Authenticity: the key ingredient of team effectiveness?

A dolphin has a very keen sense of the environment around it. Its senses enable it to orient itself, detect opportunities and anticipate dangers. A diver, on the other hand, does not feel much. He sees the sea behind the window of his diving mask.

Are you a dolphin or a diver? Are you someone who feels less than he thinks? Are you mainly interested in tasks, objectives, results? or are you also interested in the way things are experienced? Are you exciting or boring? Do you inspire trust? In a word, are you connected to your feelings? And do you know how to use it to analyse what is happening and act accordingly?

The life of a team, its climate, its efficiency and its results depend a lot on perceptions. We only need to analyse the words used to talk about team dysfunctions or, on the contrary, about performance: stress, tension, unsaid words, mistrust, closure, fear, apprehension, disappointment, insecurity, trust, relaxed atmosphere, transparency, motivation, openness, pleasure, feeling recognised or not, respected or not, listened to or not…

To be connected to your feelings implies to lay down the armour that has been built based on the injunctions received from the different authority figures in childhood and the self-image that you have been willing to build… This armour was a real source of security at the time you built it… but now it locks you up more than it protects you. It’s like locking a dolphin in a diving suit!

By welcoming your feelings, you gain authenticity with yourself and therefore with others. Expressing ideas, convictions, principles, objectives by sharing your values, aspirations, fears, hopes, fragilities and strengths gives you an incredible power because it simply makes you human. You gain in authority because people feel you are sincere and true and therefore trust you more.

Be careful, this does not mean that you have to say everything all the time, especially if you are a modest person! It’s just a matter of sharing in a measured way what you are feeling about the situation, of expressing what you are experiencing.

Putting down your armour often also requires a lot of courage and determination because it can sometimes take a long time before you really get there.

But when you listen to someone not with your head, which analyses, dissects, judges, but with your sensitivity, then what is called resonance takes place: finer, deeper, more intelligent feelings of the situation that will gradually create an echo. This is where something new can emerge: collective intelligence! The deeper and more regularly you dive into these feelings, the more you will be in contact with your vital energy, which is really close to your heart and which makes you unique. Then you will be able to move mountains!

If you are interested in digging deeper into the subject, we suggest this very good book: “The Human Foundations of Leadership” by Jacques Santini and Christophe Le Buhan.

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