2020 and now 2021 have been telling — revealing not only that we can “pivot and adjust” to a new normal as teams, but also how healthy or unhealthy our teams are. The truth is, most teams were squeezed and are being squeezed for a number of reasons (new virtual products, lack of sales, lack of contact and community, etc…) The question becomes, are we satisfied with what spilled out when we were squeezed?
As a leader and team development consultant at WinShape Teams coaching leaders, teammates, and followers from across the spectrum of industries and levels, I can say most are seeking help in shaping a better team environment. The cultural environment is what the team’s values and beliefs are planted in and if the soil is unhealthy, then how can healthy beliefs, attitudes and observable behaviors exist?
It all begins with the teammate in the mirror (aka you!) asking, “How do you unlock your full potential as a team member?” The answer: by focusing on a Serving Mental Mindset.
At WinShape Teams we believe the cornerstone for leading, teaming, and following well is defined as being compelled by an unshakeable desire to enrich the lives of others. How different would your teams (work, family, and friends) look if each of you showed up with an unshakeable desire to add value to those around you? How powerful of an image is that? Can you see and feel the joy, peace, patience, and care that would come to fruition in that visualization?
When I coach leaders, teammates, and followers, I use these three parts of a serving mental mindset to help them and their teams care more for one another, know one another more deeply, and help one another become better.
Ask the one in the mirror:
- Do I engage my team with a “get to” mindset or a have to mindset?
- Do I “give” to the team or am I trying to get something from the team?
- Do I “go first” or do I wait for others to act?
1. Commit to a “get to” perspective
How do you feel when you are approaching something you are excited to do? Usually there is a sense of anticipation and excitement. You look forward to the experience and being with those around you. Even in those instances when the experience may not be the best, when I am with those I care about and know the most, it is incredible. Some of the most miserable times I experienced in the SEAL Teams were still awesome because of who I got to be with.
How do you perform when you are forced to do something? Is there a sense of looming consequences if it should not be done on time? A burden weighing heavy on you? Your energy and overall joy dissipate as the task is accomplished. Only when the “have to” is accomplished is there a sense of relief that it’s finally over.
How would you describe the moment when you are in flow or when you have a sense of being in the zone? Those feelings of flourishing and thriving drive an incredibly different perspective. A perspective that is contagious to those around you.
2. Show up with an intent to “give”
I love to give gifts. I go to great lengths to seek out the perfect gift that will convey the exact feelings I have for that person in the moment they open it. I try to give in such a way that when they open the gift, they believe that I know them and care for them.
Do you see your time with the team as an opportunity to add value? The crazy thing is you can choose the answer to that question. What will you choose?
Giving to your team is a way to help. Studies show that helping others is a way to generate better health for you and the team. There are many benefits from helping that go far beyond the giver. Teams made up of those that like to give are simply happier.
3. Strive to “go first”
When you go first and serve others, how do you feel? How does the person being served feel? The data and the research show that when people live out the concept of servant leadership, many aspects of trust are developed and strengthened.
I liken it to the “Hey Mikey” Life Cereal commercial. In the commercial, no one wants to taste the new cereal first so they give it to the youngest family member, and then to their surprise, he likes it, which then leads to them enjoying it also. When you go first, it is easier for others to go. Have you ever been in one of those moments on a team where someone responded with courage and stepped out of their comfort zone? Inevitably that draws others to also step out.
If we desire something for the team, then we should go first. If we want honesty, we should be honest. If we want trust, then we should be trusting. If we want transparency, are we transparent? GO FIRST!
Unlocking your full potential as a team member begins in the mirror.
Adopting a serving mental mindset bolstered by a get to, giving, and go first perspective will shoot life into the cultural soil of any team out there. Teaming well is like any relationship and requires effort, work, and intentionality. Having a servant leadership point of view informed by being compelled by an unshakeable desire to enrich the lives of others is an excellent way to serve your team.
A serving mental mindset may be a foreign concept that will require the development of a new perspective, greater self-awareness, principles and best practices to assist you on the leadership, teamsmanship, and followership journey. Let us come alongside you and walk the journey alongside you and your team. Contact WinShape teams for coaching, leadership summit or a retreat information and let us step out and serve you.