Warming the bench is awful. It had never really happened to me throughout my netball ‘career’ until one year it did. It was in one of the highest state league teams I played in and to be honest, I don’t really know how it happened. I remember being in peak physical condition and form, and having recently started my first corporate role, I felt pretty good all around. But someone else became the starting goal attack and I was on the bench.
The accidental troublemaker
When we are put into a position where we don’t understand the situation, the context or the objective, we are faced with two choices: we can stick our heads in the sand, or we can get off the bench and seek to make sense of the world. We ask questions, have conversations and make assumptions to help bring coherence to our confused mind. Sometimes, unbeknownst to us, these questions and conversations can be considered pesky and disruptive, a bit like a baby’s cry is soul destroying to a new mum, when really they’re just trying to make sense of the world.
Getting off the bench without understanding the purpose or context can cause trouble. We’ve probably all been in meetings where someone has ‘hijacked’ a meeting and gone on a tangent because they didn’t understand why they were in the room?
Be a playmaker instead
When we become aware that we’re creating more disruption than generating good discussion, we need to back-off. When we are a playmaker, it is not about us, but about the team and we need to demonstrate respect for the people in the room and focus on moving the conversation forward. Like playing a game of foosbal, looking down at all the figurine players on the table and figuring out the right moves for each one. That is our role. Create the next play, move the ball forward, and get the touchdown.
Clear purpose. Shared respect. Progressive action.
Playmakers are game changers.
Be a playmaker, not a benchwarmer. (And don’t accidentally become a troublemaker!)
PS - don’t forget you can listen to this instead! Click here.
About Alena: Alena works with leaders and their teams to connect technical and leadership skills so they can deliver to deadline without killing their people. She is a mentor, trainer, facilitator and coach. Contact her today on firstname.lastname@example.org