The Self-Awareness Guy

relationships and self-awareness

A Culture of Team Building

A Culture of Team Building


Genuine team building goes beyond the occasional bonding activity or retreat to establishing a culture that encourages and rewards collaboration and teaches everyone in your workplace how to build and participate in cohesive teams. Here are five ideas to keep in mind as you begin creating a culture of team building in your organization:

  1. Team building flows from the top. Leaders who practice self-awareness set a positive example of how to behave in the workplace. They show employees the organization is genuinely interested in building healthy teams by actively setting up and participating in an ongoing program.
  1. Team building is a company value. You get to choose what your organization values and what it doesn’t and whether people in the organization work against each other or collaborate. You decide what behaviors are acceptable and encouraged in your workplace.
  1. Train the trainer. Set aside the time and resources to train people at all levels of the organizations who then train their particular departments until all employees have the knowledge to practice effective team building.
  1. Schedule regular time for team building activities. You show your employees that team building is a priority by establishing a weekly stand-alone activity that doesn’t have to share space with other meetings and is attended by people at all levels.
  1. Team building is about celebrating your employees. Design team building activities where leaders and employees can connect on a deeper level, build meaningful relationships and praise each other in public.

As a leader, you decide what kind of work environment you create and whether you commit long-term to making it easier for your employees to come together and work collaboratively. What will you do to support a culture of team building in your organization?

Cheers,

Guy

Communication and Relationships

Communication and Relationships

People often ask me what to do on a date or in a relationship when trying to start a conversation. Many of us learned how to communicate in our families and with friends so we may only know one style; our own. Learning a couple of basic skills can help us make the most of communicating with anyone. Try these ideas next time you are talking to a date or someone you are in a relationship with.

1. Listen actively.
2. Ask open ended questions.
3. Listen actively.
4. Did I mention listening actively?

One of the easiest ways to help a conversation get started and build is to listen and ask questions. To be an active listener try the following:

1. Look at the other person.
2. Really listen carefully and give all your attention to what the other person says rather than thinking about what you want to say next.
3. Nod or say uh-huh to indicate you are listening.

Open ended questions are formed by asking questions that can’t be answered with a yes or no. Ask “What did you think about that?” rather than “I bet your really thought that was horrible.” The open ended question will invite the other person to tell you more rather than answering yes or no.

Try these common sense ideas and you will be on your way to gaining a new understanding of other people. I wish you all the best as you begin mastering the art of communication.

Cheers,

Guy

10 Benefits of Self-Awareness

10 Benefits of Self-Awareness

Self-awareness offers many benefits to help you live a happier, more fulfilling and genuine life:

  1. The ability to act consciously instead of reacting to people and events.
  2. The ability to genuinely love yourself.
  3. Being authentically happy rather than pretending you are.
  4. Greater depth of experience and enjoyment of life.
  5. The ability to redirect your negative thoughts and emphasize positive ones.
  6. Behaving positively instead of creating additional obstacles.
  7. Enjoying positive interpersonal relationships.
  8. Being the real you.
  9. Living courageously and without limits.
  10. The ability to make your dreams come true.

What would your life look like if you did all these ten things on a regular basis? Self-awareness is a powerful tool to help you live the life you've always wanted rather than settling for whatever comes your way. What will you do to live a more conscious life?

Cheers,

Guy

Team Building Means the Spotlight Isn’t on You

Team Building Means the Spotlight Isn’t on You

I design and facilitate many team building workshops and it's fascinating to watch how people relate to each other.  I'll often observe everyone participating actively but deferring to the leader or looking to him (or her) for permission to participate.  The other dynamic that frequently occurs is that everyone acts very outwardly happy and bubbly but, when we probe deeper, all kinds of rifts and conflicts are exposed that reflect the kind of workplace leadership has created.

When I see these types of interactions it tells me a lot about how workplaces are run and what kind of work environments they create.  Leaders have a dramatic effect on how team building is practiced in their workplaces.  Here are two different approaches.

The Autocratic Workplace

Everything goes through the leader and everyone is required or expected to check in with the leader before anything happens.  People are tentative and dependent because they're not encouraged to work on their own or make independent decisions.  The leader in these organizations often believes there are functioning teams but, in practice, the teams only operate based on his or her directives and limits.  Team building in this type of workplace is usually not very active because people aren't encouraged to work together and decisions are made through one central person rather than a group.  The spotlight is firmly on the leader in this type of organization.

The Collaborative Workplace

There isn't one central focus or source of information in this type of workplace because people are given the opportunity to share their wisdom and expertise.  Employees are encouraged to work collaboratively and share information with each other and the organization.  Leadership is available as a resource if people get stuck or actively participates as an equal partner in teams if invited.  Team building in this type of workplace is consistently positive because people are encouraged to work together.  The spotlight is on every member of the team because they all are welcome to share their insights and each person is valued as a contributor.

As a leader, you decide what kind of workplace you create.  If you value team building and help your employees collaborate you'll enjoy the additional brainpower, idea generation, improved interpersonal relationships and morale that comes from people working together well.  If you promote an autocratic workplace you'll create a different type of environment.  Both approaches can create productive, successful organizations but only one gives employees power and helps them feel like an important and valued member of a team.  Which will you choose?

Cheers,

Guy

Team Building: Expectations and Workplace Relationships

Team Building: Expectations and Workplace Relationships

The leaders and employees I train frequently talk to me about not feeling like they connect with certain people in the workplace.  It’s almost as if they expect the other person to behave a certain way or read their mind.  This is a very common experience in workplace relationships: One person expects a certain kind of interaction while the other seems oblivious.  This dynamic leads to a lot of frustrated people and poorly functioning teams.

The difficulty arises when people hold on to their expectations even when they see repeated evidence that they will never get what  they want.  They hang on to their hopes for a long time waiting for something to magically change.  Expectations can easily become an obstacle to building positive workplace relationships because they expect things to go a certain way rather than working with what’s in front of them.

No amount of hope can change the course of your work relationships and you can’t wish your way out of a negative situation.  The only way you can introduce positive energy into your relationships is by taking action and doing things that change the patterns you’ve established.

Changing the way you do things is the only way to affect your situation.  No amount of hope or expectations can take the place of applying effective behaviors such as excellent communication, team building or problem solving skills.  The great news is that you can do things to change the course of your work relationships, it just takes some courage and taking action to move in a different direction.

Cheers,

Guy