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We’re All On the Same Team.

Years ago I was a student in “Jane’s” class. I overheard a friend of mine, “Cheryl,” making snide remarks about Jane’s teaching style to a group of students sitting near by. On the break, I suggested to Cheryl, who was herself a professional trainer, that she offer Jane some constructive tips rather than being critical behind her back.

Recently I attended another training program of Jane’s. I was dismayed to notice that her style had not changed much, and wondered if anyone had ever given her useful feedback.

After her program, I sincerely thanked Jane for all that she had given to us that day. Then, in a lighthearted manner, I offered feedback on one thing I felt she could change in her teaching style that would have a positive impact on her students.

She thanked me profusely, after which I responded, “I would expect the same from you, Jane, should you see an area in which I could improve. After all, we are on the same team.”

Who is on your team?

If instead of seeing others’ faults, what if you could see the best in them? Instead of criticizing, what if you felt a joyful responsibility to support, inspire, and serve? How could you be helpful to them—and to all those they touch—by speaking your truth with compassion, by offering the benefit of your experience, wisdom and perspective?

At a professional event last week, a woman approached me and said, “You may not remember me, but I remember you. I met you at a conference about seven years ago, and you said something that changed my life.” She went on to tell me how she had been complaining about something and I apparently said, ‘I don’t want to engage in that conversation.’ She explained, “You shocked me into realizing that I was spending too much of my time complaining, and not enough time in forward thinking and movement.” After her acknowledgement, she shared with me her many successes in our profession since that time so long ago. I was touched by her story, and by the seemingly transformational impact of my simple, honest statement.

Are you willing to change your world by offering support and useful feedback to your teammates? Your family? Your teachers, grocer, hair stylist, elected representatives?

Who is on your team?

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