I've been listening to a lot of music by Bruce Hornsby lately. He's one of my favorite musicians and song writers.
Summer of 2006 I had the great pleasure of attending a live outdoor concert at the famous Biltmore Estate. Three thousand people attended and my wife and I were very close to the front having a great time.
During one of the slow thoughtful tunes, some guy up front in the standing room / dancing area was yelling and being obnoxious. Bruce stopped playing and told the guy to be considerate. It was awesome.
It was awesome because Bruce could do that with 3,000 people looking on. Think about the pressure to do nothing. To keep on playing or to just ignore the inconsiderate concert goer. Imagine if we were all so clear about our boundaries. Imagine your team members being that clear about their boundaries and being comfortable, regardless of the situation, in letting everyone know when a line has been crossed.
Bruce had his "Noise Makers" band with him which amounted to six other people (one of whom was his son on electric guitar). I noticed that everyone in the band keyed off of Bruce. They were so tight (as musicians say). When Bruce stopped playing because of the obnoxious guy the rest of the band stopped instantly. It was like someone hit a stop button. Everyone in the band was so in touch with Bruce and each other.
How does a team (a band) develop this one mind?
Practice. Lots of practice.
So, what does your team practice?
Are you not practicing? Then how can you expect to perform well under pressure (or any other condition)?
PS The 2005 concert of the year as voted on by die hard Hornsby fans took place in Asheville, NC (where I live) and you can purchase the live recording HERE.