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Wendie’s Weekly Diary – Team Performance Management

steam shipTeam Performance Management

When discussing Team Performance Management the other day, I was reminded of a lovely story I heard when training as a practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

Once upon a time there was a huge steam ship that had run out of steam. It had come to a grinding halt, out at sea, and the engineers on board were unable to get it going again. They called on the finest specialists in the land, who came on board with their sophisticated equipment and computer technology and tried many different ways to get the ship started but to no avail.

Others, from further afield, hearing of the ship’s plight offered their services. And so it was that a succession of experts boarded the ship, each claiming to have the answer and all failing to restart the ship.

Eventually, a little old man approached the ship’s captain and asked if he could help. The old man carried with him a tiny hammer and no other tools. The captain was a little sceptical but he’d tried everything else and so he agreed to let the old man have a go.

The old man entered the engine room and without a word, proceeded to closely examine each of the pipes and  pistons. Every so often, he would stop and put his hands on the pipes for a moment or two or place his ear against the machinery  to listen.

After a while, he stopped, smiled, took out his little hammer and gave one of the pipes a small but firm tap.

The ship began to rumble into life and within a few minutes was firing on all cylinders again. The captain was delighted and invited the old man to send him an invoice for his work.

When the captain received the invoice, he couldn’t believe it. £10,000! He contacted the old man to express his outrage. After all, the old man had barely done anything at all. The captain asked for a breakdown of this cost.

And so the old man sent a further invoice, which read:

£1                      For tapping the ship into life
£9,999             For knowing where to tap

Team Performance Management is about knowing where to tap.

It’s the most valuable thing you can learn to do when coaching others. If you’d like to know  how we can help you with Team Performance Management, do get in touch.

We charge a fraction of the little old man’s rate and we’re just as effective.

Posted by Wendie,
12th April 2010, 2:57pm

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Category: Weekly Diary

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