Play back what you heard…

Yesterday, during practice 14 with another team learning each other’s language, the head of the system shared some of his learning with 15 teammates. It was nothing dramatic, nothing complicated, and his words were ccd magic, or so it seemed. However, I had a feeling…

So, without hesitating, I interrupted him and asked him to repeat his previous sentence. He glanced at me like what in the world was I doing, but he repeated himself. I asked for a show of hands if they thought he said xyz. Over 70% raised their hand. I asked if the remaining 30% thought he said abc. All remainders raised in unison, including me. So, leader, remember this is your world too. You think you’re being ccd magic and handing out compliments while 70% hear criticisms. You think you’re being ccd magic and telling the team how jacked up you are about the new projects and 70% think you’re beyond pissed off instead of pumped up. You think you’re being heard correctly because the room remains silent and heads nod. Rarely is it so.

Yeah, I know it’s kinda awkward to ask the team to “play back what you heard,” as a safeguard against being misunderstood, but it works. Of course the body language and tone make all the difference in the world regarding how those five words register in the minds of your teammates. So, leader, remember the aim is make sure you’re delivering a message that is received as you intended. The aim is not to try to catch those teammates who are distracted and use this as another technique to keep people on the edge of their seat. “Play back what you heard,” is freakin’ magic when the team knows you’re trying to avoid confusion not catch the confused.

These five words have played a major role in creating positive culture throughout fifteen years of BTL team practice. Go on, give it a try. I cannot believe how many times I’ve used this and been shocked at what the team played back to me and countless leaders in BTL practice. Don’t be surprised or upset when your ccd message was received differently than you sent. Remember, most conflict is simply a conversation to be had. A conversation where parties deeply connect, not play telephone (wow, that came out of the recesses).

Play back what you heard. Good…

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