Once, I prepared a team coaching and started with an exchange with the team leader to understand how he was seeing his team, why he wanted a team coaching, and what it is he wanted the team coaching for.
He gave me a lens with which I could get a first impression of his team.
Then I started talking with the team members individually.
My first impression started to shift. The image seemed to grow more complete. As if I was putting a puzzle together.
Then I moved on and talked to individual members of the organization.
It was as if the puzzle was growing more complex until I realized that the lens I was using belonged to a kaleidoscope. Every individual was sharing his view, but none of them had a complete understanding of the situation. They all had their perception of the situation. They all used different instruments or experiences to explain what they had seen meant to them.
The same pieces fell into place differently and created a different picture.
In a way, such a variety of views is normal. We all have a slightly different view of situations. However, to work together as a team, people need something that helps them align their views.
It’s a dialogue during which they all feel free to describe what they see when they look through the kaleidoscope. It’s a dialogue during which everyone experiences a sense of joy that others generously share what they see. And it’s a dialogue that fills everyone with astonishment upon such richness.
It is trust in one another that allowed everyone to share and listen. At the same time, listening and sharing happened trusting that knowing everyone’s perspective would enable alignment.
Alignment doesn’t mean that everyone wants the same thing. It means that a common goal can be fueled by individual and very different goals. It also means that everyone shares the commitment to reach a common goal together.