When I think of abundance, I see my father’s garden in the Springtime. Fruits and vegetables that I helped plant before the ground was cold and crusty that mature and fill with color and new life. Scarcity in the garden is an invisible quality. The garden is a metaphor for how life works in creating positive change with cooperative team support. Our families and work teams are like a garden and we each take responsibility for a piece of what needs to be done. Being present to abundance helps us embrace change that is needed to produce fruit.
When a garden is planted, much is going on underneath the soil but is not seen by the naked eye. It begins with preparation of the earth for the seed, careful watering of sprouts and sprigs, and involving other gardeners, team members and family members who are growing crops like ours. Operating from faith is required, too. When the field is ready for harvest, we celebrate the abundance that we enjoy ourselves and the overflow we often experience that we can also share with others.
Let’s explore how to apply this gardening metaphor to coaching a team that may be stuck in a desert in the heat of the summer where everything seems bare and dry with no hope of any rain. Where do we start and how do we approach this situation?
- Prepare for success
When a team is at odds and unclear about who is tending the soil, the season available for planting can pass us by. To work together effectively, the team must first have a plan so everyone is clear on what it is and operating from it. This requires:
- Setting aside time to discuss their vision for the project, including differing views, and the ultimate result the team is committed to achieving
- Defining the roles required to cultivate and grow the garden and what each team member is willing to do to achieve the vision
- Addressing any conflicts that exist in a collaborative manner
- Developing a strategy with clearly stated commitments, defined roles for each team member and actions with owners to achieve the agreed upon vision
- Water the garden
Watering must be consistent. No temporary or sporadic plan will work. Once we have agreements for who owns each responsibility for the team to fulfill on its vision, everyone can get to work. Communication and accountability will be required, which will involve regular, planned meetings to provide status updates, remove roadblocks and reset expectations to support the process of change. The team needs to keep in mind the image of our vision for change and the end-result. What will it look like, feel like, and what new actions will have resulted when we are through?
- Involving others
As our garden grows, it may become overwhelming with issues we didn’t anticipate or don’t have the expertise to handle, or it could result in uncontrolled growth due to the momentum we created. Part of the progress meetings should be identifying opportunities to invite others to participate in the project and not feel like we have to do it alone or that we’ve failed if we have to ask for help. People like to help and be part of something that is producing results, including pruning and refining to realize the fruits of our labor.
- Having faith
We have faith that the oxygen, rain, and sunlight is nourishing what will eventually emerge – and that each team member is doing their part and it will all come together, even better than we envisioned. Each successful activity reinforces the feeling that we are headed in the right direction. We will make interim checks and evaluate progress, including identifying any needed steps for improvement of our process. We have to trust the process and that our efforts will produce the results we intend.
- Celebrate success
Once the goal is reached, we celebrate our success and find new ways to apply this learning to other teams, projects and client groups within the organization. We want our growth to span many seasons and create new ways of problem-solving that can be effective in new and different environments. Repeated success gives us the confidence and faith that our changes can be duplicated in the future. We learn to trust the process and keep the faith for ongoing positive change. We also grow from the experience of success, so it reinforces us to roll up our sleeves and dig in to the next project.
Do you remember times when you felt that positive change was not possible? Were you paying more attention to the seeming scarcity of the situation and what was not visible instead of considering abundance as an option with a new way of problem-solving? We would love for you to share your experience of moving from scarcity to abundance with our readers.
With Warm Regards,