Don’t feel bad, though; you’re in good company. Like me. And about 6.8 billion other people. Self-absorption is harmless enough – until we start interacting with other people. That’s when it gets ugly. The problem is, even though individual self-absorption is the root reason why most teams aren’t what they could be, we rarely deal with it head-on.
Here’s how it usually works. After assembling any team we typically run through the following steps in this order (more or less):
1. Decide on a vision
2. Create a strategic plan
3. Assign tasks to people
4. Get buy-in from everyone
5. Execute, supervise & adjust
Okay, some of you are thinking, I wish my team even did that. The problem is that even this process isn’t enough. It’s full of good stuff like thinking and strategizing and inspiring and implementing. But no one ever takes the time to acknowledge that we’re all sitting in a room full of self-absorbed human beings who are – at their very core – out for themselves.
The first step, Step Zero, must be:
0. Build Trust
Building trust reduces self-absorption and helps people get over themselves. Only then will members of a team know that they’re safe, that they’re taken care of, and that someone has their back. This frees them to commit wholeheartedly to the team and focus on accomplishing the mission.
How are you dealing with the self-absorption of your followers?