Saturday, 5 December 2009

It’s OK we’re not OK . . . . . . .

What a relief it’s OK that we’re not OK: to discover, experience and learn that we are deeply different from each other and that that’s OK; that it’s good that we perceive, interpret and react “the world” fundamentally differently; that mobilising those differences to achieve something good together, something we couldn’t do on our own, is deeply satisfying and miraculously effective.

I see this relief when a team realises that we are each ‘slack’ (de-energised) about some aspects of our work and ‘keen’ (energised) about other aspects; that that’s not only OK but excellent provided we recognise and get clear about those differences then make room where we can, for them to flourish and complement each other.

It’s not a competition to excel at everything, not a race to be the most OK, but a quest to learn together to continually delight others and ourselves by what we accomplish together.

This realisation can be powerfully achieved when team member’s together disclose their personality profiles and openly discuss how their attributes relate to the roles they play in the team.

I’ve found that a good way to kick-off this process is for the team to map members’ personality profiles on a big sheet of paper between them on a table. (Extended DISC profiles work very well).

Then share stories of personal attributes at play in their respective role behaviours, in what they enjoy and want to develop about those roles, and what they get nagged and badgered about. Relate this new awareness to the purpose, responsibilities and performance measures of their roles.

Next discuss what they could begin to change in their roles and behaviours to mitigate dysfunction within the team (Patrick Lencioni’s “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” are a useful framework here).

Finally agree a plan, beginning with who will do what tomorrow and through the week, month, quarter, and year. Be sure to also agree how progress and change will be measured and to commit to a meeting rhythm for review and sharing change-stories.

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