During a short visit to the garage, I discovered a remarkable example of how a team develops to experience more joy, trust, and respect at work. They did not hire a coach or trainer but did something else. This article may not be a good pitch for my services, but I think it can be important for any team to grow and develop.
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Last week our car had to go to the garage for a repair. It was only a minor repair, and I could wait. I visit a garage for the car several times a year. The garages are often a bit dirty, dark, have employees who are busy, and the coffee is very bad. By default, I ask for tea at a garage. Little can go wrong with that.
The garage I went to today was new to me. Despite the instructions of the navigation device, I made a mistake and was too late. That was not bad at all, said the manager behind a window. He invited me to sit upstairs in the waiting room and asked what I wanted to drink. “Tea, please,” I replied.
I entered a large conference room with a wooden table. The many windows provided light with a view of the nearby police station.
The room could be used for team meetings and training. There was even a flip chart. Suddenly I missed the times when I was in front of groups. I walked to the flipchart. It contained a lot of numbers about revenue forecasts and operating costs. What was striking was the thick pack of sheets that hung behind the flipchart. I flipped through them out of curiosity and saw schematics, theories, and interventions that I know and sometimes use in my own training sessions.
There was one sheet that struck me the most. It contained all kinds of terms such as commitment, honesty, trust, transparency, and fun. Some terms were mentioned more often (by the dashes). It became clear to me that these are the values of the team.
The manager came in, and I apologized for browsing their flip charts. I mumbled something about “professional deformity.” That was not a bad thing at all, the man said and put my hot water and a separate bag of tea on the beautiful wooden table. I asked if the company often hires trainers or coaches. “Rarely,” he replied, adding that they did everything themselves.
He took his time and talked further with me about their challenges and how they distribute (the little) work among the different branches. The man and the team did exactly what is written on the flipchart: they are committed and showed persistence, and they delivered quality (the car was perfectly repaired).
I realized that the most success could be achieved when there is an intrinsic motivation in a team to want to develop and grow. An external trainer and coach can provide tools and inspire a team. The real work to develop will have to be done by a team itself. Progressive companies know their organization and people better than outsiders.
The question is what you can do with this knowledge to move forward with your team.
Get to know your organization
The first step is to get to know your organization better. This applies to both leaders and employees. Show interest in the employees, also for matters outside of work. Ask customers about their experiences with your company.
Committed leader => committed employees
An enthusiastic and committed leader is contagious. I have seen that in several organizations. For example, I know leaders who do an inspiration or motivation kick-off at the beginning of the week. They make time to find new ways to motivate and inspire their team.
Do what you say
“Walk the talk.” When I watch the workshop from the nice waiting room, I see employees in a well-arranged garage having fun with what they are doing. The manager gives me attention and approaches me with respect. They do what it says on the flipchart sheet. They do the things they say they believe.
How can you move even more forward with your team?
Maybe you are looking to inspire and motivate your team. You may also have difficulty with resistance within your team. In that case, you can read the articles below to help you move more forward:
Or type “team” in the search box of my blogs.
Take a leap in team growth
I’ve been working with teams for a long time now and what strikes me about successful teams is that they know what their purpose is; they know why they are doing it. They know their contribution and its effect on the world. Simon Sinek calls that the “WHY” of a team. If the WHY is clear, then the norms and values or the team’s unique working method are also known. The WHY statement often refers to this as well. Just look at these WHY statements from different companies.
You don’t make up a WHY statement; you discover it. It was created in the past by all the work you have done with passion. The stories of successful (and less successful) projects that are completed and with whom form the basis of the WHY.
I am convinced that when a team is aware of the WHY, there is more intrinsic motivation to grow and move forward. It also makes living the norms and values easier; it helps set better goals (which are in line with the WHY), and it helps to hire the right people.
If every member of a team doesn’t grow together, they will grow apart.-Simon Sinek
If you are also curious about the WHY of your team, I can help you with that. Contact me today for a free meeting.
How do you move forward with your team? What do you do to grow together? Let me know in the comment field below. The other readers of this article. and I are looking forward to reading from you!
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