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Building a team and breathe now

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					Building a team: and breathe now!
Building a team: Be here now!
In my work across organisations, I notice that many people, when building a team
– a brand spanking new team or simply continuing to drive an existing team
through to extraordinary – tend to get lost inside their own heads (sometimes
their backsides!) thinking about why it isn’t working and why aren’t others doing
this or that and believing that ‘Fred has always been a pain in the butt anyway!’

We can all be guilty of getting lost in our own thoughts. The problem arises if we
take up residence there and fail to leave the safety of our thoughts and enter the
world! Only when we do this do we have some chance of changing the story and
influencing new action.

Being truly present though, takes
energy, confidence and a desire to
understand others.

One of Steven Covey’s 7 habits is ‘Seek
first to understand, then to be
understood’ – to do this, we must be
present.

Building a team: Silence!
Imagine paying a small fortune to see the greatest choir ever assembled. A bit like
the chaps in the photo! Your expectations would be, and rightly so, fairly high I
would guess? Now imagine that part way through they stop singing. They simply
run out of breath singing such a complex piece that the auditorium is brought to
silence whilst they get their breathe back! I doubt you would be impressed. Me
neither.

As a singer, I quickly learnt about staggered breathing. A simple idea – in order
that the sound is always consistent and there are no silences in choral singing, the
moments when you take a breathe are staggered with your colleagues. I might
breathe at one point and the singer next to me may breathe a bar later. Only this
way can the choir create a wall of sound. Believe me, it doesn’t sound good when
200 singers take a breathe at the same time!

For staggered breathing to work seamlessly it takes each singer to be present and
‘in the moment’ – responding to what is happening around them, noticing that
the singer next to you is pregnant and therefore unable to breathe in the way she
would normally. How do you then adapt your own breathing to accommodate
her? It requires immense flexibility and awareness.



Building a team: Powerful learning

In our team events, there is often great hilarity when we share the notion of
staggered breathing. The assembled leaders have a deep and focussed chat with
the person next to them to agree where they might breathe, they then disappear
back into their own heads paying zero attention to the people around them!!
Uncomfortable learning when it is then played back to them. They quickly
discover, that being truly present and paying real attention can be challenging.

Ask yourself, with your own Leadership style, how much are you truly present and
connected to what is happening around you? In your own organisation, how
much time is spent being present and adaptable to the here and now? In building
a team that ultimately becomes extraordinary, it is the key.

				
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