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Most of us are more familiar with what it feels like to work on an unsatisfactory or average team. Why? Because teams are made up of people – and individual people are complex. When you bring together a collection of individuals, the teams they make up are infinitely more complicated. How, then, would most of us know if we happen to be lucky enough to work on an extraordinary team?
I once worked with a woman who would hold up a project if she disagreed with the use (or lack) of the Oxford comma. Or any questionable grammar, no matter how small or subjective. Consequently, correspondence would be late. Tiny projects would grind to a halt. She was unrelenting in her quest for what she believed was perfection.
That word is “fail.” (I bet that’s not what you were thinking.) Why? It’s simple, really. When we fail, we learn. When we learn, we grow. When we grow, we have a much better chance at succeeding – as long as we keep going. Failure is a natural, normal process. To repeat: FAILURE IS A NATURAL, NORMAL PROCESS. It is a learning tool, not a weapon.
Do you want to become a better leader, build stronger communications, or move your project forward? If so, these resources that caught our eye recently will be of interest to you, too.
Guest post by Lori E. Green: We judge. It’s human nature – indeed many studies suggest judging one’s surroundings, including the people with whom we’re interacting, is essential for survival and is a highly-developed skill through generations of evolution. As we’ve become more evolved and our understanding of our fellow human beings progresses, does the need for judging still exist?
Do you want to ask better questions, be inspired about purpose, or better align with remote teams? These resources caught our eye lately at Facilitator on Fire. Sip now or bookmark for a meal later!
This morning, I took a red-eye flight home from a conference that was several time zones away. It was a terrific but intense conference for entrepreneurs, and I am bone-tired. Yet I am sitting here at my computer anyway, taking a risk that what I am writing now could turn out to be a confused jumble, because I am moved to achieve my company’s purpose. Today, I just don’t have the energy to find much motivation, but I am pushing myself because my purpose is so strong that I can’t resist it. I am truly inspired to show up. That’s the difference between purpose and motivation. Purpose is stable and solid. It gets us moving and keeps us going in the right direction, even when motivation is lacking. When we have purpose
When I was 8 years old, my family’s Christmas was turned on its head when we all came down with the flu. There were 6 of us, and the flu hit us methodically, one after the other, planting us squarely in our beds for days. My poor parents had to care for us (4 children all under the age of 11 at the time) while they were both sick. Somehow, they still managed to put up a tree and wrap presents for Christmas morning.
I don’t recall eating any big holiday meals that year – sparing the details, I don’t think anyone was eating much at all – but I do remember waking up late on Christmas day. We dragged ourselves into the living room and draped our sick bodies across the furniture. Mom administered ibuprofen to the whole lot of us. Then, we looked around at each other for a while before someone, probably my then-3-year-old brother, finally crawled across the room to start weakly handing out presents.
Looking back across the decades, what I recall most strongly is the absence of fighting that year. (To be honest, my family isn’t known for bickering generally, but under pressure of the holidays, we usually manage to get in some good pot-shots at one another anyway.) On the surface, of course, we were just too sick to pester each other. But to dig a little deeper, we didn’t have the energy to indulge in our regular behavior habits and patterns, the ones that typically resulted in bickering.
While I would not recommend giving everyone a virus to make your holidays easier, I certainly believe you can at least disrupt, if not break, one or two of the patterns that lead your family to bicker. In fact, I think you deserve a more peaceful holiday. As we in the U.S. head into our Thanksgiving celebrations, and many of us celebrate additional holidays over the next few weeks, this is especially relevant.
The only power you have is the power to change your own actions and reactions. But, by disrupting a pattern, you can help your family, too. Here are a few things you can do:
Don’t gossip. Just smile and nod, or find another conversation.
Take a break. Go see a movie or take a walk or play football with the neighbors.
Stay somewhere else. If too many people are already staying at Grandma’s house, find another couch to crash on. Or pitch a tent in the backyard!
Be patient, with others and yourself. When you see a pattern that leads to bickering, don’t participate – but be patient with those who do. Habits are hard to break. Notice the little changes and victories and be proud of yourself!
Empower others. Forward the link to this article so others can learn to pay attention to and disrupt those negative family holiday behavior patterns, too!
Here’s to your efforts to promote a more peace-filled holiday season!
Help us Help YOU
What does your family struggle with during the holidays? Leave a comment below to tell us how we can help you disrupt negative habits.
Kay Coughlin, CEO, Facilitator on Fire, is passionate about helping teams turn roadblocks into ACTION and transforming teamwork into TEAMS THAT WORK BETTER.
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