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. It’s important that everyone on a multi-personality show feel a part of the team. Each individual should be respected. But some shows worry more about hurt feelings than the listener experience. Chemistry is important. But what happens when problems arise?

That’s a special situation that requires different talent coaching skills.

What Is Team Chemistry?

Understanding chemistry is fundamental to managing team shows. Many shows get along with one another. There are no problems and few arguments. But that only means they’ve learned to coexist. It doesn’t mean they have great chemistry.

I define team chemistry as a group of individuals that come together to make the whole greater than the sum of the individual parts.

The best shows are usually made up of very different personality types that have little in common. They don’t hang out together. And they sometimes fight like jealous siblings. But these shows can have great chemistry.

Great shows are built so each individual brings a unique set of character traits, skills, and perspectives.

But unless there’s an underlying common bond, shows can easily get off the mark.

Here’s how to protect against potential problems.

Start With Defining Roles

Start by casting a show with clearly defined roles so everyone knows what is expected of themselves and one another.

A common problem is when two show hosts are brought together. Two hosts on a show won’t work. There can only be one, just as there’s only one quarterback on the football field.

Everyone on the show must understand their role and how they contribute to the overall success. If the personalities aren’t happy with their role, problems will develop and continue until it’s resolved.

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It Won’t Be All Smiles & Hugs

The best time to establish a For The Show (FTS) mentality is before the show goes on the air. But that doesn’t help struggling shows that have been miscast or lack defined roles.

There’s a detailed guide on how to work through these situations here.

But here are some tips on how to manage the team that is fighting. Sorry, but this requires a series of meetings.

  • Start by establishing roles for each performer. Set up a group meeting to explain the concept and let the team know that the show is being reset to new roles and expectations. And the process starts immediately.
    • If roles are already established, but not being followed, focus this meeting to reset expectations. Remind them of the role of each cast member and expectations for each.
  • Then have a series of individual meetings with each cast member to get input away from the group.
  • Follow that with another one-on-one meeting to clearly explain expectations for their performance and address issues raised in the first one-on-one.
  • Then have another group meeting to formally establish the game plan and reinforce how it will work.

Then, empower the show host to be the in-studio leader of the team. Leading a team doesn’t come naturally for some folks. Everyone’s input is important, but it’s also not a democracy.

Then provide regular support and coaching.


Great shows have hurt feelings on occasion. That’s okay. It’s healthy. Be prepared to step in and help them stay focused on the bigger picture.

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Oh, one more important tip:

Management should insist that when a decision is made, every cast member is all-in and fully committed even if it wasn’t their idea. This creates great team chemistry.

If you need help in this area, maybe it’s time to get some outside perspective. There’s a terrific seminar on-demand here. And I know a great talent coach that can help set the strategy and inspire talent to buy into the plan.

Coaching The Coaches Seminar

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