Team wiggle room is an important component of creating, managing and sustaining motivation. Team wiggle room creates robust, yet nimble, outcomes for your team, your company and your customers’ organizations.
In my August 5 post on Managing Motivation, you and I discussed the importance of a mindful and introspective – yet interactive and collaborative – motivational process for you and your team. When you collectively make this focus a team priority, you create a system of self-belief and innovation.
Lynn Hidy sat down with Tim Ohai and myself to ponder “How do you stay motivated and keep your team motivated?” It’s not the can of worms you think it is. Listen to our entire high-spirited and mindful conversation below.
When I speak about self-belief, in terms of motivation, I’m not talking about “I believe I am (always) right.” I am talking about your team’s developing self-confidence to consider all the possibilities before jumping to conclusions to accelerate making your numbers by settling on quick-fix solutions.
I am talking about giving yourself collective permission “not to know” the right answers. Giving yourself permission to pivot in a non-linear manner based on your team’s mindful consideration of multiple external factors.
That process is team wiggle room. It goes beyond collaboration into co-creation.
That strategy allows you to confidently assume risk and make leaps of faith – together. Team wiggle room is the space created when you and your team are introspective about what is going on inside you. At the same time, you remain tuned into the constantly changing business and economic environments around you.
Team wiggle room allows you leverage your team’s core strengths which are grounded in personal and professional competencies, ethics, and vision. What starts out with the individual in their own system of self-belief spreads to everyone involved in the endeavor.
Have you ever noticed how great teams are grounded, are of the same mindset? That doesn’t happen by chance.
Team wiggle room allows all of you to question the prevailing wisdom (aka, status quo) of your corporate culture. Team wiggle room allows you to ask each other “What if we do this?” about the science, technology, engineering and sales processes and practices you are utilizing to determine extraordinary outcomes for your customers.
Team wiggle room keeps you alert and motivated. You have each other’s backs. You drive each other forward. You motivate each other to reframe problems so you all can “see” the issues with new eyes and ears.
To simplify. Think about Dorie and Nemo in Disney’s classic “Finding Nemo.”® Starting out as a team of two very small fish in a very huge ocean full of incredible challenges, they accomplish not one, but many, extraordinary outcomes. They ask for help along the way, often from characters they initially perceive as enemies, yet who turn out to be allies.
Dorie’s mantra is “Just keep swimming.” If you know the story, you know how many times Dorie and Nemo shift position – pivot – and reframe their path in response to external factors. They maintain their constant in this equation: their core values, self-belief and confidence that they will achieve their goal. Together.
They give each other the benefit of the doubt. They build an increasing level of wiggle room into their journey.
Have any of you reading this post ever worked on this type of a team? Kudos to you if you have. If you haven’t had this fulfilling experience, start by reflecting on where and how wiggle room might help your team today.
Babette N. Ten Haken is a management strategist and team-building leadership coach. She helps teams, startups and businesses who wrestle with unpredictable revenue streams. Her Workshops and Playbooks create more productive and profitable teams in healthier organizations. Her Playbook on leadership and business strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
Photo, The Walt Disney Company©