Wait, where are the fluorescent lights?
Respecting and appreciating the humanity of others is easier said than done in the typical workplace, where most people, at best, have on a permanent game face and, at worst, a stick up their ass. Let’s no longer tolerate the typical, team-destroying workplace “games” of tug-of-war (i.e. power struggles) and dodge ball (i.e. blaming and finger pointing).
Rather, be a LeaderShifter...get people out from under those fluorescent lights and engaged in sporadic team-building activities to foster greater connection. I’m not talking about yet another steak dinner, mind-numbing industry conference, or lame golf outing. I’m talking about creating shared experiences that are intense, remarkable, and memorable. That’s how you form relationships built on mutual trust and respect, inspire loyalty, and, ultimately, expand the performance of your team.
If you don’t believe me, how about some advice from Theo Epstein, President of the 2016-World-Series-winning Chicago Cubs? He said, “When people do things they weren’t even sure they were capable of, I think it comes back to connection. Connection with teammates. Connection with organization. Feeling like they belong in the environment. It’s a human need – the need to feel connected.”
Or take a page from Google’s play book. In 2012, they embarked on Project Aristotle to identify common traits of their highest performing teams. In studying 180 teams throughout the company and crunching numbers in the googliest of ways, researchers determined that the most effective teams created a culture of “psychological safety.” That’s a concept introduced in 1999 by Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson, who explained, “It describes a team climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves.”
Simply put, great leaders foster play. Great leaders are human.
This could shake things up
Let’s work together to design a team-shifting day or longer retreat doing incredible things like:
• Rock climbing
• Ropes courses
• Cat skiing
• Wilderness trip
• Whitewater rafting
• Fishing and diving
• Scavenger hunt
• Escape room
• Community project