June 30, 2015
by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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Primal Teams: Defying The Modern
Myths Of Business Leadership
You see detrimental team norms in business everywhere. The
practices of most teams contradict basic human nature. They deny
individual team members’ emotional needs and disregard the
fundamental wiring of their brains.
"There’s a better way,"
says Jackie Barretta, author of the book Primal Teams:
Harnessing the Power of Emotions to Fuel Extraordinary Performance. "It
is better to build teams that nurture the human spirit and thereby
spark the sharpness and creativity that lead to unprecedented levels
of performance." Here she explains some of the ways these primal
teams literally defy the myths of modern business.
Myth #1 — Always Be Positive
environments are often rife with stress and anxiety. Most team
members think they need to look cool, calm, and collected, even in
the most trying situations. However, facial expressions, body
language, and other physiological signals reveal negative emotions,
no matter how hard a teammate tries to hide them. When others see
those signals insufficiently masked by feigned positivity, they lose
a bit of trust in the authenticity of their teammate.
Reality: Expressing negative emotion is
beneficial. People can learn to express negative emotion in
ways that help them process and work through the negativity. This
keeps them engaged and can spark the entire team from lifelessness
to alertness. It also helps engender trust on the team.
Action: Let people express their true emotions. Channel
this energy in ways that help rather than hinder the team.
MYTH #2 — Relationships Should Be Kept Professional
Most teams believe it’s best to keep relationships at a surface
level, where members are cordial and collegial, yet they can make
tough business decisions without being hindered by personal
Reality: People have a primal need to
personally bond with each other. When teammates relate to
each other with genuine feelings of care and emotional concern, they
satisfy a basic human need. In fact, when people interact regularly
with others with whom they don't feel a strong sense of belonging,
they often end up with potent and even toxic negative feelings,
including fear, anxiety, and depression.
Help people in teams build emotional bonds. They can
personally relate to each other while learning to avoid the pitfalls
of close bonds in a rough and tough business environment.
MYTH #3 — Leaders Should Set The Rules
Many leaders believe they need to establish extensive rules for
their teams, to ensure that everyone works hard, takes care of
customers, and is a good team player.
people are given the latitude to do the right things they act more
trustworthy. When people feel trusted the chemical oxytocin
surges in their brains. They naturally become more confident, more
cooperative, more generous, and more conscientious. Performance,
collaboration, creativity, and productivity all increase.
Action: Empower your people. Resist the urge to impose
restrictive rules. Trust your team to do the right thing.
MYTH #4 — Efficiency & Expertise Are The Holy
Most teams focus on increasing their
productivity and efficiency and they encourage their members to
become experts at their jobs.
practices actually make them less adept at solving the challenging
problems faced by most teams today. The human brain has
evolved for efficiency and will easily get stuck in the ruts forged
by the constant repetitions that it takes to perfect a process or
become an expert.
Action: Help every team member
approach each situation with freshness and novelty. Promote
curiosity and exploration and learning so your team can avoid mental
ruts and come up with better solutions.
MYTH #5 —
Big Data Holds The Answers
Teams are increasingly
turning to huge stores of computer-based data to inform their
Reality: The collective knowledge
of the team members is most often the best source of data. They
are constantly exposed to valuable details, such as customer
reactions to products and services, which can never be codified in a
computer's bits and bytes. These details are stored in the members'
subconscious minds, often without their conscious minds even being
aware of them.
Action: Encourage people to use
their intuition. When people use their intuition to read
the data in their subconscious minds, it's not just a hunch or
guess; it's based on real data. Embrace practices to engage this
data in creative problem solving.
MYTH #6 — There Is
No Place For Love
"Love" is still a foreign word in
most business environments.
Reality: Teams need
heartfelt emotion to deal with today's challenging problems. This
is not the gushy love you feel for your partner, but rather the
sensation you feel in the area of your heart when you are inspired
by doing something meaningful. These heartfelt emotions are the
ticket to sparking their highest levels of energy, insight, focus,
and creative problem solving.
Action: Embrace love
as a must-have. Help team members find and experience deep
meaning in their work.
Jackie Baretta’s book, Primal
Teams, shows leaders how to motivate team performances that
transcend the talent and skills of the individuals. It reveals the
innermost workings of the human psyche at work, giving managers and
leaders the practical tools they need to harness the incredible
benefits of nurturing primal human nature. With the array of
insights and practical tools in this book, anyone can inspire an
unprecedented level of performance in their teams.
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