How Does Your Team ‘Show Up?’

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You’ve set their goals. But what are their (and your) intentions? I recently wrapped up an inspiring team offsite. We set clear metrics, aligned on goals, and focused on next steps. But as a leader, I knew that wasn’t going to be enough to make magic happen. Why? Because you can tell people what your desired destination is and create a clear list of action items, but how well they’ll accomplish this is also up to them.

How do we as leaders make sure our employees are thinking not just about their goals, but about their behaviors too? Specifically, how do they intend to “show up” every day for themselves and for others? How will they thoughtfully be part of the team so they can best collaborate and achieve success? 

Moving forward, I’m having people actively think about their intentions. I’m asking, “How do you want to ‘show up’ at work? What does ‘showing up’ mean to you?” 

To me, “showing up” means thinking about and prioritizing our behaviors, so we better participate each day. It’s about leading our work, not just completing tasks. It’s about being authentic in our interactions with others. It’s about understanding what we want to be known for vs. just “do.” Basically, it’s the “how” and the “why” of our job, vs. the “what.” 

As you consider your progress and lead your team, answer these questions for yourself and have your team do the same:

  1.  How are you actively “showing up” each day for yourself and others? What does it mean to you?
  2. What inspires you at work? How do you weave that into what you do every day?
  3. How do you want to make an impact? Specifically, what will you be really proud to accomplish — something you did that made a difference?
  4. How are you adding value in a way that’s meaningful to you?
  5. How do you want people to think about or describe you? What’s your value to others and why do they seek you out? List three to five adjectives you’d like others to say about you and/ or your work. Consider if they are the same for colleagues vs. partners vs. clients.
  6. How often do you check your progress toward your goals? Do you know your progress before
  7. How do you prepare for your daily work, meetings, and interactions with others?
  8. What do you need in order to best focus on what’s important?

These questions will help you establish your intentions and understand others’ intentions. You’ll be able to “show up” in a way that more consciously aligns your behaviors with what you want, and need, to get done.

Lisa Bodell is the CEO of FutureThink, an accelerated learning company based in New York, whose clients have included Pfizer, Google, and Merck.

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