10 May 2010

Team Building – Your Beliefs Can Create Success or Failure!?

Team Building – Your Beliefs Can Create Success or Failure!

By Andy Britnell

Before Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile, people believed it was an impossible feat which would kill the person who attempted it. Bannister achieved it, though, because he was one of the few people who believed it was possible. Once he had achieved that goal, other people started to break the four-minute mile too!

So our own personal belief can help us achieve something or prevent us achieving something – that is very clear to most of us. There is unfortunately another truth that is more difficult to grasp. This is that our beliefs about other people can prevent them from reaching their full potential.

According to James Rhem, of the online National Teaching and Learning Forum (www.ntlf.com), “When teachers expect students to do well and show intellectual growth, they do; when teachers do not have such expectations, performance and growth are not so encouraged and may in fact be discouraged in a variety of ways.”

So take a minute to review your team members. Are they all equally capable in your eyes or do you have a few favourites – are the ones that do well, the ones you have a positive belief about? Do you have the same positive feeling toward the other people, whom you may not feel to be as gifted?

Give your team the best possible chance to succeed. Make a point of believing in them. After all, a belief is merely a certainty about something. You might like to check these positive assumptions for yourself to see if you live up to them:

1. Everyone is doing the best they can with the resources they have – people make the best choice available to them at any moment in time, based upon their life experience and choices they are aware of. If someone is not behaving in an appropriate way, they need to be given other choices to consider.

2. There is no failure, only feedback – it is more valuable to view yours and others’ experiences in terms of a learning frame rather than a failure frame. If someone does not succeed, they have not failed – they have just discovered one way not to do a particular thing.

3. A person is not their behaviour – this is really important in terms of respecting someone’s self esteem. If someone makes a mess of something, it doesn’t mean that they are a mess! Behaviour is what someone does, says or feels at a moment in time. It is not their self or their true identity. Make sure you challenge someone’s behaviour and not the self – a person’s self is greater than their behaviours.

4. The meaning of a communication is the response you get! If you do not get the response you require when communicating with your team, you probably need to change the way you communicate.

Bear in mind that everyone has a different life experience and the meaning of a word for one person may be completely different to another. Remember that voice tone and facial expression also communicate information, and people may respond to these just as much as they do to what you have said.

So check out your beliefs about the various members of your team. Believe in them, all of them, and they will more than likely surprise you!

Andy Britnell’s training and coaching products maximise the potential of your staff and cut out the unnecessary costs incurred by low morale, high turnover and repeated recruitment.

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