By Arthur F. Carmazzi
The Stages of our Evolution into Awakened Team Members – Team Leadership
Stage 1: Acknowledge the Primitive Caveman in You:
Have a look at your behavior in the past days. How many times have you gone against your better judgment to “go with the flow”? Realize your need to belong to the group, to be accepted by your pears. How has this need expressed itself in your interaction with others? What has it restrained from achieving? Would your relationships really be damaged if you expressed your views and opinions or confronted someone else’s potentially bad decision, or is it possible you would gain more respect. As a leader, is it more significant for you to be liked than to get the expected results?
By reflecting on the behaviors you have exhibited in the past, and realizing the damage you are doing to your personal effectiveness and the effectiveness of those around you, you can see the primitive caveman for what he is. This is the first stride in your evolution.
Stage 2: Soothing the Significant Caveman:
Now the caveman in you has become more expressive. You tell people what you want and how it should be. The problem is that you get reactions from them. There are two types of reactions you receive:
- If you speak out with little confidence and conviction, you have only evolved in actions and not in mindset. Others react to you with insignificance; they make you wrong or unimportant. They pay a very little attention to you and you will accomplish little. Your actions are the beginning but it is very essential for you to be consistent and find your conviction. Imagine the alternative if you do not… Extinction!
- You have the conviction and the confidence and now need to show how great you are and how much better than everyone else your ideas and abilities are. Others react by rebelling, some rebel externally and create open conflict. Others rebel internally and while they quietly go along with what you say, they feel that you treat them with insignificance, that you make them wrong or unimportant. Here your ability to overcome fear of not being accepted has brought you to this stage, but now you must learn to apply it effectively.
Now you can find yourself at the second stage as your significance is central to your being, you are likely to react to others that “appear” to take it away from you. This makes confrontation and brings out the caveman in your other team members. Then they react back and just result in a big mess! So before you can transcend to stage three, you must awaken to the reactions that YOU create. Knowing you weaknesses is the foundation to your evolution. FIRST though, you need to admit you are the root of much of this reaction. IT’S NOT OTHER PEOPLES FAULT! Don’t make others wrong so you can be important! You need to take full responsibility before anything can change. You can find other more productive ways to satisfy your need for significance.
Significance is about having the feelings of importance, so what if you had the ability to make others feel important, the ability to bring out the best in them, their passion, and their motivation? Would you get gratification from this power? Would you get significance from the better overall results that could be achieved?
Stage 3: Keeping the Caveman Away from Your Team:
The caveman shows up when your modern (intelligent) brain shuts off. The more you can keep it on, the less time the caveman spends with your team.
This is important to remember that when the caveman shows up, he brings out the caveman in the remaining members of your team. And before you know it, you’ve got a group of cavemen either beating each other or hiding in the background. So STOP IT!
The key to using the Intelligent portion of your brain, is to map the areas that have a possibility to create reaction and marking them with a “caveman alarm”.
Write a list of issues that make you frustrated, angry, submissive, fearful, etc. Put this list in a place where you will often see it. There is a part of your brain that keeps this knowledge in your subconscious, so when one of these issues pops up and you begin to react (making use of the primitive part of your brain), you remember the list and you remember that you may be letting the caveman out. At that moment the intelligent part of your brain triggers and helps you to work through the issue in an evolved fashion.
Stage 4: Evolving into the Awakened Team Member:
By this stage you can stop the caveman from coming out in you. You have gone beyond your primitive emotional reactions to “fear of not being accepted” and “fear of not being important”. It is not necessary for you to be always right, and you don’t make others wrong. You don’t keep yourself away from conflict because you’re scared about others won’t like you or your need to belong.
You have awaked to an evolved individual that can think and act without fear, an individual that gives value to the team instead exploiting them for your personal emotional gratification. You take action in place of reaction. You have nourished the courage of an evolved person.
Still a number of individuals of your team often react. At this stage, you understand them more, so you don’t react to their reactions. You can make use of the intelligent part of your brain instead of the primitive reactive part. So how can you influence those around you that do react?
Look at the way you express yourself. Knowing that the caveman can appear in others instantaneously, how would you communicate when others react, what would you do or say to keep the caveman away from these team members?
Well first, you must identify what stage in evolution they’re at. Knowing this gives you the understanding of what they fear. Do they fear losing their security and acceptance the team provides, or do they fear being unimportant, insignificant? This knowledge helps you with the fundamentals for you to help them meet these emotional requirements and put aside their fears.
Second, give them this article for disclosure of your intentions and awareness of what’s happening. If you all have the same understanding, it becomes easier to obtain results as a team. And, as this Team centered article is based on the Directive Communication™ psychology, attending Directive Communication™ based workshops would accelerate the process. Find a DC practitioner near you at: www.directivecommunication.com
Finally, use questions to fill there emotional needs of belonging and significance. Ask questions, DO NOT teach or lecture. Discover how your team members meet these requirements and how the team can be supportive to each member in achieving them without the caveman.
The journey to the evolution of highly productive teams is scattered with the angry beatings and quiet disillusionment of cavemen everywhere. Effectiveness is against our nature. Only in the face of our inadequacies can we evolve, can we maximize our capacity to be intelligent in our actions, and can we assist others in there evolution.
The advantages of this growth is a happier, less stressful, and more productive life.
The result of not evolving, are a life full of reaction, stress and un-fulfillment.
The caveman will always be in you, the question is do you really want him around in your teams, friends, and families?
Today, evolution is a solution.
Arthur F. Carmazzi, Founder of the Directive Communication Organizational Change Methodology and Ranked as one of the Global Top 10 most influential Leadership Gurus by Gurus International. Arthur specializes in psychological approaches to leadership and corporate culture transformation. He is a renowned International Speaker and bestselling author of “The 6 Dimensions of Top Achievers”, “Identity Intelligence” and “Lessons from the Monkey King”, “The Psychology of Selecting the RIGHT Employee“, and “The Colored Brain Communication Field Manual“.
More Leadership Training from Arthur Carmazzi can be found at: www.directivecommunication.com and www.carmazzi.net