RE: Team Building

Subject: RE: Team Building
From: Kevin McLauchlan <KMcLauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 16:27:00 -0500

About that Team Building fluff, George Hinman
had this to say:

> With respect to work/play boundaries. Going golfing with the SME's,
> partying with them at the local watering hole affords countless
> opportunities to establish good relations, trust and lots of inside
> information that could be useful in the documentation process. In
> fact, there are women who take up golf for the express purpose of
> establishing the same types of client bonding that have traditionally
> been reserved for males. This is obviously more common in sales
> than documentation, but the same principle applies. If you know
> people intimately, both during work hours and afterwards, you can
> definitely get more information, and information is the name
> of the game.

.. which prompts me to say:

Well gosh, I guess I'm just not a team kinda guy, then.

I thought about that golf thing. I've never played, but
last year I spent about $400 on a so-so set of clubs and
a cheap bag, at the same time my wife did. She's in sales
and thought it would help her in the way you mention. I got
mine so I could "keep up", and because my company had planned
an employee golf day later that summer. Lessee now... I
brutalized about 1100 balls with my driver and one iron,
on the range, and tried putting a few times. All other clubs
still had their original shine when the golf day came around...
and got rained out. The alternate date coincided with my
vacation. Later, I warily accepted an invitation to actually
play a round with some of the guys. I don't think they'll
ever forgive me for making one measly round take so-o-o-o
long. Or, maybe it's that not one of them could actually
pinpoint what was wrong with my swing, and thus they had
no idea where to start giving pointers. And, I'm not cute
enough that any of 'em would want to stand behind me and
"help" me through a swing. :-) Team building and rapport
didn't happen on the golf course.
So that was it for last year. Never had occasion
to dust off the sticks this year. Mebbe next year.

Moving on to [getting to] "know people intimately" at [work],
well most of 'em don't carrouse all that much, being
dedicated family types. I don't carrouse either, so neither
they nor I seem to miss out on that bonding opportunity. I'm
not a family type, so I don't share the fascination with
baby pictures (they all look the same... c'mon, admit it).
The single, young, engineer geeks are into RPGs (role-playing
games) or hockey, and I'm not. Not in the least. Don't skate.
Fall asleep during NHL games.

If I wanted to schmooze the veep who hired me, and a
couple of his cronies, I wouldn't be playing golf nor
hockey. I'd take up rock-climbing.
Mebbe next year, but I'm 45 now... hmmm.

Looking at it the other way, not a single person at the
office will go play skydiving with me. Sheesh! Where's
their team spirit and (simulated?)interest in their cow-orkers?

Ok, all of that to say that people have different interests
and if you are a real corporate climber and bullshit artist,
you'll fake an interest in the interests of whomever might
be of use to you. But if you just want to work smoothly
and effectively with the gang at work, to get the job
done... why THAT's what you'll do. Hey, that's what I
do. That's what most of the folks here do. It doesn't
matter that we don't all play the same sports or
non-sports, or like the same music, or whatever. We're
professionals, and we do good work. Ta-dah.

Now if only I could get them to leave the dark side
behind and join me with FrameMaker. Maybe if I learned
to play Foosball...

Kevin McLauchlan
kmclauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com

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