The ultimate competitive advantage is popularity. That comes from a strong mental connections between the people you want to influence and their experience of your brand.
A crucial part of making that connection is how your whole organization delivers on the brand promise. And the easiest way to unravel that disconnection with those people (employees / agents) is to assume that what you think and want at work is somehow falling into place for them in the same way as it is for you.
This assumption is hugely undermining – not because people are demotivated or disengaged – but because they aren’t working from exactly the same shared reality. A shared reality is the basis of each employees’ decisions and actions every day, large and small.
People can work together while living in different realities because everyone interprets the world in their own way. Assumptions, misunderstandings, information gaps, biases – these often sit under the radar, affecting performance, motivation, and delivery. We call it ‘The Fog’, and it makes progress difficult, frustrating, and slow.
Did you see this?
After all of the advances in technology, leadership and learning, this is the result? Here at Mirror Mirror, we see this reduction in productivity largely as being a case of misguided efforts – compounded.
How to create a better shared reality with employees
From our studies in collaboration with TU Delft, we see that learning behaviours in teams lead to better alignment – and both, to a large extent, determine team effectiveness. The behaviours needed to construct better alignment are expressed in four categories:
- psychological safety – a shared belief that the interpersonal risk taking will not carry negative consequences
- team cohesion – shared commitment to achieve shared goals
- group potency – the collective belief of team members that the group can be effective (confidence)
- interdependence – a) task related: reliability of interconnections between tasks; b) outcome related – team members’ personal benefits and costs depend on goal achievement.
The effect of these behaviours combined manifest in one more category: Team Learning Behaviours. These allow for example, constructive conflict to occur whereby divergent views can be either negotiated to common ground or become more readily accepted.
The trick is, therefore, at the team level: to create a collective awareness about where the gaps are in both behaviour and alignment.
Timothy Gallwey’s acclaimed The Inner Game teaches four parts to the learning process:
- awareness of what is
- focus of attention
- own choice (regarding own decisions)
- trust in self and team.
The starting point : awareness of what is, is what we do.
Mirror Mirror is a short, structured process that clears the fog with leaders and their teams by identifying alignment gaps and their causal behaviours. It improves clarity, alignment, and delivery.
Timothy Gallweg said of finding success as a coach:
I replaced the traditional control mechanism of should and shouldn’t with invitations to try heightened awareness and relaxed concentration
And this is the logic behind our Hierarchy of Organizational Effectiveness (article image).