Strong People – Strong Teams – Strong Communication
Our world is overwhelming, often confusing, even chaotic. Just VUCA. Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous.
It is also a world full of new possibilities, exciting advancements in research and science, ground-breaking developments in technology, with nearly unlimited access to knowledge, new ideas and new ways.
Organizations go through transformational processes. Sometimes because they have to. Or because they want to. Change is being initiated in order to make sure they are at the steering wheel, in order to create a successful future with self-determination based on strategic decisions.
What if you as a manager did not feel like the whole world were on your shoulders? And what if it were not about changing others? What if you could jointly create the culture, the way of collaborating, on working together on making change successful?
What if you were able to act fast? Because the groundwork has already been done.
What if you as a team member felt involved and heard?
What if “change“ lost its drama and really were the “new normal”? A not so bad normal?
What if resilience were not only a word that you hear or say but something that you really feel?
„The era of the lone warrior has served its purpose. The future belongs to the individualized communities.“Prof. Ulrich Weinberg, Head of HPI School of Design Thinking
Change happens in small units and starts with the individual. First the individual must trust in themselves. It is important to inspire and to strengthen excitement for our own development and also for the performance of the team. Teams are stable, productive and motivated communities if the skills and strengths of the team members are promoted and if independent thinking is possible.
The potential intelligence of an organization unfolds if everyone is heard. 100 percent agreement shouldn’t interfere with differing viewpoints.
A team being a strong unit of strong individuals is ready for change. Self-motivation and resilience grow from strengthening the individual and embracing their unique qualities.The feeling arises: As a team we are complete. The moment arrives when the team knows its strengths. Each individual on the team is willing to accept responsibility and contribute.
You can’t tell people HOW they have to feel or process something. But you can enable them to face a new situation self-determined and independently, consciously and with self-trust, motivated, inspired and with a clear head.
Communication supports and facilitates these processes. Communication that has a strengthening effect is forward-looking, supports the positive aspects, encourages constructive discourse. It provides relevant content and to build upon their communication skills.
A clear target picture, painted with colors and details, tangible, visible – such a shared target picture carries the change process and ensures a common basic energy. It answers a lot of questions, explains the Why, deepens important aspects, addresses the emotional side. It creates a connection and a common understanding. At the same time, the target picture states the possibility of achievement , does not leave any doubt about it. One more reason to keep it vivid, to develop it – as colorful as possible, as specific as possible. It is a model of what we aim for, of what is often necessary, of what always involves everybody.
Part of the target picture is the path that leads to it. Here, clarity is needed as well. With the description of the path, including road signs and important stops on the way. And if there are things that need clarification at the start, we communicate this in an open and transparent manner. The same goes for the process of finding a solution.
Communication means telling stories. The change story and stories that evolve/happen/arise on the way.
A shared culture, common values are a solid foundation that supports a unit – starting with the team. They work as a bonding agent that makes real collective intelligence possible. Reflected, vivid values create a frame for interpretation, a bracket for purpose. The sense for a shared identity grows.
Common values are the basis for stable trust in each other. Decisions are made and implemented faster.
Studies confirm that clear values and a clear direction significantly influence the behavior on the job and constitute driving forces for motivation, commitment and productivity. Specified values, jointly developed, visualized and communicated help define and strengthen the culture that drives an organization.
A change process needs to be charged with energy. Right from the start. With a lot of energy. In a sustainable manner. As initial stimulus it has to excel a threshold. You have to aim for something big. Only then change can be initiated. Only then activation is happening.
Addressing heart AND mind is an important element of a long-term activation. Emotion AND intellect. It is difficult to influence the feeling of others of being motivated. Remember, some paragraphs earlier we said: We can’t tell people how they are supposed to feel. But what we can do: make sure that there are the right conditions for maximizing the probability of motivation.
Communication, as information, interaction, with dialog formats, on different channels reaches people, reaches heart and mind and motivates for action.
A team is a complex system and at the same time a flexible unit, which is able to organize itself and act self-dependently. Teams are successful because they have learned to communicate really well. What means “really well“? First of all: open communication. For example, conversations about the shared value system. About the needs within the team. Shared knowledge. Second: Communication in a respectful, mindful and appreciative way. With empathy. Third: frequent and extensive communication. On a regular basis. Face to face.
Everybody on the team is willing to see themselves as facilitator. Communication coaching and training support the evolvement of the team into a strong, flexible, highly competent unit.