I received an email recently from a facilitator who wanted to know how best to help a diverse team gracefully move through some significant changes. I thought I'd share part of my response...
Here are a few key principles (not necessarily in order of importance) to think about as you facilitate a team (or an individual) through a period of change:
1. No one is broken (no team is broken). Everyone (every team) is in the perfect place. The perfection ALSO extends to the desire to make a change. It's all perfect.
2. We get more of what we consistently FEEL. Feelings are very powerful. Most people could stand to become more connected to their feelings. Help your group become aware of what they feel on a regular basis. Some people (some teams) have conflicting feelings about success and this creates a block.
3. Trust is THE foundational skill for all team (and personal) growth. Most teams/people believe they are functioning at a high enough level of trust. Every team I've ever worked with needs to take a look at and strengthen/deepen the level of trust they are currently playing at. I'm not talking about doing more trust falls and the like. I'm talking about the need for deep conversations as a group that help build trust. Activities can create the opening but deep trust happens through dialogue. Ask people to rate themselves on a scale from 1 to 10 where 10 is the absolute deepest level of trust - - where do they rate their own level of trust with the team as a whole? Where do people rate individuals within the team? Why? At what level to people trust themselves? Your skill as a facilitator will be paramount in this conversation.
4. What does the team tolerate? Tolerations are a huge energy drain. Do people tolerate gossip? Do people tolerate others being late? Do people tolerate team members who don't play full out? Deal with the tolerations. Clean them up and the team gains more energy.
5. To what degree is the team (ALL aspects of the team) transparent? If there are any aspects of the team that are "shady" or not clear, this will be an energy drain. Transparency at all levels requires letting go of fear and ego. Transparency requires the creation of impeccable systems. Improve transparency.
6. Deciding is not doing. Creating high performing teams is not rocket science though some will make it out to be. What is hard about creating high performing teams is actually DOING the work. Here's a metaphor for you:
Five frogs are sitting on a fence.
Two decide to jump off the fence.
How many frogs are left on the fence?
Answer: Five frogs are still on the fence.
The explanation: Deciding to do something is not the same as doing it. "Deciding" is about the head. "Doing" is about the heart. Get out of your head and into your heart.
You had to be patient to understand why I put that frog photo in! :-)
Would you like to learn these lessons at a deep level and begin applying them in a conscious way with your team? If yes, I'd like to work with you through my one-on-one coaching program.