*Post by Shannon Miles*
I majored in Business and Psychology in college (an increasingly long time ago). I love psychology – but I knew I didn’t love it enough to get my doctorate in it, which is one of the few ways to have a career in the industry. Thanks to my advisor who encouraged me to double major, I was able to get a job after I graduated.
I saw a prevalent theory in Psychology play out with my team recently…
Gestalt: a structure, arrangement, or pattern of physical, biological, or psychological phenomena so integrated as to constitute a functional unit with properties not derivable by summation of its parts. In other words, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
We are in the midst of a very busy season with work. We’ve grown very rapidly over this past year, forcing the entire team to stretch beyond their initial roles and responsibilities. We have the kind of team that recognizes stress in each other and says, “How can I help you?” “Please, let me do that for you.” “Show me how to do this and I’ll run with it.” We were on a corporate call where we all brainstormed on how to help each other during this season and I thought “How very Gestalt of them?!?!”
We are very intentional to create a culture where people don’t only look out for themselves, they look out for their teammates. It’s important that everyone has a strong appreciation for everyone else’s positions. There is no such thing as an insignificant role in our company. Entering data into our CRM is important. Scheduling phone calls is important. Sending thank you notes is important. Networking is important. Reviewing financials is important. When we begin to see other’s jobs as less important than our own, we begin to demean others and become prideful.
I’m so incredibly proud of my Gestalt team and that they value the roles of their team members enough to jump in and help when it’s needed. Does your team struggle with this? If so, don’t look at them. Look at yourself. As the leader, you are responsible for creating a culture that cultivates team, so you might be the source of the problem. Yet, I’m a ‘glass half-full kinda girl’, so I’ll also say you are the source of the solution!