We use the metaphor of “Stepping back from the Wagon” as a way of saying that perspective and distance are often very useful tools for managing change and improvement and improving communications. If you are always seeing things from what NLP calls the “First Person Perspective,” it is very difficult to see things clearly and to identify opportunities.
In my work, I use the Square Wheels wagon and the image below as a tool to get people to look at things from a “Second Person Perspective,” from the position of a viewer. It’s the basis of our various Square Wheels Toolkits.
And we play with different ways of seeing things, adding other metaphors and themes.
The idea is to generate a good learning opportunity and a chance to see things differently.
David Zinger sent out an email to his Employee Engagement membership that I thought was really pretty neat. It also hits on this theme of perspective. It is about a conversation and listening skills, too. Click on the image-link to see this short video
One of my favorite exercises on the theme of organizational improvement, motivation and feedback builds similarly. I show leadership or managers the following illustration and ask them to brainstorm about what is happening, so they can share their thoughts on the situation:
Take a minute and think about this.
What invariably happens is that the group will focus on all the things that are apparently done wrong or that should have been done differently. I elaborate on this theme with other illustrations and content information in this other blog post, but the idea anchors to these simple thoughts:
- The reality is that we need perspective
- The reality is the improvement is often incremental
- The reality is that success will generate more success
- The reality is that punishment or criticism will stop most improvement
- The Big Ideas are often close at hand
A great deal about organizational performance improvement is simple to understand. People need goals and achievable goals are motivating. Coaching for incremental improvement is important and people require positive feedback in order to improve results. A focus on the negative will cause people to quit or simply stop trying. Teams can self-support the individual team members but the leadership must also support the team.
It is all about getting more done and continuous continuous improvement of the ways things work.
That is the approach we suggest for people using our Square Wheels cartoon toolkits and our team building simulations,
For the FUN of It!
Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant. Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org
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