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Enabling culture change with leaders and teams to sustain inclusion, innovation and high performance

How teams can find their purpose

by | Sep 7, 2021

The word PURPOSE written in wooden blocks

There is a moment that I watch for when I am working with a team to transform how they behave and work together.

Truth be told, there are a number of ‘moments’ that unfold, all part of a process that builds a team, enabling them to become far more effective together.

This ‘moment’ is unscripted, but there are subtle indications that it is emerging and unfolding.

Those subtle indicators show themselves in how a leader starts to gently pull back, reducing how many solutions they offer, or similarly they dial down how much they direct others. That moment of awareness is incredibly valuable and when sustained, transforms leadership.

Understanding Transformation as a process

That ‘pulling back’ creates a ‘space’, sometimes almost tangible, where the rigidity of direction can recede, and awareness can emerge.

Sometimes, others will become uncomfortable as direction from their leader diminishes. That may have been a source of comfort and a possibly dependency for them. For others, the reality of accountability and ownership starts to dawn.

Others will start to find their voice, offering up their observations and ideas, some of which are so powerful and authentic they enable significant positive disruption.

Likewise, others have moments of vulnerability where they call out ways of thinking or behaving that are ineffective, that undermine the team and its efforts to perform.

That are then echoed from others throughout the team.

When each person, including the leader starts talking authentically, becomes vulnerable, drops the ‘mask’ and becomes ‘present’, connecting with that ‘moment’ and each other.

That’s the ‘moment’ I am watching for. When the team experiences how to become ‘present’ for themselves and each other.

This is not a light switch moment; a click of the fingers and we are done. This is not a training course; it is very different and very powerful in what it can enable because it takes a process perspective.

Transforming behaviour needs to be enabled, not imposed

Achieving this kind of behaviour transformation cannot be imposed or dictated. Nor is it about perfection. It takes time. It is a process, so it enables the good and surfaces the bad.

It flows but once a team starts valuing their process it is unlikely that they will ever go back to old ways of behaving.

It is created and enabled by each team member becoming vulnerable, authentic, and showing up in the moment.

That ‘moment’ needs to be ‘held’ for the team, meaning issues are then explored, vulnerability is experienced, trust is developed, and authenticity is maintained.

Rinse and repeat, rinse, and repeat!

This is what highly effective teams learn to do.

They value connecting in this way because it is effective. For their wellbeing, self-worth, confidence, and self-respect to name just a few. For their sense of meaning and purpose.

As individuals, as a team and ultimately as an organisation.

That becoming present and authentic enables a different kind of conversation, a different kind of understanding and levels of creativity and purpose that can answer our need for sustainability and innovation.

That’s a level of highly effective behaviour that is easily achievable.

It just depends on what you are willing to change.

So, what are you willing to change?