What’s the paradigm shift that would accelerate your team’s success?

What’s the paradigm shift that would accelerate your team's success?

“Usually the first problems you solve with the new paradigm are the ones that were unsolvable with the old paradigm.” Joel Barker, independent scholar and futurist.

I was at the supermarket recently and a couple standing next to me were talking about whether or not to eat less red meat.

In response to his wife’s comment, “Should we eat less red meat’, the husband replied, ‘It’s okay as long as we keep taking the anti-cholesterol meds…”

I can’t help but think a paradigm shift could be useful here.

What’s the paradigm shift that will accelerate your team’s success?

So often we focus on the symptoms, find an easy and convenient way of masking or managing these symptoms, or ignore them completely hoping that they will go away. If we asked ourselves how that was working, the answer would be obvious – not very well.

When we mask or try to manage symptoms side-effects kick in which can be detrimental to our overall health and wellbeing and, ultimately, more costly in the long run. The pattern that we often fall into is to avoid and hide. It takes courage to honestly look at what’s causing the pain. The treatment of this can feel too hard, too confronting and require change that we are either unwilling or too frightened to undertake. Welcome to the human condition!

High performing teams have the structure, the courage and the support to look deeper than the symptoms. They work together to identify the cause of the pain, and have the commitment to make changes for the greater good of the team and the results the team are focused on achieving.

At your next team meeting carve out 15 minutes to have a discussion about the health of your team:

  • What symptoms are manifesting that is causing pain? 
  • Connect with the benefit of catching this before more serious intervention/treatment is required or before it’s too late and you are heading towards death
  • Identify which ones have already gone terminal

A few tips to help:

  • Connect with the team’s ‘why’, the benefit for looking deeper at the cause of team pain and working together to address it.
  • Identify and name the symptoms that you observe. Look deeper – what’s the underlying cause?
  • Identify behaviours that could support the team to eliminate the cause of team pain and commit to these.
  • Take action viewed through three lenses: self, other, climate. Self: How do I contribute to this? What action can I take? Other: notice others around you – get curious, what’s going on for that person? How can I support them? What’s the conversation that needs to be had? Climate: What’s the current culture/atmosphere of the team? What impact is this having? Name the elephant in the team? What immediate action do you need to take as a team? How will you hold yourselves accountable?
  • Identify the current connections that you are making as a team, do they still serve the team?
  • What’s the bigger picture that the team is aspiring towards?
  • Look at Stephen Covey’s thoughts on paradigm shifts for some inspiration
  • Choose a new team paradigm that you can create from. What factors need to be present for this to be successful?
  • Maintain flexibility
  • Adopt a team attitude of being life-long learners to help you grow, develop and thrive.

And remember to have fun! Life can be way too serious at times.

Pollyanna Lenkic is the founder of Perspectives Coaching, an Australian-based coaching and training company. 


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