An old African proverb says that alone we get faster, but together we get further. The best is to get further and faster, enjoying the journey as all that the team does works effortless. Whereas this is possible, the perfect connection requires discipline, mainly in the communication area.
Guessing the intentions of the other team members before they even say a word is an exhilarating experience. We feel stronger among them and we can help them to feel stronger.
However, arriving to this stage requires rigor, many hours of working together, arguing, discussing and aligning the team’s common goals with the interests of each member. Most importantly, it requires the courage to share our particular interests truthfully.
Why is it so difficult to take the first step forward? Perhaps it is easier for us to protect ourselves behind an “all is well” mask rather than showing our vulnerabilities. When we have enough self-confidence to share who we are without pretending we are another person, we stop projecting our own realities, ambitions and fears on the message we are sending as well as on the one we are receiving. This allows us to connect with others without interferences.
Meanwhile, we will talk a lot without being heard, interpreted from everyone’s different perspective. We will hear without listening, defending our point of view before having understood the others. We will excuse ourselves for many misunderstandings.
When a misunderstanding occurs, our first reaction will be to say it again with more words and better-chosen terms, but it will not matter because everyone will understand again what they want to understand in the same way that we misunderstand them.
Sometimes, there is an amazing distance between what we said and the others heard, or we wrote and the others understood, each one in the audience getting a different message.
But one day, more by perseverance than by chance, the clouds surrounding us clear up. Then we can talk without defensiveness and understand what the others say without criticism. Everything flows effortless and gently. We are connected.