A purpose and ideas that are large enough to make a difference often require a team.
That’s a good thing. Working together we can each focus on our strengths and teams are better problem solvers than individuals. In fact, study results published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that groups of three to five solve complex problems better than the same number of individuals.
As you likely know, working in teams doesn’t always go smoothly. I bet you have a story or two about that too. However, I’ve identified three actions you can take to make your next purpose project more enjoyable.
You’ve seen the emails, no doubt, filling your inbox with the subject line “Who can help?” or “Join me with Saturday.” These are general calls for help that aren’t likely to result in others coming to help.
When you are soliciting people to join your purpose project, issue an invitation instead of a call for help. Be specific. Make a list of people you know who might be able to help. Note why you’re inviting them – what can they bring to the project to make it a success.
Then invite them personally. Don’t shout into cyberspace. State what you’re asking them to do, offer a realistic assessment of the time commitment, a definition of success, and why you are asking them.
Once others have agreed to join your team, it’s time to welcome them. Remember, you’ve been immersed in your purpose project, even if just in your head, for a while now. Those just joining haven’t been there with you.
It might help to think of this like you would your home. You can greet someone, or you can welcome them. Think of the last time someone arrived at your home to perform a repair or an installation. You probably turned a light on for them and showed them where the work was needed and left them to their task without much interaction. That’s fine and polite.
Now, think of the last time an old friend came to stay at your home for the first time. I’m guessing you prepared – cleaned, put out towels, and shopped for a few things you thought they’d enjoy. When they arrived, you were present. You showed them around with some commentary and sharing about your space, the neighborhood, and what’s been happening in your life. In short, you took action to let them know they were wanted and welcome in your home.
Do the same for those you agree to join you in your purpose project – welcome them.
Have you ever been in someone’s home where you knew you were welcome and yet they insisted on waiting on you for even the littlest thing, or maybe they tried to control all aspects of their space – the direction of cup handles in the cupboard, and such?
If you are going to take advantage of the problem solving and creative power of a group, you’ll need to go one step beyond inviting and welcoming to allowing. Their presence will change you, the project, and your life.
By allowing them, in their way, to help you achieve your vision, using the strengths, skills, and talents you sought out by inviting them, they will become part owner of the project with you. Their full engagement will enhance and change the outcome.
And there will be times that you’ll need to let go of control in service to living your purpose and changing the world.
Live a Bold & Authentic Life