were struggling
ask for help as you mentioned and they
had the freedom to try things and make
mistakes and so there's four other
criteria that were listed we've talked
about some of them like dependability
you just mentioned but I'll put a we'll
put a link on our website
moroccopodcast.com and you can access
that and Google provides a lot of
different resources for managers as well
but they can do different surveys to see
where their team stands on these five
criteria it's really really useful
resource that's a great recommendation
Ryan I think I've read that report in
the past and that actually aligns
perfectly with the last thing that I was
going to say is that a good team the
culture of a good team it needs to be an
environment in which everyone can give
and accept feedback constructively and
if people on the team do not believe
that they can offer their ideas without
being severely criticized or it's not a
safe place for discussing quote-unquote
bad ideas then your team will be limited
by what is considered politically
correct you've been listening to the
business in Morocco podcast my name is
Ryan Kirk here with my co-host Ryan
Maimone if you enjoyed this episode be
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theme music is lovely day by Bill
Withers
used under Creative Commons and we hope
you'll have a lovely day doing business
in Morocco we'll see you next time

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