Over the last 2 weeks, we’ve talked about whether each of us is REALLY open for business and we’ve been having a look at each step of the 5-Step Process to Building a Powerhouse Team. Last week we addressed the what and how of Communication (click here if you missed that). Applying energy, thought and intention to what and how you communicate gets the cogs turning and conversations are generated both internally and externally of your team that allow you to move on to the second step which is Connection. This is a multi-layered step that starts to provide the grease to keep those cogs turning.
3 Essential Layers of Connection
When the communication within your team becomes more intentional, the opportunity and movement is there for you to connect your team on new levels. Here are a few ways in which it’s vital to do that:
1. Connecting your team to each other
They call it the Rat Race because every day, millions of people hop on the proverbial hamster wheel when they go to work, bang out a few hours in the office and go home again. They work to their job descriptions, if you’re lucky and if they have one. They put in the least amount of effort required to get the job done and they are marginally satisfied by the fact that it provides a salary at the end of the month. Most have never been asked whether they want more than that. Most don’t even know where to access the answer to that thought in their brains. And yet there is a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) level of dissatisfaction – even if that’s only shown through lethargy.
Yet all human beings have a few common needs – and we have an opportunity to create energy in our team by connecting them to those needs and to each other. We all need a certain level of certainty – that pay check at the end of the month. And yet we also need some variety – or life gets truly mundane. We could all use things being switched up occasionally, just not to scary proportions. We all need to belong – to be connected to something greater than ourselves – and when conversations are started that allow team members to truly see each other, connections are formed that allow us to work better together, to belong to a team and to feel understood.
Here’s a quick exercise you can use to achieve a few “Ohhhh, THAT’s why you’re like that” moments:
Bring your team together and ask them all to take their turn answering 3 questions about themselves:
- Where were you born?
- How many siblings do you have and where are you in the order of the family?
- Share a challenge or difficulty you’ve had that has helped to form or influence the person you are today.
I’ve watched the light of recognition dawn in the eyes of many team members with just these simple questions. Remembering that we’re all human is a good first step to connection.
2. Connecting your team to your business
We spoke previously about communicating The Plan, and why we’re doing what we’re doing. With any luck, you have a vision for your business. You certainly did when you started it or took it on. If you haven’t updated it or if it’s become hazy, now would be the time to rethink it.
Once you start to facilitate the connection of your team members to each other, you’ll have increased the energy even further. A little buzz of interest will hopefully have started, and you’ll be able to direct that energy towards sharing this information about your business. You’re not sharing the numbers, the facts, the hard data – that comes in the next step. You’re sharing the dream. The Vision. You’re sharing the destination you’d like this team to share a journey towards.
3. Connecting your team to their values and your ideal client
THIS is when you want to have clarity on the Vision for your business, on WHO you need to be or become to obtain that Vision, and the criteria that will keep you on track whilst you journey there – your agreed-upon business values.
Note the “agreed-upon” part at the end of the previous paragraph. This is because when you ask people to journey with you, they must be on board with the proposed journey, or it’s going to feel like having 2 three-year-olds in the back seat for days! Getting your team on board requires sharing the destination and your view of the journey ahead. It also requires sharing the values you believe the business should hold and allowing discussion to take place so that people can agree or disagree with these values, bat-about how they over lap with their own, and add their 5c to the equation. Once you have an agreed-upon set of values to guide you, you have the embryonic start of a team culture. Now you must encourage it to grow!
Connecting your team to the values that they share with each other and with your business and encouraging constant actioning of these values breeds a culture that your ideal client can feel and is drawn to.
What this does, is raise a flag that your ideal client can see. A flag that allows them to make their way to you, rather than you constantly having to look for them. If you don’t have a clear picture (an avatar per se) of who your ideal client is (down to what you think their name may be, what they eat for breakfast, and why they need your product), then this is another very connecting discussion to have with your team!!
Until next week, when we discuss Step 4 – which defines what to do with this elevated communication and connection within your team – I wish you happy team-building and clarity of vision. And if you need help with any or all of that – you know where to come!
by Christen Killick
August 27th, 2018