Want a super team? Start with dynamic duos

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Dynamic Duos: The power of two
Image from IDEO U course: “From Superpowers to Great Teams”

Last fall, I wrote about my philosophy of life and approach to being a parent … about how I ask myself:

What are your superpower(s), and how will you use them to help others?

So you can understand why I had to sign up for an online course called “From Superpowers to Great Teams” — which helps you hone your unique superpowers while also exploring how to strengthen the relationships in your work teams.

The class summary explains:

Work is most joyful–and its outcomes are most impactful–when we embrace relationships as opportunities and focus on bringing out the best in our collaborators. It begins with you showing up as your best self at work, and then building the relationships and conditions for people around you to thrive.

The non-credit course is offered by IDEO, a global design company that has pioneered design thinking (another topic I have blogged about before).

For $199, I accessed this self-paced course (found at IDEO U) which features a series of short, well-produced videos and related exercises to do on my own.

One of my most profound takeaways was the focus on duos, which the course defines as “the smallest atomic unit of trust on any team.”

Some of the dynamic duo examples in the course include Tina Fey and Amy Poehler from “SNL” and Frodo and Sam from “The Lord of the Rings.”

I look back at my own career and recognize my best, most creative work has been accomplished with another person … (but not necessarily the same person). What we produced together was better than what we could have produced as individuals … which is the sign of a strong duo.

According to this IDEO course, if you focus on your duos, you can greatly improve yourself and the performance of your teams: “We believe a team’s foundation is based on the strength of duos within it.”

Try this quick exercise from one of the class videos:

  1. Identify your duos: Think about people you interact with consistently at work; who you partner with to achieve your goals.
  2. Evaluate bonds: What’s the current state of those relationships? Assess where they are at, from unbreakable to broken.
  3. Look for patterns: Why are some bonds stronger than others? What creates unbreakable duos? What conditions make for weak or broken duos?

As you consider grant opportunities, perhaps approaching them as a duo would make projects more manageable (and fun). I would be happy to help talk through your ideas and navigate the process. Email sseagle@virginiawestern.edu or call 540-857-6084.

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About Stephanie

Stephanie SeagleStephanie Ogilvie Seagle has served as Grant Specialist at Virginia Western since 2016, but she prefers her honorary title: “Chief Joy Officer.” Stephanie spent most of her career at The Roanoke Times, a daily newspaper, where she served in various news and features roles including “Shoptimist” shopping columnist. She earned a bachelor’s degree in integrative studies at George Mason University and a master’s of arts in liberal studies at Hollins University. Stephanie is a mom to one human daughter and multiple chihuahuas … and is obsessed with reading nonfiction, Halloween, and crafting glow necklaces inspired by the Mill Mountain Star. Glow Roanoke!