Emotion, more than anything else, spells the difference between stellar and mediocre team performance. Fear, anger, frustration, and other negative feelings, can en danger a group's dynamic. But positive emotions have the power to transform it into a high-performance engine, where everyone operates at their peak. Their minds sharpen. They find creative solutions. They get great results. Thanks to discoveries in neuroscience and psychology, we now know that emotions operate independently from our logical minds. They can't be reasoned away. They must be dealt with directly. Drawing on the latest research, Primal Teams shows how any one can control potentially damaging emotions, while triggering the kind of passion and energy that supercharge performance. Illustrated with compelling examples, this groundbreaking guide reveals how to: Transform fear and negativity * Energize primal emotional systems * Activate insight and intuition * Foster emotional bonds and team spirit * Connect the team to a deeper purpose * And more Emotions determine whether a group works with energy and enthusiasm or just goes through the motions. With the array of insights and practical tools in this book, anyone can inspire an unprecedented level of performance.
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Unleashing Maximum Potential
Over a decade ago, IBM met a challenge that would have destroyed most businesses. IBM’s leaders, recognizing that the company could not sustain a viable future relying on the hardware that had made it a household name, initiated a complete transformation of the company from a hardware manufacturer to a global problem solver. Their new business model deployed smart teams to work creatively with clients on the development of customized solutions to complex business problems. Instead of just selling PCs to a customer, IBM now fields teams who analyze the customer’s workflow to determine the functions that equipment, such as mobile devices, could enable employees to perform optimally.
Transforming the company from building one-size-fits-all products to developing one-of-a-kind solutions to meet unique needs took courage. Such a huge and risky strategy would capsize most companies a but IBM isn’t most companies. Its employees often say they “bleed blue,” meaning the IBM spirit and culture run through their veins.
Their deep emotional connection to the company helped motivate them to persevere through a difficult transition and played a key role in their success as members of smart, creative teams. The emotional connections and sensations that people feel in the workplace can empower them to come up with innovative solutions to their clients’ most challenging problems. At IBM, emotions—as much as, if not more than, IQ or any other measure of brilliance—stimulated people to make their new service business succeed in a radically altered marketplace.
In this chapter, you’ll discover that your organization already contains a treasure trove of similar problem-solving potential that you’re able to release by stirring optimal (i.e., distinctly upbeat and deeply felt)
emotions in your people.
SPARKING THE CREATIVE BRAIN
I vividly recall the magic that happened one day in a software development team I was leading. The CEO of our company, a trucking giant a had challenged us to alter our computer systems to support a new railroad service he wanted to launch in four weeks. We felt highly motivated and had spent every waking moment over a two-day period straining to find a quick way to modify our trucking software to work for railroads. Sitting together in a conference room, batting around ideas a and drawing diagrams on the whiteboard long after the other company’s teams had gone home for the day, one of our teammates, Jake, voiced our basic fear: “We just can’t do it in four weeks. These changes are going to take at least four months.”
Although I respected Jake, I felt we could do better. “Let’s shift our emotions,” I suggested. Several heads nodded agreement. We all needed a break from fear and anxiety. “Forget about all these alternatives and diagrams,” I continued. “Let’s take the problem and put it on a mental shelf alongside our anxiety.” I then led an exercise (which I’ll outline later in this chapter) to get everyone de-stressed, centered, and feeling positive. Once the energy in the room had shifted, I said, “Now let’s pull the problem off the shelf, leave all the anxiety behind, and see what happens.” It took only a few minutes before Jake exclaimed, “I’ve got it! I know how we can solve this quickly.” He had devised an elegant solution we could implement in a scant few weeks.
Make Creativity Job One
The success of an organization depends on those key moments when teams develop creative ways to provide greater value to customers and perform more efficiently in increasingly demanding situations. Too often, a team under pressure falls prey to negative emotions like fear and anxiety and formulates an unimaginative solution that barely gets the job done, takes an eternity to implement, and requires constant repair.
However, when they replace fear and anxiety with optimal emotions such as joy and playfulness, they find it a lot easier to dream up solutions that delight customers, rapidly deliver value, and elegantly evolve along with the business.
A 2010 IBM survey reported that the majority of over 1,600 global
CEOs agree that the success of their companies rests on the creative problem-solving capabilities of their people. That’s the only way their companies can handle the accelerating complexity of today’s business terrain, with all of its disruptive technological innovations, quickly evolving customer expectations, constantly shifting government regulations a dramatic swings in the global economy, and overwhelming volumes of data.
You must instill creativity at every level, from the senior executive team to the help desk staff, because you cannot afford to waste valuable time waiting for decisions to travel up and down the food chain. By
then, impatient customers will have switched to your competition.
While executives in the IBM survey agreed that organizations should encourage creativity in frontline workers, they admitted that they did not know how to do that.
Whether your team must solve an internal design problem or invent the next disruptive breakthrough in your industry, they won’t exceed your expectations unless you make it clear that creativity is Job One and develop an environment that fosters innovative thinking. Don’t leave creativity to chance; shape it by design. Most businesses today focus intently on enabling data-based decisions and streamlining their processes a but these tactics will never spark the creativity needed to get and stay ahead of the competition. Creativity and innovation require the right state of mind. Fortunately, new research in psychology and neuroscience suggests that you can employ specific methods to put any team in the state of mind where creativity becomes a habit.
Table of Contents
Prologue: “Since Feeling Is First . . .” 1
1 Hidden Energy: Unleashing Maximum Potential 5
Sparking the Creative Brain 6
Deepening the Impact 11
Dampening the Energy 17
Going to the Source 22
Using an Emotional Savvy Gauge to Measure Your Team’s Emotional Proficiency 25
2 Primal Emotion: Shifting Emotions at the Source 27
Using Novelty to Reignite Drive 29
Playing for the Fun of It 36
Sounding Off 39
Laughing Out Loud 42
Letting Your Face Do the Talking 44
Using the Emotion Shape Shifter to Modify Emotions at
Their Source 48
3 The Scary Stuff: Processing Fear and Negativity 49
Accommodating Negativity 51
Shining a Light on Fear 54
Creating a Diversion from Negative Thoughts 58
Desensitizing Your Team to Fear 63
Using a Fear Release Guide to Reduce Fear and Negativity 68
4 Emotional Contagion: Spreading Coherence in a Team 71
Spawning Good Cheer 72
Becoming the True Leader 79
Making Coherence a Competency 85
Using the Emotional Contagion Do’s and Don’ts to Spread Optimal
5 The Sixth Sense: Detecting Emotions 93
Getting a Feel for Feelings 94
Making Your Team More Attractive 102
Enhancing Integrity 107
Using the Emotion Detector to Detect Moods and Emotional
6 The Engaged Heart: Connecting to a Deeper Purpose 117
Inspiring Your Team 118
Resonating with Your People 126
Defining Team Membership 132
Using the Five Why’s to Define an Inspiring Purpose 137
7 Primal IQ: Activating Insight and Intuition 139
Learning to Work Creatively 140
Incubating an Insight 145
Tapping Intuition 150
Mixing It Up 156
Using the Hunch Detector to Sense Intuition 159
8 Team Spirit: Building Emotional Bonds 161
Tightening the Connections 162
Avoiding Common Bonding Pitfalls 170
Broadening Perspectives 175
Using the Team Bonder to Provoke Deep Connections 180
9 The Balanced Culture: Restraining Runaway Egos 183
Moderating Egotistical Behavior 184
Balancing Competition and Cooperation 191
Tapping the Beginner’s Mind 196
Using a Team Agreement to Keep Egos in Check 203
Epilogue: When the Going Gets Tough 205