Johnnie Moore

Relax your clever for better teamwork

You sometimes get better teamwork from being more orindary
Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

Better teamwork and group intelligence can come from being more ordinary

Transcript of this video:

I think groups and meetings will often be more productive, if paradoxically, they embrace their ordinariness. I’m quite wary of long-winded and high status introductions at the beginning of meetings. And lately I’ve used the process I learned from my friend and business partner, Viv McWaters, called Mundane Introductions. In a round of those everyone introduces themselves in the tone of a news reporter, but with some very ordinary, dull fact that they’ve noticed. So I might say, “This is Johnnie Moore, “reporting live from Cambridge, “where I find the dregs of coffee from yesterday “left over in my mug.” 

Or someone might say, “I’m Amanda reporting live from Melbourne, “where there are some biscuit crumbs on my desktop.” And I find a round of those very ordinary, mundane introductions often set up a more creative and collaborative atmosphere. Of course, it’s always possible for people to inject high status into their mundanities. If Amanda were to say, “The biscuit crumbs are left over “from my meeting with the chief executive,” that throws a slight spanner in the works. 

There’s a lot of research that shows that if people get stuck in playing clever and high status in meetings, the groups that they’re in often become less effective. So there’s research that shows if you put a team of people who think of themselves as star players together, they’ll often trip over each other, and actually be less effective, less intelligent as a group, then a more ordinary group that’s relating to each other in a more equal and socially sensitive way. And one of my favourite principles from improv is “relax your clever and pick up your ordinary.” 

And I think following that principle will often allow us to be more effective and successful in our groups and meetings.

Photo by Victoria Tronina on Unsplash

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