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Team Development: Creating Positive Change

Team Development: Creating Positive Change

By: Shawn Kent Hayashi

Is one of your new year resolutions in the year ahead to cultivate employee engagement?

In this book excerpt, author Shawn Kent Hayashi outlines practices for successful team development -- practices that start with your own personal development. 

From Conversations For Creating Star Performers by Shawn Kent Hayashi (McGraw Hill; 2012).  For more information visit The Professional Development Group.

As a manager, you want everyone on your team to be experiencing a positive change and momentum. 

Moments of starts and stops -- a few steps forward, then a sense that nothing is happening, and then moving forward again -- are typical during the beginnings of positive change.

When we develop, we are creating change. We need to be patient with ourselves during this scrambled time, which will have many steps forward accompanied by a step backward here and there.

Scrambling Eggs and Personal Development
Times of personal change are rather similar to cooking, say, scrambled eggs. 

We start with the yolks and the whites in the shells -- not where we want them, so time for a change. We crack the eggs open, and runny liquid spills out into the pan. With a fork we mix the eggs together to create a new consistency and color in the liquid mixture -- still not where we want it. We have to be patient and confident, knowing that the desired results are on the way. 

As the eggs begin to cook, lumps form, but the runny mess is still all over the pan and not where we want it.  After waiting and stirring for a few minutes, the eggs take the desired shape and consistency as yummy scrambled eggs.

When we go through a change in our abilities, the same process occurs.  Discovering who you want to be -- what kind of coach, leader, or manager you want to be -- occurs in fits and starts as we go through, as I describe them to my coaching clients, the “scrambled egg phases.” This is development.

You can help this process along by creating your own learning agenda and finding a caring person to nurture you in your journey. Finding a role model to inspire a vision for your ideal self is useful.

A role model can help you to see who you are or who you can be. A role model can help you consider new possibilities for your development and growth. Find someone who is able to believe in you and help you grow, someone who knows how to develop and coach you based on your strengths and natural talents.

Cultivating Team Development
People don’t want to be fixed! When we slip into trying to fix other people, it does not work because people don’t want to feel as if they are broken and must be fixed. People do want to grow and learn. There is a subtle shift in the mindset behind these two stances.

How can you tell when you are in a positive state of development and growth versus a negative state of development and growth -- that is, a fix-it state?

Here’s a list of traits that go along with a Positive Focus on Development and Growth:

1. I have a vision of my ideal self.
2. I know what triggers my hopes and joys.
3. I am playing to my strengths and the ways I contribute best.
4. My development plan is based on my own goals to grow into the level of performance I desire for myself.
5. I am focused on creative solutions.

Here’s a list of traits that go along with a Negative Focus on Broken and Must Be Fixed:

1. I am focused on what triggers my fears and anger.
2. My focus is pessimistic and criticism based.
3. I am working with a Performance Improvement Plan because I am not meeting others’ expectations.
4. I am focused on problems.

To be receptive to new ideas and to develop and grow, we have to be in the first state -- open and positive focused.

We cannot inspire passion in others if we have not engaged it in ourselves.  You have to be a life-long learner yourself to be an inspiring coach and developer of other people.

Author Bio:
Shawn Kent Hayashi
is founder of The Professional Development Group and an executive coach whose clients include Fortune 500 giants such as American Express, Aqua, Cigna, The Federal Reserve Bank and Merck, as well as small entrepreneurial companies. An Emotional Intelligence Certified Coach, Hayashi earned her M.S. in organizational dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania.


Read more from Shawn Kent Hayashi on Monster Thinking: Conversations that Inspire: Creating and Developing Star Performers

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