It's only my third week back at work. At first I was incredibly disappointed to be missing work. I has been trudging around in the storming phase of team building. Yet, that wasn't what was meant to be so I got to spent half that third with my daughter flying through Daniel Tiger episodes and tissues.
No matter how much time passes I still have a lot to learn. I seem to be grasping the skill of being able to zoom out on myself and reflect on a larger picture. Why I am forfeiting my right to speak up? I believe unspoken expectations and assumptions are the root of all evil. What lessons do I need to learn? How can I break up learning them into small steps?
- Being assertive: It isn't rude to speak up for those who have no voice. It's your responsibility.
- Be clear and kind: a world without passive aggressiveness would be a fine oiled machine.
- Ask more questions: Don't assume, ever.
- Few people will share all my values: Find the good in people, and save space for the differences.
What is easier than learning and practicing these lessons? Oh just about anything else. Avoidance, distraction, retail therapy are all ways I have been taught to work around issues instead of work through them. Working through the muck is the hard part. I am very familiar with the life cycle of how teams grow into becoming productive.
Forming: Someone new is added to the group or someone leaves. Everyone is cordial and prepares themselves for changes.
Storming: the stage where everyone feels they have to adjust, even if in just a small way it is distracts, irritates and demands more of them then they first were expecting.
Norming: Everyone has settled into understanding how their role, what others do and see value in making working agreements and guides.
Performing: the team enjoys their role, feels valued and contributes value. Everyone on the team is productive, efficient and dedicated to working towards improvement in every opportunity. Major gains are seen during this phase in performance, profits and communication.
The part that is challenging to accept is that when the dynamic changes everything starts back at phase 1. Those companies with high turn over struggle or never see their teams at performing. Too much time mucking around in the forming and storming phase.
These cycles seem to apply on even the tiny situations in my life; asking for a better deal on that big purchase, speaking up about care quality, developing a plan taking on new foreign skills. Unfortunately there isn't a way to learn these great skills without practice.
The artist that understands how to work through an issue ends up with a master piece. Could you imagine if the great artists attempted to just work around their issues, maybe even practice avoidance, distraction or took off for some retail therapy? There would be a lot of dusty half done pieces of art instead of the pieces we now enjoy and treasure.