Team Chemistry Doesn’t Mean Feelings Don’t Get Hurt

Team Chemistry Doesn’t Mean Feelings Don’t Get Hurt

by Tracy Johnson

Team chemistry is important for a radio show. But what happens when that chemistry you’ve worked so hard to developed is shaken? That’s a special situation that requires different talent coaching skills.

A program director asked a great question:

What do you do when one member of show gets hurt feelings because their ideas are edited, adjusted or not used?

Everyone takes pride in their contributions, or at least they should. If they don’t, you have another issue! It’s common for some personalities to withdraw or even stop contributing if several ideas are discarded. The solution is NOT to accommodate a weak idea just to preserve their feelings, though.

Here’s how to manage this situation:

Team Chemistry Doesn’t Mean It’s All Smiles & Hugs

A healthy show will always have far more ideas than they have time. Selecting the best ideas and more importantly, idea execution that has the greatest chance to resonate with the listeners, means someone has to be in charge. Think of them as the show’s quarterback.

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On a football team, the QB has a playbook (a full arsenal of plays to choose from), a game plan (the strategy to win this week), and assorted resources (players to execute the plays).

The quarterback’s job is to choose the right plays and put each player in position to make the team most successful. Each running back and each receiver may want the ball on every play, but that isn’t the best way to win.

Everyone on the show must embrace the concept of “team” and trust the quarterback to make the best decisions for the showOf course, this only works if the quarterback understands the audience and knows how they fit in the target’s world.

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Then, if every idea is put through a “for the show” filter, a productive process follows in a healthy environment. Many ideas will be rejected or repackaged. This creates a better show, and has the added benefit of uniting everyone on the team with a common vision.


A great show has far more ideas than they have time to execute those ideas. Maybe that means feelings will be hurt. But if everyone is truly committed to the team, these feelings can be managed. That’s part of the programming job as talent coach.

A winning show requires active participation from each member. As long as their input is respected and considered, should feel validated for their contributions.

Author: Tracy Johnson

Tracy Johnson specializes in radio talent coaching, radio consulting for programming and promotions and developing digital strategies for brands.

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