The Self-Awareness Guy

the deeper things in life

Team Building Requires Effort

Team Building Requires Effort


Many leaders and organizations think that team building is something that just happens after one activity.  It takes more than that to really make it work.  I talk with a lot of leaders who have a vague idea that they’re interested in team building and that it might benefit their workplace in some way but when it comes to actually getting an effective program going they drop the ball.

This is perfectly normal.  The standard view of team building is to get everyone together, have some fun and then move on.  We may even go as far as attending a workshop where we learn how to label everyone with a color or personality type and then walk around pointing at each other and assuming we know why other people think and behave the way they do.

Effective team building includes some of those elements but also so much more.  It’s a way to get to know people, build trust, increase productivity, lead confidently, empathize with others and many other behaviors that greatly benefit our workplaces.  Genuine team building goes below the surface and requires sustained effort in order to really work.  Here are some ideas to help you build a great team building program.

1.  Commit to doing it for a year.

2.  Get leadership involved.

3.  Focus on team building activities that help people go deeper.

4.  Don’t expect immediate results, team building is a long-term activity.

5.  Set the example and practice the new behaviors you learn.

Team building thrives or falters depending on what you decide to do.  If you really want it to work then it’s beneficial to commit to a long-term program that helps people practice how to really connect with one another. The end result will be a happier workplace where people enjoy working together.  How will you get team building going in your organization?

Cheers,

Guy

Going Deeper

Going Deeper

Having self-awareness means that you understand what makes you tick and you're willing to work on improving yourself. A lot of people spend their entire lives avoiding going deeper into what makes them think and behave the way they do. The irony is that you can't live a truly authentic and fulfilling life unless you deal with the difficult issues inside you. In general, the more you want to avoid something the more attention it merits.

If you chronically avoid thorny issues you do yourself a disservice because you never get past them, which means you function day to day as if you were carrying a heavy piece of luggage or baggage. The key to living a great life is to heal your hurts. It may be unpleasant at first, but when you work past them you'll experience life at its most satisfying.

The great thing about possessing self-awareness is that you're able to look at all the things that make you the person you are, warts and all, and are open to fearlessly examining your innermost self. The more you know yourself, the happier you'll be. What do you think about going deeper?

Cheers,

Guy

Living Courageously

Living Courageously

Living courageously requires building your self-awareness and doing things that are difficult and uncomfortable, such as:

  • Healing your inner hurts.
  • Daring to pursue your dreams.
  • Admitting mistakes.
  • Writing poetry.
  • Doing things to make the world a better place.
  • Advocating for people who lack power.
  • Standing up to injustice.
  • Showing the world the real you.
  • Feeling your feelings.
  • Letting your voice be heard.

Anyone can just let life happen to them. The challenge is to strive for deeper meaning and substance, an existence you can be proud of because you made a significant difference in some way, and not just for yourself. I enjoy connecting with people who value self-awareness because they are often the ones discussing the difficult topics that no one else wants to delve into.

What are your thoughts on living courageously?

Cheers,
Guy

Meaningful Team Building

Meaningful Team Building

A lot of team building focuses on superficial interactions and activities that make people temporarily happy but overlook the underlying thoughts and behaviors that bring people together. Meaningful team building encourages people to empathize with others and collaborate well. Here are some ideas to help you design a program that goes below the surface:

  • People examine their own behaviors and how they impact others.
  • Each individual talks about what's meaningful to him or her.
  • Everyone listens to others without interruptions or comments.
  • Each person is given the time and space to share meaningfully.
  • The environment is safe and conducive to deeper sharing.
  • People are encouraged to practice empathy and compassion.
  • Participants praise each other.
  • Everyone is invited to let his or her guard down.
  • The process is ongoing and becomes part of the company culture.
  • Leadership demonstrates commitment to the program by participating actively and allocating time and resources.

Try these ideas and you'll help people come together by building self-awareness, connecting on a deeper level and understanding each other beyond pleasantries. What will you do to practice deeper team building?

Cheers,

Guy

Deeper Team Building

Deeper Team Building

A lot of team building is fun and helps people bond and have a good time together. The missing ingredient is the stuff that's below the surface: how people think and behave long-term. When you're looking to implement deeper team building in your workplace it helps to think about what really brings people together and how you can maintain positive momentum. Here are some practical ideas to help you build a meaningful program.

Look at People's Thinking

Individuals' thought processes can significantly affect how successful your team building activities are. Imagine a leader who doesn't really believe in bringing people together or enjoys power differentials or giving orders. Think about the employee who believes that nobody will ever listen to him or her so why bother trying to collaborate. Consider the staff member who remembers the team building activities in the past that didn't lead to anything. The key to building team cohesiveness is to introduce a new way of thinking and behaving that supports group interaction and collaboration. Imagine how your workplace would run if people genuinely believed they could work together, create a level playing field, share information freely, communicate well and solve problems.

Focus on Behaviors

The way people behave determines how productive your workplace is and how well people collaborate. Take some time to help people get rid of behaviors that don't work (gossip, personal issues, power struggles, competition) and replace them with approaches that do such as: listening, asking open-ended questions or problem-solving.

Shift from Being Reactive to Proactive

The standard way of doing business is to react to what people say or do. These reactions often have nothing to do with work, as when a leader works out some personal issue on his employees. The key to building more successful teams is to implement ongoing training that helps employees deal with any challenge that comes their way and creates a culture where positive interaction is valued. People are much more proactive when they know how to stop reacting to people and events.

Try these ideas and you'll shift your focus from superficial interactions to more meaningful ones. The key in effective team building is to move away from encouraging superficial relationships to diving into the thoughts and behaviors that are under the surface. What will you do to promote deeper team building?

Cheers,

Guy