Today I was working with a client and we started talking about passions. As someone who loves clarity and structure, he wanted some way to be able to determine what he is passionate about. It was a great opportunity to identify indicators of when a passion is present.
It’s official. Our daughter has moved away to start University. In one day our family system shifted from four to three -- at least those of us living at home. It’s making me think on a very personal level about system theory and patterns that we witness in teams experiencing change. System theory says that every time someone leaves or joins a system (family, team or group) that the organic nature of the system changes.
Assumptions damage relationships and communication. When coaching teams and facilitating formal and information partnerships, we see that assumptions are often underneath most conflict situations. The quietly held internal beliefs that we hold about people, situations and intentions block opportunities for connecting and learning from each other.
Our vulnerability is the source of our greatest power. It’s also the access point for your life purpose. Bold statements I know. In fact, I know many will not agree. And that’s fine. I’ll offer a perspective from the greatest teacher - life. If nothing else, I hope that it might provoke new thoughts and new awareness. Vulnerability is being exposed. Vulnerability is not knowing. Vulnerability is scary. Most people do anything to mask vulnerability. Sometimes though, life creates circumstances beyond our control. No matter what, you simply cannot pretend that everything is "OK".
GET REAL -- In life. In leadership. In relationships. What does GET REAL mean to you? For every person reading this GET REAL means something vastly different. That’s the beauty of our humanity. That’s why it’s also important to not make assumptions, on this or any other topic. GET REAL came to me as a button. Over the years, I’ve often worn provoking button messages on my jacket lapel.
A dominant complaint in team dynamics is silo thinking. Leaders want their teams to work collaboratively and call us in to “Bust Silo’s”. However, busting silo’s can feel harsh and aggressive. The desire to break down silos is usually to inspire more collaboration, efficiency, sharing of strengths and talent while achieving the global goals and mission of the organization. It’s human nature to defend what we care about. If there is any threat to our primary identity, we fight to protect it. So, if a team development session is billed as a “Busting Silo’s” event you can gaurantee that people will show up prepared to defend their territory. So what is a different way of achieving collaboration other than Busting Silo’s? In our work we refer to it as Building Bridges.
In North America, we live in a culture that promotes independence and self confidence. These attributes above all else, are seen as indicators of success. In promoting this, we are marginalizing the voice of “I don’t know”. Instead, people are praised for putting on a brave face that they’ve got everything together…they know the answers. And if they don’t, they will figure it out. What I am describing above is becoming one of the hot topics for the clients that we coach. These leaders are often feeling they must carry the burden of solutions on their shoulders alone. They believe it is not safe to reveal what they don’t know, nor is it safe to ask for help…or so they think.
In our work, we coach individual leaders and teams. Regardless of what the focus of the coaching, all roads eventually lead to trust. And so, this has become a signature of the work we do with our clients. Definition: “...trust is a pragmatic, tangible, actionable asset that you can create much faster than you probably think possible. Simply put, trust means confidence...When you trust people you have confidence in them – in their integrity and in their abilities.” Bottom-line – trust is an asset that can be developed when we are intentional about it.
In order to hold the big picture and vision and stay grounded as a leader, it is vital to intentionally nurture yourself. Here are some tips we use when working with leaders.
1. Create a monthly or weekly practice for connecting with your vision and purpose.
2. Create a vision story for your life or business.
3. Ask for help.
4. If stuck, change perspective