Last week I discussed why you often find yourself wondering why team building is such a struggle and why you frequently find yourself frustrated in your desire to provide the leadership necessary to create an effective work team? The answer previously discussed is that the ego voice tells us: we’re not good enough, we’re not lovable, and we’re not worthy and, as a result, we tend to listen either that we’re being criticized, or we’re being lectured to, or we’re being made wrong, or we’re being judged, or all of the above. Under these circumstances, it’s almost impossible to have a friendly, helpful conversation with a team member and most conversations are either avoided or end up in an argument.
Here’s another reason: It’s impossible for us human beings to not have expectations of the other people in our lives. We have expectations of our employees, our co-workers, our boss, our spouse, our children, and even our friends, just to name a few. At work, in addition to our expectations about how other people will act and what it will be like to be in relationship with them, we also have intentions as to what results will be produced by them.
Given that nobody is perfect (please note that I said that), it’s completely unlikely that others will always live up to our expectations or that things will always turn out exactly the way we intend. When this happens, we become disappointed and being disappointed in a relationship, all relationships, is inevitable and predictable.
That’s not the problem, however. The problem occurs when we approach the other person to discuss our disappointment. We frequently forget that the reason for the communication really has nothing to do with the other person. Now I doubt you see it that way and that’s the problem. People are just people and they almost always do the very best they can given the tools they have available to them. The reason we have a problem is only because they are not living up to our expectations or not fulfilling our intentions. But we tend not to see it that way. We think there is something wrong with them. And often, that’s exactly how we communication.
Now, add that scenario on to what we discussed last week. Rather than taking responsibility for your expectations and your intentions and communicating appropriately, you, in fact, do criticize, lecture, judge or make the other wrong. No wonder they respond the way they do. And this happens all the time, resulting in upsets, arguments and hostility.
The solution: always communicate from a place of responsibility, in addition to following the suggestions from last week, and you’ll go a long way toward creating an effective work team. Unshackled Leadership, available in our store, contains specific instructions for communicating from a place of responsibility.