Over the next few weeks, I am going to be discussing what it takes to lead a team and also be a team player, whether it be in a sporting or corporate environment. A great deal of what I have to share will be relevant to relationships as well.
By definition, teamwork starts with individuals who are willing to work together as a collective group.
We all have preconceived notions of how things should be and how we would do them. Yet, it is extremely important, not only in a team environment, but also in a relationship, to keep an open-mindedness that encourages different opinions and perceptions.
One of the first things I teach is the importance of listening. The below Zen story is one of my favourites and a great starting point to building a strong and collaborative team:
A young man had read all the books he could find about Zen. He heard about a great Zen master and requested an appointment with him to ask for teachings. When they were seated, the young man proceeded to tell the master everything he had understood from his reading, saying Zen is about this and on and on at length about his studies of Zen.
After some time the master suggested they have tea. The master began to pour tea into the student’s cup. He poured until the cup was full and kept pouring. The tea was running down the sides of the cup onto the table. The master kept pouring and the tea began to run off the table onto the floor. Finally the student couldn’t contain himself any longer and shouted Stop!
The cup is full-no more will go in!
The master stopped pouring and said, Just like this cup, your mind is overflowing with your own opinions and preconceptions. How can you learn anything unless you first empty your cup?
My takeaway for this week:
Remember that what you believe to be true is only as true as your worldly experience; your reality doesn’t go any further than that. In the end, what really matters is exactly the conclusion you draw.
We all approach the world with our own set of perceptions shaped by who we are and who we have been. Being tolerant and open-minded to how others perceptions differ from our own can widen our own experiences and provide possibilities for growth and discovery.
This week endeavour to listen more than you talk. By listening, you may well learn something new.
Have you got a friend or work colleague that you think would enjoy my weekly dose of motivation? If so, flick me through their email address and I will add them to the list.
Have a great week ahead.