When Self-Preservation Weakens You and Me
A beleaguered reality overwhelming teams during times of constant change is an ever-present reality of self-preservation. The instinct is not bad. It is wired into our brains. Yet, when teams experience the one-two punch of change in a seemingly endless assault, the greater the likelihood each person slowly turns inward. And they stay there. The focus shifts from the team to individual needs.
Symptomatic of such realities is a loud cry of complaints of things broken within the team, the company. Problems fester unresolved or half-ass solutions become tempting to just ease the pain.
In a chorus of complaints we cry out it’s not fair. Rarely do we ask, “How do we make this work?”
How do we make things work in times of change? It’s a question that does have an easy answer. The implementation is what trips us up. The answer? We turn to each other, not inward, to adapt, thrive. I suppose its contrarian for most teams, most people. However, during times of change is when self-preservation surfaces and is offered a comfortable place to stay.
The problem with self-preservation rampant in companies? Obviously trust is depleted. But more concerning is we believe that our need to protect ourselves is the best solution to survive in times of constant change. We begin to believe that community is a threat. We cling to what is familiar. Progress is limited. Happiness becomes a laughable notion. Optimism is depleted. Productivity and efficiencies are hampered. Profits are capped.
Imagine yourself clinging to something dearly. Can you get a clear sense of what’s around you? No. All that is viewable is whatever you cling tightly to.
Self-preservation may save us temporarily. But if we stay stuck in the preservationist mindset, our skills risk irrelevancy, our thoughts become restricted, and our communities suffer. Workplaces become toxic. Silos are fortified.
Self-preservation weakens you and me. It ceases to protect and unnoticeably, at first, unravels the hard work of progress.
Photo courtesy of Respres