Insights & Tips

The team we’re becoming.

I took a tip from James Clear’s excellent book, Atomic Habits recently and reshaped it for leadership team I was working with.

In a move away from the old adage of ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ (which let’s face it, takes an enormous amount of effort and usually leaves us feeling a bit icky & incongruent), Clear encourages people developing new habits to adopt the attributes of a person who already has those habits and in doing so begin to reference yourself as the person you are becoming.

So if becoming healthy is the habit you’re forming, when faced with a menu choice you’d ask yourself ‘what would a healthy person choose?’.

If you extrapolate this out to other habits or shifts you want to make, you might find yourself asking:

– What would a strategic person do?
– What would someone who holds their boundaries say?
– What would someone with a healthy life balance choose?
– What would a courageous or caring or collaborative person say?

In the same way I encouraged the team over the course of two days, to constantly reference the team they’re becoming and ask similar questions of themselves as a team. This not only prevented them from being stuck in old ways of being, it provided them with a belief that things could shift.

Rather than focussing on what’s not working, teams who talk about the team they are becoming give themselves the licence to change, to operate differently.

They’re able to acknowledge that not everything will land perfectly. Shifting / changing / developing is an iterative process and they can gradually become the team they all want to be part of.

Is it helping or harming me?

Being part of the village supporting dear friends who lost their 24 year old son in a tragic accident 3+ weeks ago, I’ve been drawn back to the work of Dr Lucy Hone. I wrote a post about Hone’s work on resilience a year ago and now, as I sit with the deep pain around me personally, I’m reminded once more of the usefulness of her approach for all of us no matter what difficulty we’re facing.

As an expert on resilience and grief (spoiler alert, Kubler Ross’s stages of grief really doesn’t cut it scientifically or practically) having studied it and experienced deep personal loss, Hone speaks to the importance of hope and agency and lists self awareness, self control and self compassion as the keys to developing resilience.

In listening to her TED talk and various interviews I keep returning to the question she encourages us all to ask in the face not only of grief and tragedy, but also in response to day to day realities of living and working in exceedingly complex times;

Is what I’m thinking/doing helping or harming me?

Imagine if we asked this multiple times throughout our day:

– Is looking at other peoples posts on Insta/FB/LinkedIn helping or harming me?
– Is checking emails as soon as I wake up helping or harming me?
– Is saying yes to every work lunch or dinner helping or harming me?
– Is sleeping in ….
– Is having that 3rd glass of red…
– Is logging on to answer emails at night….
– Is saying no to that speaking engagement….

Context is everything so what is helping you in one context may harm you in another. Sometimes I need to sleep in other times I need to push myself to get up and get out and exercise. That email blitz at night might help you sleep better, other times it might be the last thing you or your family need.

You know the Steven Covey circle of influence/circle of control model which encourages us to focus on what we can control? Well according to Hone, resilience research demonstrates that being in some sort of control and putting yourself in the drivers seat provides people with a greater ability to work through difficult experiences.

Choosing what you focus attention on and being conscious of the choices you make ie. Choosing NOT to do the things that are harming you even if they’re enticing in some way, helps build resilience.
As always, play with it and let me know what works/doesn’t work for you.

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