If you want the dreamwork from your teamwork, shifting the way you think about and handle confrontation is a GREAT place to get started. Yesterday, I led a workshop at Rivers Club in downtown Pittsburgh (gorgeous space, by the way!). We talked about how YOU can get started transforming your team - regardless of your role - into a powerhouse of collaboration and innovation using strategies found in improv.
Here's a nugget from that workshop: confrontation is the single most important thing you can do to preserve the Spirit of Play.
Conflict arises naturally when teams are growing and/or changing. It's not necessarily anyone's "fault," and it doesn't have to be a bad thing! I encourage all of my clients to commit to thinking of confrontation as a GIFT rather than a negative thing.
Here's some advice to help confrontation be the jumping off place that helps create an ecosystem for your team to do bigger and better innovating:
Step 1: Go into every confrontation with a sincere mindset that says "I am valid. You are valid. We are equally valid." Do not confront until you truly view the other person as an equal: sometimes that means you need to breathe through feelings of self-righteousness and condescension, and other times it means you need to breathe through feelings of unworthiness or imposter syndrome. Either way: do that work before confront.
Step 2: Go in with curiosity. Listen with curiosity and with your full attention. Listen like you believe this person is a creative genius and that brilliance is undoubtedly about to come out of their mouth. Don't listen to plan a rebuttal, or to simply wait for your turn to talk.
Step 3: Maintain a careful and purposeful balance between times when you are listening, and times when you are adding information. When it's your turn to add your information, do it with equal parts: honesty, clarity and kindness. If your offering of information is not in alignment between these three things, it will not be receivable. Communication is receiver oriented, so if you want the optimal outcome from this conversation, you have to make sure the other person is able to understand and work with what you're saying.
This is a good jumping off point! This is a high level over view. I have a full workshop that can be delivered as a 90-minute or 1/2 day experience for teams that are looking for a deeper dive into this content. If that sounds meaningful, let's talk! You can schedule time with me by clicking the button below!
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