It is no secret, Bill Gosling Outsourcing is a fan of geese. There is nothing quite like seeing those dark shapes streaking across the sky: from the iconic flying V-formation to their unique honk, geese are fascinating creatures. Wildlife scientists have been studying some of their interesting qualities, and have discovered these 5 behaviours that help geese be more efficient and effective team members.
1. Geese Fly Further Together
The iconic flying V is for more than just allowing the geese to see something other than the back of the bird in front of them. Each bird, as it flaps its wings, is creating lift for their fellow birds, allowing them to fly further with less effort. When a goose falls out of formation, they quickly realize that it take a lot more energy to try to fly alone. Very quickly, they move back into formation and work as part of the group again.
When your team has a common goal that they want to reach, they will be more efficient, effective, and successful when they work together. This is especially essential when you are working in a team where each person’s work is built on the back of another’s. When one person tries to do all of the work alone, or removes themselves from the team, they discover how much more work they need to do to be successful. By working together on the strengths of their team members, your team’s goal will be much more attainable.
2. Geese Support Each Other When Times are Tough
When a goose gets injured or sick, two other geese will fall out of formation to stay with the goose and stay with it until it is able to fly again. When they head back out, they work together to catch up with the rest of the flock.
As a whole, the team is only as strong as your weakest team member. When one of your team members faces a setback, it is important that the team works to reach out, support and care for them until they are ready to head back into the fray. Work with the person, to find a solution or just be there to protect them as they fight to be back up flying with the team again.
3. Geese Take Turns Leading
Due to the lift created in the V formation, there is no one creating any lift for the front goose. This leadership position can get tiring and exhaust even the strongest lead goose. To help avoid fatigue, the position of front goose rotates between all members of the flock.
In a group there is often one person who will take the lead, by virtue of personality or position. It is important as a team to ensure that everyone in the group takes a turn at the leadership position. Doing this ensures everyone’s skills, talents, knowledge or experience are used and no single person fields all the hard work. In an effective team, it is everyone’s responsibility to function as both leader and supporter.
4. Geese Cheer Progress
Geese can be heard honking loudly while they fly. Scientists speculate that this honking is a way to communicate with and encourage the flock on their long flights. The geese in behind honk at the ones in the front, to encourage them to maintain their speed and keep flying towards their goal.
We have discussed at length the importance of communication and feedback for your team, this is no different. In a team or a group it is vital that there is regular communication happening between your team members, but it is even more essential that part of that communication is in celebrating the progress of an individual or a team. Encouragement helps your team to be engaged, supportive and constantly moving towards success.
5. Geese are Loyal to their Purpose
Geese don’t alter their migration route significantly, they always return to the same areas on each flight. Their goal remains the same, move the flock from the North to the South to protect the flock from the cold or from South to North in the spring. As the goslings grow they learn from the older members of the flock and in doing so, maintain the purpose or goal of the flock, year after year.
The purpose for your team is more than just what your goal is, it includes the culture of the group. Let your team members be a guide to new members in learning the mission, culture and goal of the group. Encourage your team members to share experiences and learnings that they have come across in their work and encourage new members to learn from their comrades.
Do you want to be part of the team that lives the “Gift of the Goose” everyday? Click below to see how you can fit into the Gosling Flock.