Common sense is really that common

Common sense: what makes people tick?

"You can't just look at our strengths here ... we have such big weaknesses ... actually we are a total pig shop as a team!" I take a deep breath. Sure, I would hardly have been brought into this team as an external person if the team members worked together perfectly. Since I have persistently asked questions about the skills and strengths of the team, it became too much for the conflict-ridden participant.

At the moment my head is telling me that you should look at both sides of the coin, I'll weigh up ... Continue in strengths mode? Or immerse yourself in the great relief of what we say here in Switzerland, "Chropflaarete"? This vernacular describes how to speak out and get rid of pent-up frustrations by venting your anger. The unpleasant moments and the oppressive feeling usually vanish immediately, as with physical vomiting, the effect is relieving and liberating - at least for those who vomited.

Over the years as a team coach, I've learned to trust my intuition. I feel the participant's relief after his crier. So I ask everyone: “You just felt its power - what does this energy tell you? What is good about it? ”The colleagues hear that very well and welcome his honesty, openness and commitment to the team process. The team finally gives me permission to write the term “team problems and weaknesses” on a new flip chart and to hang it up with the heading “parking lot” for later use in the seminar room. The focus is again on strengths in the team. After we have talked about the parking lot issue, we turn to possible lessons, and the mood is constructive again even with the initially critical participant.

Mistakes are not a problem as long as we learn from them. The causal chain is already programmed in our first risk venture in life, learning to walk. We fall down to learn from. Sometimes painful. Even later in school, for good reasons, the focus is also on what needs to be improved, marked in red pencil in the exercise book. The key point when looking at what is not working is the inner attitude of those who are reflecting. When the attitude is aimed at solutions and learning, opportunities come into focus even in the most painful of defeat. Getting on your bike again after a fall or rewriting mistakes after a dictation is also helpful. After getting up again, we find out: Yes, we can run, write without mistakes, calculate correctly and also contribute to mutual success as a team. The reward system in the brain is activated during learning. For this reason, too, reflecting on disappointments in teams with the focus on helpful lessons brings them more quickly towards the goal than gnawing at what is not working.

Many idioms and metaphors feed this thought: After the rain the sun shines, the glass is half full and half empty at the same time, every coin has two sides, where there is shadow, there is logically also sun ... life also gives us experiences that time and again it goes on and gets better after difficult moments. So our common sense teaches us that nothing is just black or just white, but everything in flux and relative.

When will the next time you have a chance to use your common sense to look at the half-full glass?