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Classroom Team Building Strategies Article

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Anatomy of an Inspired Action
Carolyn Wilson-Elliott, MSLC

Team-building is an inside-job
Author: Carolyn Wilson-Elliott

In a staff meeting, Martha described all the obstacles and setbacks her team had encountered while starting a new project. She was frustrated and tired. Her energy was low. Soon, everyone in the room was tense, shooting down ideas and suggestions, frustrated by our own inability to find a creative solution to the stalled project.

My first instinct was to try and shift the energy of the group from dissonance to cooperation. But, no one was having any of that. Soon, I was too exhausted to even try. I began wondering why I was even here. This wasn't any fun!

I disengaged from the discussion and wondered why I had bothered to attend this meeting? What was so appealing about this project when we began? A spark of energy ran through my body and out of my mouth popped the words, '“Martha would you remind us of the vision we’re holding for this project? What was our original intention?”

As Martha spoke of our goals and dreams and visions, the tension drained from her body, color returned to her face, passion for the project softened her voice. The other team leaders sat silently, remembering in their bodies, the creative energy and enthusiasm they had all shared at the original opportunity to take on the project. When the discussion resumed, everyone’s creativity flowed and it took less than five minutes to find a joyful Inspired solution to the seeming blocks and obstacles that had shown up.

It was not my question that changed the group’s ability to problem-solve. It was the energy behind the question that made the shift possible. We’ve all experienced situations with another person who “said” all the right things, but deep down, we knew they didn’t really mean it, that they weren’t concerned with how we were feeling.

If I had asked the same question while I was still trying to “fix” the group's frustration--if fixing everyone else had been my intention--the question could have been ignored or perhaps escalated the tension in the room. Martha, and the rest of the group, would have perceived, consciously or unconsciously, my true motive of wanting them to relieve my frustration with the meeting.

As soon as I focused in, however briefly, on my own needs--remembering why I wanted to be a part of the project--my energy shifted into a place of self-responsibility. From that energy of self-responsibility an Inspired Action--asking the question that would re-connect me to my original desire for the project--came so suddenly that the words were out of my mouth before I knew it.

Now, when I want to be open to Inspired Actions, I just ask myself two questions:

What's my Intention for this situation? What do I need right now to get into the energy of my Intention? The first thing that shows up--as a thought, an image, a feeling--no matter how bizarre, is my Inspired Action. If I doubt my first impression, I just measure the energy of the action against the energy of my Intention. If they are a match, I move forward on the Action. If they don't match energetically, I begin asking my questions again.

For more resources on skill-building go to http://www.geocities.com/quantumspirit/tools_skillbuilding.html

About the Author

To learn more about how to coach yourself from Spirit, subscribe to "Connecting With Spirit". A Master Spirit Coach, Carolyn Wilson-Elliott serves as Director of Coaching From Spirit and CEO of Quantum Spirit International.


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