100 Ways to Succeed #77:

In the Moment

Your workteam today is not your workteam yesterday. Take a quiet moment or two or three BEFORE you go to work (not in the middle of your commute) to go through your up-to-date mental file on each person, where they are personally, where they are professionally, etc.

Among other things, this might result in a 90-second stop at two or three workstations to talk about what's up with a kid's school problem, etc. Or ask about an online course that so-and-so is taking, or why (women do this sooooo much better—and if that's sexist, so be it) "you seem to be a bit gloomy lately"—whatever. Maybe it means quick lunch plans. A 10-minute walk in the park mid-morning. Whatever. I'm hardly suggesting that you be a snoop—just that you are, after all, trying to work with your team to get something done and help each one develop and contribute in the process.

Think like Coach K: Each practice-game-day is different. Act accordingly. (On the women's thing—to keep beating this horse—I read another Coach K article, I think in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, which says his wife sits in on almost every team meeting—she is indeed attuned to important signals he misses.)