We are brought up learning that nobody is perfect. Fine. I can handle that. As a Success Coach who specializes in Team Building and Leadership Training, I am not perfect. I am far from it. “Perfect” is a nasty word. It encourages us to beat up on ourselves when we are not.
That important thought helps me handle mistakes that I make when I present and facilitate groups. I tell myself that I am not perfect. That I will learn from this. That I recommit. And boom —- I bounce back and proceed to be the best success Coach on the planet. At least that is what I tell my mind.
A turning point in my life happened when I learned the flipside of “perfect.”
All groups are perfect.
Yes, you read that correctly. I have incorporated that brand new belief into my belief system because it works for me. Now, wait a minute. I just said that nobody is perfect. Yes, and I still believe that. I also believe that all groups are perfect.
I success coach groups of all sizes, ages, and occupations. They are all different. And I mean different. I love the challenge of working with a variety of participants who have different personalities, needs and outcomes. That stretches me and that is how I learn and grow.
More importantly, when I remember that all groups are perfect, it’s OK for anything and everything to happen. I follow the lead of my group. If I anticipate one direction, and they go another, I go their way. If a conflict or upset occurs, we handle it and discuss it. If it takes 90 minutes to do a 20-minute activity, we do it. If we spend 12 minutes on an hour activity, we do it. If I make a mistake, I acknowledge it, they see I am human, and we connect even better. If they make a mistake….
That’s the point. The group never makes a mistake. It was meant to happen because a team building day mirrors real life situations. The learning takes place as we choose how to handle our reactions to these mistakes or unplanned events.
I used to get scared handling situations that pop up unplanned in a team building seminar. Truth: I almost welcome those moments now.
I used to think that there were bad apples in every group: you know, the ones who refuse to participate, the ones who blame others, the ones who are never happy, the ones who thrive on conflict and upsetting others.
These folks are part of that perfect group. In fact, they are the teachers. How would the team learn if nobody pushed our buttons? It is those folks who push our buttons from whom we learn the most.
Individuals are not perfect. Groups are.
Larry Lipman is a Success Coach specializing in TEAM BUILDING!