You are a Team!

August 16, 2013 Post Comment Uncategorised

Enabling change, improvement, and smoothing the
everyday experiences in lives. These are amongst some of the things I do when I
work with people.

Now with these folk it can be in the context of the
sporting part of their lives, or the learning part of their lives, or the
helping-them-deal-with what life throws at them part of their lives, or the
part of their lives where they throw stuff at themselves.

Now there’s a distinct parallel between the team I
work with in a sporting context, and – let’s say – the lady shopworker who I
see regularly (when shopping of course) who wants to give up smoking. And it is
this – They are BOTH a team.


Part of what I’d really like to see for both my
sportsmen and the shop lady – is success. Not just short term success such as, “I
haven’t had a fag for a week,” or “We had our first win last Saturday,” but
something more substantial like winning the League, or not smoking for a year.
The thing is – if she smokes on Day 8 or we cannot raise a side for this week’s
away match – then there’s something really wrong, something really
dysfunctional, about our TEAM, and the benefits of embedded longer-term success
will never accrue to our game.

Unlike my sportsmen who I’ll see again, win or lose
(until we part company) – if I see someone for smoking cessation and they make all
the changes they want, then I’ll never see them again! Success = no further
business. And who is the owner of that success? Exactly!


The thing about failure is responsibility and not
ownership – who is the responsible party? Whose fault is it? Do we ever own
failure? (No, don’t answer that!)

One of things about the dieting and slimming
industry is that when their products fail – it is their customers, their
clients, who feel guilty and blame themselves. Those in the industry, their
methodologies and their products, are seemingly immune from criticism, because
they’ve shifted the entire burden of responsibility. And the greatest irony of
all is that when diets or products fail in the slimming industry – their clients
KEEP coming back.  

On the other hand, when working with teams, different
perceptions abound when things fail. For the failed smoker it is that “Hypnotherapy
doesn’t work,” or more pointedly, “He couldn’t put me under,” which is one I
always chuckle at. With the “unsuccessful” sports team the judgement is usually
levelled at the coach, or his methods, and his weaknesses. It is never about
the team, with individuals or collectives.


Now as an ‘agent of change’ or therapist or coach,
there are a certain number of things I will have more control over than others,
when viewing my clients’ successes and failures.

Now because of this sliding scale of control, how I
deal with that slider decides the way my client’s overall success is going to
be built.

I like to start with their perceptions, their view
of the world. This way I’ll find out how their “team” functions and where I can
make the best impact to start the momentum, how they are going to build their
success. For once there is momentum, change is taking place.

Next I’ll look at the make-up of the team – how the
parts interact and communicate with each other – which part is more dominant or
submissive – and all the “I” issues about those parts.

can understand that in a sporting context, Pete – but what about a single person?
How can they be a team?”
You may well ask.

Well look at the times you beat yourself up, or criticise
yourself, have a go at yourself, tell yourself how stupid you are, or when you
hear that voice in your ear that is nagging away at you. (And we’ve all
experienced those moments!) Tell me who is the ‘self’ ‘you’ are having a go at?
When ‘I’ realises it’s all about ‘me’, or ‘I’ said to ‘myself’ – just who
are all these people? They have a habit of turning up quite regularly as you
will see!

We’ll often – when we’re caught in two minds – say, You know, I
think part of me wants this to happen, and it seems like
another part of me doesn’t and it feels like I’m
working against myself.”
In the therapeutic process
called parts integration, we can re-unite with ourselves, re-integrate
ourselves if you like, so that all parts of our persona understand and appreciate the other, and the overall WE can move forward to a better place, as a


I worked with a lady whose “I” wanted to work on her
core control but her motivation was dysfunctional because another part of her persona (her “self” let’s say),
had a perceived age of 3. The “self” part of her team was causing breakdown of her “I” bodily
wishes simply because anyone, any persona,
aged 3 would have no desire to sign up to working on core control, whatever
that may be when we’re 3!

Similarly, if my sports team has certain key members
who can only play home games – or if a number of others cannot come to the training
nights – then the functionality of the team begins to slide. Immediately, due
to this scenario, the long term success of the team, in spite of their individual
and collective desires to win the league, will never happen.

So, in terms of control and my smoking lady, I have
no overall control at present because her dominant persona has the final say in her giving up or not. Until I can work
with that part of her persona in
terms of change then she will continue to smoke. And for as long as she
continues to smoke, the other parts of her persona
will react accordingly by feeling bad about themselves in terms of guilt, annoyance,
frustration, loss of confidence, lowering of self-esteem etc. These will
eventually filter through to her entire integral self.

Similarly, with the sports team, the more ‘dedicated’
members will also feel a lot of those similar emotions. The less functional
players are then perceived as … well, you name it!


How a coach or manager, therapist or change worker, can
facilitate success has been and is the subject of many books, studies, programmes,
courses, methodologies, schools of thought, workshops, etc.

For some there is success at a price, for others there
is bought in success. There is success through basic and honest hard work,
success through thoughtful and careful application of proven sound principles. There
is even the best success, where some success isn’t as good! I could go on – but
there is one over-riding factor in all this.

We are ALL human, and within the human condition lies
everything from fortitude to frailty, dedication to dabbling, knowledge to
ignorance – all filtered through minds that are either integrated, fragmented,
open or closed. Plus, everything here is on a sliding scale for each and every
one of us. Little wonder then that trying to control THAT vehicle is arguably
one of the hardest jobs on earth!

“What’s your success rate?” I’ve been asked many
“Is he a good coach? – Well, I can’t say I’m impressed by his list of successes.”
Is something I know that’s been said about me, also.

Ok, I can bring about some changes for you – with your
compliance, of course – but the success is yours, whether as an individual or
as a team. I can work – with your compliance, of course – on helping to
integrate your “Team”. For an integrated, functional and dynamic team will create
more chances to succeed, a more fertile ground for success to grow – but whether
it’s as part of sports team, or a YOU team, there needs to be compliance.

You can lead a horse to water …