S01E04 PowerPoint Presentation

Effective Team Communication
Andy Baker, FRC Team 3940
Mike Corsetto, FRC Team 1678
Hosted By:
Effective Communication
Team Building
Communication Expectations
Conflict Management
Effective Drive Coach Communication
Team Building: Goals
Get to know each other
– Set aside Team Building activities can sometimes be the only way to get to know
each other
– Team meetings can often be too busy otherwise
Learn to work together
– Depending on the activity, Team Building can also be geared towards learning to
work together
– Discover teammates personality types and communications styles
Develop a sense of belonging
– Recognized or not, everyone has an innate desire to belong
– To know and be known is powerful
– Passion, dedication and productivity follow belonging
Team Building: Best Practices
• Prepare an Activity
• Define team roles
– Both student and mentor
– Make sure everyone understands what is
expected during Build Season
Communication Expectations
• Purpose: foundation for everything
– Recruiting, design, finances,
sponsorships, awards, negotiations, etc.
Determining Expectations: Best Practices
• Set Team Goals
– Depend on them to help guide your team
– Set competition goals and use them to focus
team efforts
• Have a Team Contract
– For students and mentors
Communications Methods: Written
• Online (emails, social media, web
presence, discussion board participation)
• Letters
• Press Releases
• Presentation Materials
Communications Methods: Verbal
Meeting leadership
Making presentations
Learning and mastering interview skills
Negotiating with other teams
“Selling” team to others
Communications Methods: Non-Verbal
Body Position
Facial Expressions
Listening Ability
Communication Tools
Email Distribution List
Group Texts
Team Website
Social Media
– Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Best Practices: Team Meetings
• Hold weekly team meetings, some host
throughout the year
• Empower students to run meetings
• Create agenda in advance
• Send reminders for key meetings
Communication at Build Season
• Have daily quick build review
• Use a common white board to allocate design
Overall Concept
Sub-Team Goals
Timelines or Gantt Charts
Conflict Management
• Every team will have “RoboDrama”
– Be prepared!
• Key Tools for Conflicts:
– Well-defined team leadership and roles
– Clear, accepted team goals
– Open channels of communication for
students, mentors, parents
Mentors and Conflict
• Train mentors:
Accept diversity and differing opinions
Watch for early signs of conflict
Step in and assist difficult situations quickly
Do not put yourself in compromising positions
• Have mentor meetings
• Recruit diverse mentors
Working with Parents
• Make team rules clear
• Give clear expectations regarding
fundraising and team finances
• Make a clear and precise schedule
• Assign support tasks
Best Practices to Avoid Conflict
• Provide equal opportunities to students
– Recruit students that reflect the demographics
in your school or area
– Watch for any prejudices and correct bad
– Create environment for students of different
backgrounds to build a relationship
Best Practices to Avoid Conflict
• Have clear processes to determine how
students get select roles
– Application process for roles (driver, operator,
pit boss, etc.)
– Voting for leadership positions (president,
lead mechanic, etc.)
– Entry and exit interviews
Best Practices to Avoid Conflict
• Have clear expectations regarding Team
– Design
– Game Play
– Team Issues
• Don’t air your team’s dirty laundry!
• Don’t encourage or listen to rumors or hearsay
If Conflict Occurs…
• Involve team leadership immediately
• Interview (isolate) involved parties
• Determine short term solution that will not
negatively impact the team
• Inform parents and school administration
• Determine a long-term solution
Leadership Roles & Conflict
• Make unified decisions
– Follow team and school/organization rules
• Be clear in communicating decisions
– To involved parties
– To team (when appropriate)
Conflict with Other Teams
• Outside an Event:
– Contact FIRST Regional Director or District
– Clearly define the issue
– Be willing to discuss the issue with other team
– Move on and forgive
Conflict with Other Teams
• At an Event:
– Contact key volunteers and event leaders
– Protect teammates, but expect them to be
– Don’t let this distract team from goals
– Move on and forgive
Drive Coach Communication
• Goal:
– Develop and execute an effective match
strategy both on and off the field
Before an Event
• Good communication starts in the shop
– Start Drive Team in the fall, or by the second
week of Build Season at the latest
– Learn to work together on projects
– Time spent working as a team helps members
to understand each other’s communication
Practice! Practice! Practice!
• It’s not just learning how to drive the robot
• Practice before Stop Build Day to test
• Ultimate Goal: Drive Team Cruise Control
Coach Responsibilities at Practice
• Establish strategy for team to practice and
how it will be done
• Stand behind Drivers and guide them
through strategy
• Debrief with Drive Team after each round
Pre-Event Preparation
• Watch broadcasts of other events with (at least)
your Drive Team
• Find a robot with similar design, evaluate
strategy for qualification and elimination rounds
• Develop Drive Team terminology to describe
certain strategies you expect to use
At Events
• Develop relationships with other teams
– Learn names
• Ask questions about their robot
• Watch them on the practice field
Pre-Match Preparation
• Develop “in-house” strategy
– Select a strategy that is the best fit for the match
– Process is easier the more you practice (remember:
auto pilot!)
– Use data from Scout Team
• Have method of communication in place before event
– Discuss the strategy you expect from the opposing
Working with Alliances
• Hardest part of coaching: Alliance Strategy
• Key: Be Cooperative
Selecting Alliance Strategy
1. Ask what alliance teams want to do
2. Assess how their goals work with your “in-house” strategy
3. Present your strategy
– Highlight how it incorporates each team’s goals and how it will win the
Allow strategy to take place with input from each team
Discuss until are parties are comfortable with strategy
Do a “once over” of strategy and confirm
Shake hands and with teams Good Luck
What NOT To Do
• Do NOT dominate the discussion
• Do NOT lie about your robot’s capabilities
• Do NOT belittle other teams
– Even when you think your robot is better
• Do NOT break the rules- or the robots
Drive Coach Best Practices
• Right Before Match:
– Communicate strategy with Drive Team
– Review quickly with alliance members in
queue line
During the Match
• Stay Calm
– Calm does not mean passive
– Stay in control of your words and actions
• Watch the Field
– Drivers are focused on robot
– Have their next move ready when they finish a task
• Watch the Clock
– Critical role for coach
– Execute key strategy at appropriate times
During the Match
• Communicate with Drivers
– Method will vary based on Driver skill and game mechanics
– Speak clearly and be intentional with words
– Gets better with practice
• Communicate with Other Teams
– Work out cues before match
– Verbal reminders are appropriate
– If needed, explain mid-match strategy changes to other coaches
After the Match
• Thank & Congratulate EVERYONE
– Handshakes and High-fives all around
– Thank teammates and opponents
• Debrief with Drive Team
– What went wrong?
– What went right?
– How can we improve for next match?
Effective Team Communication

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