Teamwork Skills: Are You Playing Too Small A Game?

Are you willing to be completely responseable:

  • for yourself?
  • for a family?
  • for a process, team or department?
  • for the entire company?
  • for a church or community effort or project?
  • for a neighborhood or city?
  • for a state
  • for a nation?
  • for the world?

Collaborators are inclusive players. They see themselves as responsible to and for themselves AND ALSO to the people and places they work with.

To become a more inclusive player requires us to expand our circles of reference, our playing fields, or what we might call our life “games.”

People who boast that they are “only out for No. 1” often exclude a big chunk of the world from their lives. And, interestingly, most of them seem to struggle a lot with friends, spouses, managers and co-workers who appear “out to get them.”

When I have an opportunity to coach such people, I sometimes ask them: “Is there any chance you’ve been defining too small a game in your life? What would it look like for you to define a larger life game?”

Having to answer these questions often helps folks see where and how they’ve been maintaining boundaries that keep their worlds small. And it’s only a small step from that awareness to seeing how one can play at any level s/he chooses. And that is very freeing.

Here’s the secret:

The larger the game you define, the more opportunities there can be for you, and the more potential teammates show up to help you.

And the same goes for you. Here’s an example: When a team leader switches from struggling just for her team’s success to playing so the entire company can be successful, other teams (against whom she’s been competing for resources) become potential partners in managing tradeoffs instead of roadblocks.

Of course a leader can always restrict her “response-ability” just to her team. But, if she chooses to be “response-able” to all company teams, her success can extend over a much wider field.

Are you ready for a larger life “game”? How would you need to shift your boundaries to afford yourself and your teams even greater opportunities for success?

Get started with this 5-Minute Practice Tip:

Draw a circle and write down everything for which you’re willing to be completely response-able. Outside of the circle, write or draw the things you see yourself either ignoring or struggling against. Then quietly consider what you’ve drawn. See if you can see a way to get more out of life by expanding your boundaries and playing a bit larger game.

You have nothing to loose.

Your thoughts?

Comment and tell me what you think.

Posted in Collaboration, Leadership, Teamwork on 02/21/2011 01:22 am
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