Getting things done fuels any business. But when team members act as hurdles rather than co-creators, frustration grows. Indeed, the real challenge often lies in aligning everyone toward a shared purpose. But we are still learning how to collaborate and have healthy communication.
Recently, several executives have shared they’re quitting or feeling drained because a team member sabotaged their business. Such situations often lead to narratives that paint people as either victims or villains and keeps us spinning.
During any collaboration, we often hit a wall, usually because of communication issues. We find ourselves stuck, make an unhealthy choice, or see no way forward. Instead of giving up, what if we use this moment to review our situation, think about what we’ve learned, consider various paths, and choose a healthier course of action?
What questions are we not asking? New possibilities arise when we pose questions that are under the table. And trust builds when we engage in conversations that some prefer to dodge.
Many of us join a company to make meaningful contributions, but that sense of purpose often proves elusive, especially when poor communication creates a fog of frustration. And as hierarchical paradigms continue to break apart, there is another way that doesn’t require adults to manage adults..
While it may seem complex, the core issue is often simple: making conscious agreements and understanding of what we need to accomplish together. Consider a restaurant. A delightful meal never reaches the table if the chef, kitchen staff, and server don’t communicate. At the core of this are three elements often overlooked: Meaning, Trust, and Relationships.
When people find meaning in their work, they form a deep connection with the company’s purpose. Similarly, an artist experiences joy in creating a masterpiece and relies on a team to get it to market. This is why it’s key to have a:
- Clear and Connected Purpose: Ensuring everyone understands their part and how we are all connected.
- Real-world Impact: Showing examples of how the product or service affects people’s lives. And connecting with communities makes a huge difference.
Trust acts as the unseen foundation that allows teams to function. It’s like having a reliable net below a trapeze artist. Knowing it’s there lets you experiment and reach for great heights. If nobody speaks up, nothing changes. Trust requires us to be:
- Open: Sharing information freely, so everyone is in the loop. And creating two-way dialogue where we experiment without judgement.
- Authentic: Making sure actions match words. Walking the talk.
Think of a forest. Each tree is independent but shares the ecosystem, contributing to the forest’s overall health. The same applies to the workplace; individual relationships form a network that either enriches or drains the whole environment. At the heart of meaningful, trusted relationships are:
- Open Dialogue: Encouraging everyone to express questions, ideas and concerns freely. Listening and empathy create a solid foundation as well.
- Community Building: Bringing people together and creating a purposeful journey filled with meaning.
Money plays a role, but it doesn’t single-handedly create a fulfilling work life. By zeroing in on Meaning, Trust, and Relationships, we pave the way for a community that talks openly and stays engaged. This isn’t just an abstract concept; it’s a hands-on way to build healthier, more rewarding workplaces where we let go of hubris. So we can keep our hearts on what really counts and replace frustration with purposeful play.
Now is the time to try new things and live each day in high awareness making the invisible visible. Opportunities aren’t just stumbled upon; they’re revealed when we dare to pull the unseen into the light.