Team performance can sink for any number of reasons. And the
why can become pretty complex.
But turning things around for your team actually can be simpler if you step back and take a high level view.
Seeing things from that point of view gives you perspective, which makes it much easier to fix what’s gone wrong. For assessing team performance, perspective can be critical to getting the most accurate data before you take any action.
How To Get A Higher View Of Your Team
One of the most powerful ways to get the perspective you need is to use images and symbols.
These tools take you beyond your left brain, with its focus on hard facts and the narrow, detailed, day to day world, by accessing your right brain, which operates visually and creatively. And when you’re using both sides of the brain, you can come up with information that’s stronger and more complete than if you simply tried to think your way out of the problem.
Also, images and symbols help you make sense of what you’re experiencing by giving you a way to assign meaning and significance. Along the way, you’ll discover innovative solutions you never would have considered otherwise.
So how do you do this?
Take A Tip From The Ancient Sages
Ancient sages, who observed daily life keenly, noticed patterns in seasonal energies and in human responses to those energies. Over millennia and across cultures, these wise ones began to associate specific symbols with certain times of the year.
Eventually, they correlated the patterns they saw and created systems that assigned certain animals, plants, or other items in our world to the various seasons and times of year. Knowing about these associations gives us a revealing dictionary of images and symbols we can use any time we need a richer, higher perspective.
Take An Eagle’s Eye View
According to tradition, one of the most important symbols for the period from late October through the first three weeks of November is the eagle. This bird carries a special significance and symbolic power: just looking at an eagle stirs up all kinds of impressions in us about strength, vigilance, and determination.
Eagles also give us a sense of aspiration because they fly high and have a soaring perspective on the world. Ancient tales speak of eagles flying directly into the Sun and being able to look at it without harm, a concept that sparks ideas of going into the light, getting illumination about what troubles us, and feeling the radiance of something greater than ourselves.
How To Apply This Wisdom To Team Performance
You can apply this eagle lore to your team to get a better perspective and improve performance. Here’s how to get started:
- Take some time by yourself. Sit comfortably, take a few deep breaths, and relax.
- Now look at the Eagle painting at the top of this post. Notice the determined yet calm look in this bird’s eye as it faces to the right. What impressions come to mind for you about your own determination? About your ability to be strong and calm in leading your team?
- What do eagles mean to you? Can you tap their noble qualities to get a new perspective on yourself and your team? Consider their most positive traits and see which can help you best right now as you work on your team: sharp vision, lofty flight with very high perspective on the world, closeness to the source of light and wisdom, watchful and protective aura.
- Now look at this painting’s wings. Notice that they are made from X rays that mimic the structure of a bird’s wing. These particular X rays were taken of my feet: what does that suggest to you about having your feet on the ground, or being practical, or taking things step by step?
- Notice the painting’s colors: earth tones on the bird’s body suggest this earthy, practical symbolism. And look at the brighter yellows and oranges on the wings and on the tail, which is made of strips of X ray film sliced, painted, and attached with staples; these colors suggest the light of the Sun and the awareness that comes from a high perspective in brilliant sunlight.
- Take a final moment to reflect on this painting and what eagles mean to you. Then jot down all the ideas and impressions that came to you during this experience.
In the days ahead, think about your own noblest traits in light of what came to you about eagle symbolism and energy.
From The Lofty Heights To X Ray Vision
Keep in mind that flying high needs the balance of going deep. Once you have some perspective, it’s time to dig into the details of how you’ll take action to improve your team’s performance.
For that step, consider the X rays in the Eagle painting: after taking a high level view, you need some X ray vision to get at what’s happening on the ground, close to the action, and even behind the scenes. And for a special process on how to dig into these details, check out my recent post, What Sherlock Holmes Can Teach You About Team Leadership.
Enjoy your virtual flight with the eagles, as you gaze at this painting and spend time in personal reflection…
Wishing you helpful insights,