I have been working with a leader who has done an excellent job of building his CORE and modeling an uncommon commitment of personal development to his team. A few months ago he made the decision to start practice sessions with his team and from the first session he clearly understood what his gut was telling him. He has a good team, talented and for the most part they all get along. AND there in lies the problem, they get along in a very mediocre way. They’re polite and they don’t really want to challenge each other for fear that some kind of conflict might erupt. They act like they know each other but in reality, they know very little about each other. In our last session I challenged this fact of not really knowing each other and asked them to find a partner and to team up for a round of 7 good minutes.
The idea was for each of them to ask curious questions about their partner’s life and to learn as much as they possibly could in 7 minutes and to simply LISTEN INTENTLY to their partner’s answers and then reverse roles for another round. At the end of the first 7 minutes I called time…AND as I have seen happen so many times, this group wanted more time. This team was into it, they were laughing, showing a genuine interest and YES, uncovering details they were not aware of!
Today I met with each member of the team and simply asked for feedback on our practice sessions and what he or she was learning from the sessions. Each of them made reference to the 7 Good Minutes Exercise and the fact that they work together every day and how little they know about each other. Several team members talked about the fact that at first it made them uncomfortable and some thought at first it even sounded a little too fluffy for them. I was not surprised by any of the answers!
We don’t listen, we don’t care enough, we don’t take the time to really connect and do what all great teams do…they WALLER TOGETHER, they care deeply, they love each other, they stand tall for each other, they mine for conflict, they fight and they Build Strong Transformational Relationships that allow them to build something really great together!
I have confidence that this team got the message! They understand each other a little better, they took one baby step and they are ready for more.