Team Building Strength Through Adversity
Who was the person that most inspired you? Maybe it was your mom or dad, coach or neighbor, aunt or uncle, grandma or grandpa. What did they do to inspire you? Maybe it was their life example or their ability to encourage or possibly they always seemed to have the best advice. No mentor or friend is ever going to be perfect. They will fail you and it will probably hurt. The truth is you will fail someone else in some way in your lifetime too. The point is not to pay attention to the failures we see around us, but in the positive lessons others can teach us – and that we can teach others.
For many there is no simple answer when asked who inspired them. Many have tried to live as if they are Lone Ranger with no need of anyone else, but inside they know better and long for something more. I’ve heard a man in his 50’s talk about how he longed for a mentor – someone to “show me what it’s like to be a man.” This was a profound admission that I think is more widespread than most care to admit. We would like to believe that everyone has a positive outlook on life and that his or her family was something to be remembered fondly, but sometimes this is not the case.
This may be why it is so hard to reach through the invisible barriers that some team members can erect. Some may be looking for approval they should have experienced from their parents while others express anger toward everyone based on the unfulfilled expectations they may have had for their parents. This doesn’t mean you have to be a closet shrink, but it can be helpful when you understand some of the dynamics that make your team members function they way they do. You may also gain some understanding of what you can do to balance the needs of the team member with the prevailing needs of your business. In so many ways you are creating a family atmosphere and dynamic within your business. Sometimes team members may fight like siblings or express passive/aggressive tendencies. This is to be expected. Understanding the dynamics of human frailty can be helpful to you as you seek to build a premier team that may be comprised of individuals that thrive on the team concept where they find it difficult in a more traditional work environment. Why? Because they finally have someone to rely on and someone who can rely on them. Most individuals want to believe they can make a difference, but they don’t feel as if they are given the opportunity and they may not even be sure where to start or how.
As a team leader you have a rare opportunity to model the mentor cloak that many individuals in the 21st century have longed for, but have always been afraid to ask for. Remember, a little adversity can be the catalyst that makes your team stronger.
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