Recently I underwent a LPI based assessment session by getting 360 feedback from my manager, peers, direct reports and others in the organisation I work with. Through this feedback & assessment, I got insights on how the people around perceive me and I got to know my perceived strengths as well as perceived weaknesses. This got me thinking; I started listing down the aspects of my behaviour that may be leading to the perceived strengths and weaknesses. As I scanned through the list, I realised that some of the behaviours, leading to my weaknesses, were very natural to me, they were my DNA. Did I really want to change my DNA and turn into someone else? I started wondering how nice it would be if people could accept me along with my quirks.
K.S. Prashant recently blogged about “Seeking Sheldon”… After reading it, I felt that though I am not a “Sheldon”, a lot of us have some amount of Sheldon in us and we value it as part of our identity. Some go into silence; other’s miss meals; some others look visibly disinterested and so on. Probably, understanding and respecting these quirks to some extent, would be the least we could do to help these individuals overcome the conflict with their current challenges. I echo the thoughts from “Seeking Sheldon” and agree that forcing them to do the normal and confirmatory in these times would probably lead to inefficiency, resistance and chaos.
The question was how does one drive a group to be tolerant to these quirks? Is it really possible to stick to one’s core DNA and still manage perception? I started wondering whether I would be able to increase my team’s tolerance for me, by explicitly talking about my quirks/behavioural traits? Would that help in managing perception? If I try to understand someone else’s DNA, would it increase my tolerance for that person?
Around the same time, a new member was about to join one of the teams I work with. New members come from a different work cultures, which could differ from the current mainstream. When we are not aware about each other’s work culture, it becomes difficult to understand why people behave in a particular way or what is expected from them. I believe that “culture” is based on shared “values” of the constituent members and their actions are reflections of their values. This triggered another set of thoughts. Questions that are fundamental to an organised environment. What is our culture? Does every team member consciously understand what our culture is? Do I know what are the team’s values? Does the team know what my values are? Does any new member joining the team have the same understanding and definitions?
With the endless questions running through my mind on these converging thoughts, my brain started picking up the ingredients to create a new experimental recipe. I got the team together and decided to have a “Getting to know each other” session. Each individual would get few days to prepare for the session and would talk about the 4 points below
- Secrets of my Success – I believe that taking a pause to first introspect and then to share the behavioural attributes/actions that individuals take, which they believe has helped them in achieving success, is a great opportunity for everyone to learn from one another.
- My Aspirations – I believe that by publicly listing your aspirations, you become more accountable in achieving those. In LPI, there are observers to observe your behaviour. Here, the aim was to have observers within the team to consciously observe and help you achieve your aspirations.
- My Values – I believe that our actions are the reflections of our values. As you understand what the other person values, it becomes easier to understand why they behave in a particular way, which also helps in understanding their point of view.
- Help Me – Any specific help the individuals need from their observers.
I believe that, collectively, the four points would expose the real person behind the perceived facade and just getting to know the person’s values and DNA would increase tolerance for each other.
I must say that, personally, it was a fulfilling experience for me and was also glad to see the team members opening up in front of each other.
I strongly believe, this exercise, has helped us break any communication barriers we had and helped us work with our collective strengths and mitigate our weaknesses. Most importantly, I felt at peace with myself as with increased tolerance, every individual in the team while retaining their true self and the quirks that come along, would be able to support each other well!
Have you attempted anything like this? What has been your experience? Share them in the comments section below.