Ever been part of a team that just didn’t make it?
I think we’ve all been part of a work team, club, fraternity/sorority or rock band which either fell apart… or just limped along.
The strange thing is it’s not down to the quality of the team members. You could take a group of superstars who all excel on their own and create something dysfunctional.
If you’re smarter about team dynamics, you might think that all-star team might be a little imbalanced. So you find the best leader, the best follower, the best dreamer, the best implementer…
Then you sit them round a table and they still could break down into tears, yelling and dramatic exits.
Even if they like each other.
And it gets even stranger.
Google’s Project Aristotle, when looking into what makes some teams amazing, found it wasn’t down to the people. Two teams could have the same team members, yet have one descend into chaos while the other thrives.
They found it was down to the group norms – the unspoken (and occasionally spoken) rules that govern a team’s behaviour.
The right rules bring folks together.
So you might think the best approach is to sit down and brainstorm a list of guidelines.
Things like “all ideas are welcome” and “be courteous”.
And that’s probably worthwhile.
But while a good idea…
It’s not the best.
Because no matter how long you spend on this, there are always going to be unspoken rules. Heck, there’ll be unspoken rules about which explicit rules to follow and which to ignore.
(“We only added that to shut Alex up. No one really takes that rule seriously…”)
You can’t analyse every unspoken rule – not if you spend a lifetime on it.
But you can process them.
You can, because you do. You instinctively learn when to raise objections and when to bury them.
And when the best time to raise controversial ideas is.
The right topics for small talk and the ones to avoid.
How to dress, eat, work and look like you’re working.
Who the real leader of the team is – it’s rarely the boss and it often changes throughout the day.
And a million other tiny things.
It’s not always perfect – you can still make the occasional faux pas. But it works far better than you could manage consciously.
All of that is going on unconsciously – automatically and outside your awareness.
There are times when your set of unspoken expectations – the rules you think everyone should follow – clash with someone else’s.
If you blindly follow these arbitrary expectations, you’ll find the other person stubborn, ignorant and unreasonable.
(Guess what they think about you?)
But the great thing about having a brain is you don’t have to live with your instincts.
You can change them.
One way to do this?
Set your intention to be a more insightful, flexible and effective team member.
Do this right before you go to bed and see what happens when you wake up. Let the fluidity of your mental state as you wake up be open to what you uncovered.
I’ve made a lot of breakthroughs and great decisions while sleeping. And strangely, when I do this, sometimes I feel more rested than usual. There’s no reason why you can’t use the time too.
Of course, what makes it work for me is hypnosis.
I don’t just “set an intention” – I hypnotically engage my unconscious mind.
If you want to use the power of your dreams, it pays to engage your unconscious. Which you can learn to do right here: