By day three of our Cambodian Study Tour the storms had arrived. Fortunately for a team of coaches, they passed quickly. Some of us were surprised that we stormed in the first place… “We are coaches, we should know better” was said by more than one of us. I challenged this. Why, just because we are coaches, will we not find each other abrasive, annoying and aligned to different values? Like any team, we each bring our strengths and using our weaknesses. Perhaps as coaches, we are able to forgive the weaknesses more quickly, we are able to “walk in someone else’s moccasins” more easily.
Emotional Intelligence is the key – especially empathy. We had empathy oozing out of us for the Khmers, but what about for our immediate team? For ourselves? Doing good in a foreign environment is easier as it is in your face so we have to be fully present. Things are tough for the good folk of Cambodia, thankfully not as tough as 40 years ago when the Khmer Rouge stormed into Phnom Penh, but still tough as they continue to rebuild without the wisdom of elders.
Yet in our day to day workplace we don’t so easily accept the human frailties of our team members, we want them to be like us, to do as we want. Or we simply want them to go away and we ‘check out’.
Where is your team today? Forming? Storming? Norming? Wherever you are, remember that empathy is the key to moving forward and Performing.