CHARLOTTE THAARUP – THE MINDFULNESS CLINIC
The demands on teams in 2019 are very different from the demands of more stable, predictable environments decades ago. Today’s teams are characterised by endless change, increasing work demands and high levels of stress.
This makes our dependency on healthy strong relationships more acute and essential. Healthy relationships are stress buffers; they enable us to deal with the challenges of life in 2019. Healthy relationships where we feel supported, connected and safe are the foundation for healthy teams with a culture of creativity, innovation and productivity.
In their extensive effort to find what constitutes the most productive teams, Google found that the most efficient and productive teams had regular turn-taking, meaning everyone was heard and shared the speaking space. When they dug a little deeper they found that teams with equal turn-taking manifested high psychological safety and high prosocial behaviour. High psychological safety means there is high trust within the team. High trust requires strong, healthy relationships. As Covey Jr says, ‘when trust goes up, speed goes up and costs down, but when trust goes down, speed goes down and costs up.’ This is exactly what Google found.
The Connectome Project found that an integrated brain is a healthy brain. Other science tell us that this applies to all of our cells. My hypothesis is that integration as a measure of health is a ‘Lifelaw’ and that the same principle applies to any group of people: families, teams and organisations.
Think of the dots in the diagram below as individual humans and the links the relationships. We are all part of a grid where we either put into the grid, withdraw or leave it relatively unchanged by our interaction. In other words, we are interconnected and interdependent. There are times in all of our lives where we need the grid to support us due illness or bad luck.
Consider the system. How does it feel not to be heard, not to be valued? What does that do to the system? How does it affect the system if someone dominates or is a bully? What does it do to organisations when there is no cross team connection, rather there is soloing and siloing?
How I treat you and you me affects the grid, the overall culture of the system. When some are excluded, the system no longer benefits from their expertise and insights. In other words, a healthy team is integrated and by nature inclusive.
When we are stressed we don’t tend to be the best version of ourselves, we tend to be self- and task-focused, not relationship-focused. Mindfulness, by reducing stress and making us more aware, is essential for today’s teams and so is a code based in kind curiosity. Naturally, we also need structural and process clarity as a lack of role, responsibility and process clarity tends to drip feed conflict into the team.
Our work on ‘Healthy, Mindful teams are inclusive teams’ starts with mindfulness to increase awareness, reduce stress, and increase emotional regulation and responsibility. We then combine this with The Code of Civility, a code for how we are going to behave together, as well as addressing skills in managing difficult emotions in self and others, and dealing with difficult conversations.
If you would like to join us at the NFP Connect Breakfast on Tuesday 12 March 2019, Charlotte will be presenting on Mindful Teams, Healthy Teams click here for more details
For more information to email Charlotte – click here