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The one rule every team should live by

Mar 07, 2024
Photo by Alessandro Manzoli:

Back in my days as an improviser, I learned to follow a simple yet profound rule: 

"Make each other look good."

Improv falls apart very quickly if one performer is prepared to trample all over the others to get their moment of glory. The story gets messy and, worse still, players stop trusting each other. After all, who wants to walk out on stage in front of an audience only to be left hanging by their fellow actor?

When trust evaporates, creativity takes a nosedive, and the show becomes as predictable as a rerun.

‘Make each other look good’ is incredibly powerful for any team. It’s the golden rule for building collective courage, underpinned by relationships of trust and psychological safety.

When teams embrace this principle, it sparks meaningful conversations, such as:

  • How can we listen and respond to each other's ideas in a way that makes each other look good? 
  • How do we handle disagreements in a way that makes each other look good?
  • How do we provide honest feedback that (you guessed it!) makes each other look good?

So how can you adopt this rule in your own team? Because each time we make each other look good, we become that little bit bolder. 

Until next time,

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