Imagine walking into your team meeting and written on the board is the day’s objective:
By the end of the day, we will no longer be working together.
How would you feel entering into that meeting?
I’ve gotten all those reactions and more when I start with that objective, but here’s the point:
Last week we touched on genuine, vulnerability based trust. Real trust where we can own our truth; courageous trust where we can respectfully call each other out. What do you imagine the byproduct of that kind of trust to be? Results? Yes, absolutely. But even more important than that, it moves a team from working together, to playing together.
Consider music: If you engage with an instrument, what do you say? Do you say, “I work the guitar”? No, you say you play the guitar, the piano, the french horn. Is it work to learn it? Yes, but the work comes in your commitment to the cause, your dedication to the practice, and yet, even during those times of “work,” you are still “Playing the instrument,” yes?
Now put a band together. Do you ever say, “Hey! Meet my bandmates, we work together?” No. You say “Hey, meet my bandmates, we play together.” When they’re in synch, truly honest with one another, they laugh at their mistakes, start over, practice and play. And when they really begin to gel, man, do they “jam!” They’ll riff, improvise, jump back and forth — and through it all, they’ll make amazing music. Whether reading the score of composed music or letting loose and going where the mood and the music takes them, they are playing together and it’s a beautiful thing to witness, experience, and, if so talented, dance to. They’re so much more effective when they’re playing together. They’re in the zone and really jiving; in sync and supporting each other in a magical way, and the music becomes truly powerful.
So when I say the objective is for your team to no longer be working together, I mean it. You can’t get into flow when you see your teammates as untrustworthy adversaries you need to protect yourself from. But when you become “bandmates” and begin to play together — there are truly no limits, and productivity is free to grow by leaps and bounds.
If you’re interested in learning how to play together, contact me. Help your team be the best they can be, and watch them pay you back in picking up that bottom line.