LEARNING JOURNEY -VEIKKO AND NICOLAS
Learning Journey -Veikko & Nicolas
This is Veikko´s and Nico´s reflection, Analytic and learnigs from LJ
The learning journey is part of our ENTRE Curriculum and this time we spent our Learning journey in Keuruu and Jyväskylä where we did different kinds of work and did activities together. This was a unique experience for our team, in here we´ll see how it affected our team dynamic, how this experience helped our team afterward, and could having another way of leadership style helped us in the journey.
The learning journey was an interesting challenge. It was good after all, but we had some problems in the planning it was a consequence of my mistake of not prioritizing this trip planning enough beforehand. The location and the way the Learning journey was done caused untrust and uncertainty inside the team. My mission was to have the best possible experience in the given environment and to share it with the others too.
As Veikko explained it, we had to go on a learning journey this year. I personally never had that kind of experience before and was really surprised by its effects on the team dynamic. Before going on this learning journey, I was feeling a heavy atmosphere in the team. As if there were some tensions between people and things that were not said. When we went on the learning journey, it was as if everyone was taking a new start, and we were now all focusing on that experience. We have been able to enjoy great moments altogether and build relations during that time. After that experience, I felt a much stronger connection between the members of the team. But why has that experience affected us that much? And how?
Reflection on experience
If we try to compare the learning journey to some “normal” activities for companies, it would be like teambuilding. The fact of spending time in a team really helped us to know each other better in different situations. And if we compare wikipédia’s definition of team building, which is a “Collective term for various types of activities used to enhance social relations and define roles within teams, often involving collaborative tasks. Team building includes:
- aligning around goals
- building effective working relationships
- reducing team members’ role ambiguity
- finding solutions to team problems”
We can see that the learning journey completely fits in as a team-building activity because it helped us to build effective working relationships. Also, it strengthened the social relations in the team.
The impacts of this trip were multiple. We’ve faced some “crisis” moments, as well as great sharing moments together. It allowed us to open up to each other and create strong links. We have been able to be honest with people, without the fear of conflict, which is the second step of a team regarding Lencioni’s pyramid. However, it only happened once, so I don’t think that we can say that we’ve durably reached the 2nd level of the pyramid. This experience helped us to trust other members, mainly the organizers of the journey. The fact of spending an entire week altogether kind of forced us to communicate. We went from superficial conversations, to sometimes, deeper conversations with other members.
Before starting to go deeper into the topic, we will just shortly explain what team dynamic is. The team dynamic is the group dynamic, regarding a team. But what is a group dynamic? “Group dynamics is a system of behaviors and psychological processes occurring within a social group “ (Wikipédia, 2022)
So basically, this is how a group interacts between other groups or its own members. This is affected by psychological processes and behaviors.
Now that we know what team and group dynamics are, what is the difference between a good and a bad team dynamic?
To be honest, there is not a clear limit between those. You will only be able to see some indicators of a good or a bad team dynamic, and regarding your past experiences, be able to evaluate if it is good or bad. If you have always been in bad team dynamics, it will be hard for you to know that those are bad team dynamics. But once you experience a good team dynamic, you will know how well a team can go, and you will notice that your past experiences in teams were not as good as you thought. Every time you face a team dynamic that is not as good as the best you’ve had, you will know that you, as a team, can do better.
Team dynamic and impacts how and why? -Veikko
I have worked in many teams, and I have experienced many different team dynamics. I researched how to improve team dynamic because if there´s not a good team dynamic it will limit your performance and growth. As team entrepreneurs, we want to aim for the best possible team dynamic.
How to create a good team dynamic?
There are many different factors that affect the team dynamic Individual chemistry inside the team, leaders’ style of leading, individuals’ goals, teams’ common goals, and team’s purpose. The leader has a lot of roles to some of these factors to fulfill like informing the team well and defining the goal and purpose for the team, but there are also factors that the leader cannot always affect like the individual’s chemistry. Leaders one of the most challenging things is how to align the team’s purpose and goals with the team member’s individual goals and purposes. In this, listening and talking with your teammates is important. Get the real purpose out from them in the discussion so you can plan the tasks that can benefit the team and the individual. If there isn´t interest from the individual level towards the team it will be hard as a leader to build up a good team dynamic. Key elements of successful team dynamics:
- Don’t Assume.
- Have agreed and shared upon clear goals.
- Active listening.
- Make your plans actionable.
- Clarify roles and responsibilities.
- Make sure that everybody on the team draws the team plan.
(Source: Rallybright. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83bedZzAC6M . The power of conflict. 2021.)
Did we have these elements in our Learning journey?
We missed organization and communication in the planning of the learning journey and it caused the team didn´t know what was happening in the learning journey when the learning journey came closer the meeting Flip had was tense. There was mistrust and doubt. But in that meeting, we defined what we want from our learning journey and defined our common goals. We made plans and scheduled the week and made sure that everybody knows what was happening and that the information is easily reachable.
One element that I want to go more about is a healthy team dynamic.
To make the team dynamic and healthy simple most important thing to follow is your team’s stress levels. If there´s too much stress the team is not sustainable the team’s performance is going down and the team dynamic will go down. As a leader create a culture inside the team where it is easy to talk about also personal problems this way you can share the work to avoid tiredness or even burnout.
Janet Wade Forbes Books Author Listed down The 6 Facets of Human Needs™.
Without it people are confused
Without it you have team dysfunction
Without it you have a series of distractions
Without it you get complacency
Without it anything can be disregarded
Without it people are apprehensive
This article went well over the things that affect and improve team dynamics. The main point Ms. Wade did in this article was that creating a good team dynamic requires meeting human needs. Humane leadership was also mentioned in the movie about Nokia´s golden days.
Source: (Forbes. J. Wade. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbooksauthors/2021/04/08/if-your-team-dynamic-is-really-healthy-why-arent-you-getting-healthy-results/?sh=56da600110a1 . If Your Team Dynamic Is Really Healthy Why Aren’t You Getting Healthy Results? 04.08.2021.)
The team building in the learning journey succeeded we had multiple activities that gave space for the teammates also to talk other than only professional stuff and it takes the team closer together. It is good to have this kind of like environment because then the people who don´t spend so much time together have a chance to get to know each other better.
To better team dynamics, inclusive leadership might be a good tool. Especially if your team, like ours, has a lot of cultural differences in it. Inclusive leadership is a way of leading and managing, by respecting people’s uniqueness. This type of leadership is characterized by a good capacity for adaptation. To perform as a good inclusive leader, it is very important that there is an inclusive environment, otherwise, you will have to create it yourself.
The advantages of using the inclusive leading style are multiple. For a company those are:
- A better financial performance
- A better employer’s brand
- A better capacity for talent retention
It also can help to reach new markets or clients, answer local companies’ needs or develop new products, according to Dr. Shirley Davis.
In inclusive leadership, there are 6 key characteristics that the leader should have or develop. These are the following ones: commitment, courage, awareness of prejudice, curiosity, cultural intelligence, and collaboration. By developing those qualities, the leader will automatically be able to use the inclusive way more naturally. However, even when mastering those qualities, there are some things to be aware of.
- It is important to set a good vision and goals
- You must treat everybody in the same way
- Do not show favoritism
- Do not be too rigid
- Do not think that we know everything
- Try not to lack recognition
- You must keep giving feedback
(Dr. Shirley D., 2019)
Now that we have some basics of inclusive leadership, how to implement it to your team or company?
In practice -Veikko
If we had to make a guide to implement inclusive leadership, we would recommend you do this:
- Developing trust and a safe space for your team members
- Try to understand before reacting
- Do not judge
- Keep a positive attitude
- Listen actively to others
- Admit that you sometimes don’t know, but also show that you want to understand
- Be thankful for every contribution from your team members
By following those simple guidelines, you will already be practicing the inclusive way of leading your team.
How can we bring this into FLIP as well? Now I and Nicolas have collected and studied this information I can facilitate a paja about it for the Flippers this way I can share my knowledge about the topic, and we can agree on the implementation of it in the paja. Another thing we can do is to inform the team about this essay and get people to read this essay, that is an easy way to share information with the team.