Three ‘aha’ learnings from the U19 win

The euphoric and historic win by the U19 team gave Indians cause for celebration and joy. The future of Indian cricket is indeed bright. Coming from the behavioral sciences space, there were three aspects that caught my attention.

1)   Sachin’s congratulatory tweet- ‘With great teamwork, Big dreams work’

In industry today when so many organizations are struggling with the problem of working in silos and low trust levels, this is an important pearl of wisdom from the maestro himself. We need to get down to the ‘how’ of teamwork. India is on the brink of making a strong mark. We’ve got the world looking at us, in a way may I say the world is wanting to woo us. We are in the best place to dream big and make it a reality. Let’s get down to getting the art and science of teamwork right. 

2)   Rahul Dravid sharing his thoughts after the win.

Dravid gave credit to the support staff and the boys- great insight into his leadership style. His hope that the memory of a junior World Cup win won’t define careers of his team but they go on to create bigger and better memories for themselves is inspiring. A leader who wants his team to enjoy this big victory but really wanting them to truly discover and maximize their potential. Being aware that he attracts quite a bit of attention but refocusing it on the support staff and the team- a reminder of how important emotional intelligence is for a leader today. Daniel Goleman speaks of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and connecting with people as being core to emotional intelligence. In a world where media can truly command who gets attention, Dravid for me reminded me of the need to be self-aware, self-regulated and to put the team first.
(Check out the video of the interview with Dravid here)

3)   The team photobombing Dravid as he gave his interview

A news channel was speaking of this and I thought it was brilliant. Parthiv Patel, Shubman Gill as am sure the rest of the team too singled out and credited Dravid for his contribution. The respect Dravid commands amongst the boys is evident. Yet they were free enough to intentionally and spontaneously photobomb their coach as he was on camera and create a bit of a ‘celebratory ruckus’ for a little bit. For me, it separated fear and respect where maybe fear does not have to be a prime element in order to be respected.

Would love to hear from you. What were elements and aspects of the U19 win that touched a chord with you and what maybe lessons that we as a country and the corporate sector may want to mull on and action, from this fabulous experience these young boys have created for us!

Pearl D’Souza is a Director at PrePearl Training Development Pvt Ltd. If you are looking to explore the science and the ‘how’ of teamwork, join Pearl at the Belbin Masterclass.

Deploying Your Manageable Role.

Deploying your manageable role:


There are situations wherein as a manager, one may be required to make contributions that are not part of one’s preferred Team Roles. Eg: a situation where a senior colleague needs to be dealt with tact and sensitivity. If one’s top Team Roles are largely action roles, then behaving in a way that shows unilateral focus on the task with little or no regard for the sensitivity of the person will not be helpful. In such situations, a shift in Team Roles is needed. Adopting a manageable role will need a conscious sense of self-discipline.

When you find yourself called on to play your manageable roles, here are three tips to enable making the contribution effectively:

  • Keep in mind what is the outcome you need. Eg: in the above example, one may need the colleague to know that he is being listened to and getting his ‘buy in’ is crucial. Hence keeping this outcome in mind, one is better able to focus one’s attention and adopt the manageable Team Role that will enable this outcome.


  • Be aware of the time period for which you need to play the role so that you are aware that it is manageable and don’t get worked up. Playing a manageable role can be stressful because it requires conscious effort. Being aware that some discomfort is part of this exercise and that you are making the TR contributions for a limited time, can help one focus on giving one’s best and effectively manage the accompanying stress.


  • Ask another for feedback. This is crucial. Ask your team members to give you feedback on how you played your manageable role. This will go a long way in you polishing the contributions you can make whenever you have to adopt your manageable role. Since team members are aware that you are playing a manageable role, there is also openness in providing feedback. Asking others for feedback also encourages others to make conscious efforts to polish their own Team Roles.


We would love to hear your thoughts on playing one’s Manageable role effectively. Do send in your comments below. 

Belbin Team Roles and Feedforward

As leaders and managers, a competency that is gaining critical importance is the ability to give and receive feedback. Employees need to know whether their performance is in line with the expectations of the manager. For long, this competency has focused on the past and for good measure on what has already occurred. Little or no time is spent on the possibilities about the future in the execution of the task.

If we have to review performance and measure it in comparison to the expectations set by the manager, he/she must develop the capability of communicating expectations and suggestions to aid future possibilities. Marshall Goldsmith uses the word “Feedforward” for this valuable technique.

There is no doubt that feedback is important. But feedforward must precede feedback for effective individual or team performance.

Here are a few suggestions to leverage your Belbin team roles for giving Feedforward. 

Plant: As a Plant, you are creative and bring a refreshing angle to doing things. You have the ability to come up with recommendations and suggestions on how to approach a challenging role or task ahead. Feedforward from a Plant can bring exciting new dimensions to the goal and can stimulate the energies of your employee to commit and achieve the goal.

Monitor Evaluator: As a Monitor Evaluator you are logical, discriminating and you naturally weigh all options before making a suggestion. This is an important ability to examine future expectations, identify the reasons for the success of a particular path and when the same is verbalised, it can help in reassuring the employee about the anticipated success of the rightness of the direction ahead. This encourages the person to commit more fully to the goal.

Resource Investigator: As a Resource Investigator, you have the unique ability to inquire and explore possibilities into the future. You can engage the employee enthusiastically and bring optimism and a “can do” approach to the goal. Resource Investigators have a natural way to tap into resources both within and outside the organization to achieve a task. You can provide valuable feedforward suggestions in this direction to help the goal achievement.

Shapers: As a shaper, you instinctively push for action. Feedforward suggestions made by you are often taken seriously. When you use this inherent strength in the feedforward process you are listened to because you are known to be on the top of things. The valuable contribution in the feedforward process that you bring in is your ability to make the “difficult things to say” easy.

TeamWorker: As a Teamworker, you are blessed with this unique ability to perceive and be sensitive to what help is needed. You are naturally attuned to the feedforward process and offer suggestions that will be of help. The good news is that the way you put your suggestions forward is non-threatening and keeps a window of opportunity open to fall back on you when needed.

Implementer: As an Implementer, your ability to organize your thoughts in a cause-effect sequence is a unique strength that you bring to the feedforward process. The suggestions made by you are often practical and the expected outcomes visible. This stimulates confidence and there are less chances of going wrong. Most importantly your commitment and disciplined approach brings in respectability and a “must try” attitude to your feedforward.

Completer Finisher: Your reputation for perfection brings to the feedforward process the hope that what you suggest can “polish and perfect” the desired outcome. Your sense of urgency can bring to the forefront the best approach even for the last mile. 

Specialist: As a Specialist, you are the ‘go-to’ person for your domain expertise. Your suggestions in the feedforward process will be much appreciated and sought for as your contribution is likely to be unique. Your helping attitude to share all you can in the area of your expertise makes others willing to approach you when ‘stuck’

In conclusion, try to engage yourself and your team in this process. The diversity of inputs from team members leveraging their top Belbin team role behaviours not only enhances the quality of inputs but also goes a long way to deliver the best possible outcome.

– Leslie D’Souza