Even though it was quite some time ago I remember the phone call from one of my daughter’s friends, Aliza. She said she was ‘no good’ at soccer. She really wanted to join the team but she was afraid. Context here: This girl was about ten years old at the time. (Did I mention I was the soccer coach…) Without even thinking I responded to Aliza, “Aliza, at your age there’s no way you’re ‘no good’ at soccer. You’re just inexperienced and the only way to gain experience is to come out and play.” Aliza did join the team and I remember she had a great time. As an inexperienced soccer coach/dad I focused intently on creating a good time for all, while teaching skills about team work, communication and effort. Don’t ask me about our win/loss record, that’s another story!
You Don’t Suck – You’re Just Inexperienced
When I talk with perspective clients about our musical based team building program I’m usually met with responses like: We’re not musical, we may suck at this, I’m afraid we’ll embarrass ourselves… You’d think clients would be asking about the ROI of team building, our program and our references. But no, they’re usually voicing hesitation, fear and trying to move past all that in order to try something they’d really like to do. I often think of Aliza, that long ago phone conversation and I’ll remind adults that they don’t suck, they’re just inexperienced.
Moving A Group Forward – Leaping
My only real challenge is getting perspective clients to leap; to step past the familiar, step over the edge, step into an insecure place where they are not a group of subject matter experts, but rather a group of curious individuals. Once a group leaps the rest is easy. Every organization has lots to say about what they do and lots to discover about who they are – as individuals and as a team. The team songwriting process enables us to journey off the edge just a little bit. At the end of our programs I always here: We’ve got musical talent, we’re pretty good at this, I’m proud of us…
Learning New Stuff
Let’s face it. It is hard for adults to shed armor and show vulnerability. But that’s such a vital component to learning new stuff, to evolving and innovating. Innovation requires experimentation so an inherent part of the innovation process is making mistakes along the way. I hope you’ll take a leap today, or tomorrow, or soon. No – soon is too late, do it today or tomorrow. Move yourself and your team forward by venturing off the edge of familiar. You will learn a lot!