Find Your People Without Looking Too Hard

Look for the happy people.

Happy people are more productive and better to be around.  I don’t have the research at hand, but this is true in my experience.

Happy does not mean, giddy, laugh-at-every-little-thing people, to me it means people who are satisfied, who somehow communicate that they know that everything is not ok, and they are ok with that.

Happy means satisfied, in a good way.  Dissatisfied is the realm of a constant, “I wish things were different,” approach to the world.

One can work to be “better” and not be dissatisfied, for sure, but meanwhile I aim to be comfortable with the process.  It’s a happier way to be.

Presenting, The Present

Everything happens before it happens.

Your perception of “the present” likely is actually around things that have already happened or are about to happen.

Is it possible to Live In The Moment? Sure, but the moment includes time that’s gone by and things to come.

Let’s not get caught up in whether we’re doing a good job of being in the present or not and enjoy whatever the experience is, with the people we’re with.

Teams only go around once.

Running Alongside

Even within a great team, each individual is running their own race.

She might also be a part of a relay, running the team’s race, but for sure she is running her own race.

Our starting lines vary, our pace ebbs and flows until we find a rhythm.

Encouraging each player to run well–to be healthy and efficient–while still being able to cheer the others on–that’s one way coaches can help move the entire entourage down the course.

Usually there are a lot of moving parts–which is better than parts that are frozen in time.

Find ways to cheer for the team and for every racer.

I Wish My People Took More Ownership!

Coaching Is Hard. Fact.

Wanting both to control “all of the situations” and have teams in which people were making suggestions and giving input…these two things struggle to coexist.

Are you really giving your people room to own things on your team? Do they have actual ability to impact change? Do you have a history of soliciting input, asking for ideas?

If not, can you really expect them to own this thing that they don’t really have a piece of?

Who Gets To Contribute?

Who gets to help shape your program?

Who doesn’t get to? Who is supposed to show up and shut up?

Who MUST contribute?

Think about how you want your program to be, to become, to feel to those who come near it.

Think about it, write it down, and share it.

You’ll probably think today’s version is lacking, or even terrible, at some future date. That’s ok. Think about it, write it down, share it and see what happens.

Who Do You Work For?

The ones who matter.

In pro sports, players often talk about thankfulness for the team owners who gave them a chance, and the fans who show up for them. They work “for” them.

The owners are up the ladder. They have control and steer the ship on the highest level. They set compensation and get to decide direction.

The fans are more fickle and demand the best each day (especially when they are in the stands), they lift players up and criticize freely.

In what ways are your players owners and fans in your world?

Teaching Does Not Lead to Learning

Nothing is automatic.

Learning doesn’t happen for students because a teacher works hard or does their best.

Learning doesn’t need permission either. It’s going to happen if the conditions are right.

The teacher (formal or otherwise) can do the condition-creating and push the odds higher, and a motivated student surely helps.

The fun part is that we often learn something completely unexpected.

Keep looking for the learning.

Experiential Learning

The best kind of learning is that which we can be or do rather than hear or think about.

Teaching is about offering opportunities to try (and fail?), to experiment and to experience.

Of course “students” can do these things without the teacher, too. Providing the conditions for these experiences is a great boost to the learning possibilities, but it’s not necessary.

Pupils will learn about what they care about.

Direct, question, massage the experience and be a great teacher because your people are great learners.

Learning to Talk

We don’t spend time on strategies when learning how to talk.

Mostly, as babies, we listen to the adults around us, we watch as they are communicating and we do the same.

There really is typically not in a how-to guide to communication for developing humans. But there should be for organizations.

Organizations and teams that spend time with specifics–who strategize about how they best communicate–can make themselves into more effective communicators.

Every organization needs their own how-to guide. AND, they need to revise and rewrite it regularly.

Does this org value top-down manuals that tell people what to do? Do you want completely open, everyone-can-say-anything systems? Some hybrid? Decide what you want it to look like, and not look like, and get to work building it.*

*the “it” can really be anything.

To Connect or Not

As a raging extrovert, I get sad and tired when I’m alone for too long.

It’s a status that some have a hard time understanding, and I have to work to get it when people say that they are overwhelmed with the act of being social.

There is no right nor wrong here, and working to understand what you need and celebrate that is a key to happiness.

Creating a team of people who share culture, language and a common lens, as well as goals, is easier when you realize that it’s not about the “kind of person” that’s a fit.

The kind of person a good team needs is the kind that commits to the culture, language and goals.

Simple, not easy.