This episode is about how you can create unity as you bring people together in a situation. In whatever you do, chaos is always around the corner and to deal with that we should create a unified front or a unified body while moving forward. If you don’t get it right, you will have lone wolves and they don’t go in the same direction. So, the entire focus is directionless and ultimately you end up with dysfunction.
If we get it right, you will feel supported in the journey, you will have a group of people with targeted focus and ultimately you end up with a team that is committed to fight side by side for the commonality of the goal. Hence, what you need to know is acceptance is the baseline, it is also important to create alignment in values & intent and finally, there is agreement on the opinion and steps.
The Unity Formula
- Acceptance: At the base level, we need to build acceptance. The team needs to accept the vision, direction, decision and process.
- Alignment: Create alignment to take your team to a place where they trust you. There needs to be an atmosphere of articulation where they have the ability to communicate as you provide them with access and openness.
- Agreement: When the trust level is high, what ends up happening is that there will be agreement in opinions, strategies and tactics.
These are the steps to move from acceptance to agreement:
- Understand and acknowledge the awareness of the levels of acceptance.
- Come together and articulate the values, vision, strategy and process.
- Allow a safe place for dissent where people can have a conversation that is meaningful and it gives them the ability to co-create.
- Listen, reflect and consider everyone in the process.
- In the end, we make a decision and ask everyone for agreement.
After you follow these steps, you have created unity where everyone agrees because they had a voice and were a part of the co-creation.
— Begin Transcript —
Hey there, Mel Abraham here, the author of the #1 best-selling book, The Entrepreneur’s Solution, the founder of Thoughtpreneur Academy where we teach you how to capture, package and monetize the ideas in your head, the things you know and your specific, unique genius so you can have more impact, more freedom and more income and welcome to this episode of The Entrepreneur’s Solution show and in this episode, I’m going to continue on the path of something that I dealt with in an earlier episode.
I had a question that came across about dealing with a situation where the person that was key in their business with them and it happened to be their wife at this point was on—it was in the same book but not necessarily on the same page and how do you deal with that and what are the suggestions in dealing with that.
And in that another episode, we talked about alignment and we talked about The Alignment Navigator and how to create alignment. In this episode, actually I want to take you one step further. I want to talk about a process and a way that you might be able to create what we call unity.
- How do you bring people together in a situation like that?
- How do you find unity within the chaos?
And we all live in that situation from time to time. If you are an entrepreneur and you’re trying to build a business, trust me, chaos, if it hasn’t hit you, is around the corner and we just got to deal with it. It’s just part of the game and so,
- How do you deal with that?
- How do you really bring that together?
And so, I’m going to talk about something that we call The Unity Formula. If you want to download the action guide for The Unity Formula, just go to MelAbraham.com/session063 and we will make sure that we get you the action guide. If you are not by your computer, you happened to be on a run or something like that. You may be at the gym or driving, do it safely but go ahead and text. Just text MYLEGACY one-word to 38470. I’ll make sure that we get you all the tools that you need for this episode as we go into that. So, let’s jump in real quick.
Here’s the thing, when we are trying to run an organization or we’re trying to run a household, whatever it is, we need to try and create unity. Now, I’m not saying that unanimous consent; I don’t mean it’s got to be a 100% but I want to create a unified front, I want to create a unified body moving forward because here is the challenge:
If we don’t get this right, if we don’t get this right, you’re going to find that certain things happen. There’s going to be some struggle and some strife and some challenges going forward. For instance: You’re going to end up with a bunch of lone wolves because we’re not unified, we’re not necessary going in the same direction.
We’re actually out in the wilderness, individuals on our own journey.
I have seen a number of organizations where unfortunately their incentive plans, their bonus plans create an environment where the sales teams work independent of each other and they don’t support each other. So, they’re focused on—every man and woman for himself or their self. Really focused on what can I bring to make it from me versus aligning it and we talked about alignment in a prior episode. Aligning it properly:
- With values,
- With vision,
- With goals,
In a way that when the individual accomplishes what they are looking to strive and accomplish, the organization also accomplishes what they’re trying to strive and accomplish but not necessarily creating something that’s so divisive that people will go off on their own and do things their own way because it benefits them but it may not benefit the organization in the long run and it certainly wouldn’t benefit the team. So, you end up with lone wolves in that situation.
The other thing you end up is, you end up with focus that are directionless.
They are not necessarily unified, they are a little bit lost. So, they make up their own minds to go a certain direction that fits, (again) fits them, fits their journey, fits what they believe is what is being asked of them versus giving them direction, getting some buy-off on it and moving in that same direction.
And then, ultimately what ends up happening is you end up with dysfunction.
You’ve got people going every which way, doing all kinds of different things that aren’t consistent or congruent with the commonality of goal or outcome or vision or action plan in place at all. It’s totally dysfunctional and they don’t work together and you find in those kinds of situations that
- They’re undermining each other
- They’re backstabbing each other, and
- They’re creating (I would liken it to if you haven’t seen the movie) The Hunger Games.
Trying to be the last person standing in that process and so, you end up with this really dysfunctional environment and whether it’s family, relationships or business, none of them can thrive in a dysfunctional environment. So, it’s really important that we get this right because when we get it right things change.
When we get it right, all of a sudden you feel supported in your journey.
You know that someone’s got your back. You’re not out there as a lone wolf. You’re not alone and that when something happens or if something happens, there’s going to be a hand there to lift you up. There’s going to be a pat on the back that says, “I got you on this.” You feel totally supported in the process, the journey that you’re going through.
The second thing that I think happens is that now you have a group of people that have targeted focus.
And they’re going straight towards a specific goal, straight towards a specific vision and there is a commonality. You don’t have the lone wolves going to their own different directions that they want to go. They actually have something in mind that they’ve all bought into or bought off on and are willing to move towards that.
And then, ultimately in that process, you end up with a committed team.
People that are out there by your side, willing to champion, willing to cheerlead and willing to fight side by side for the commonality of that goal. So, that’s the real element of why this is so important to create that kind of unification and not divisiveness:
- In your organization,
- In your relationships,
- In teams that you’re working from.
So, what do you need to know? What do you need to know to really start to move that forward. There’s a number of things but I want to give you three that I think we need to think about in this process. What are the key elements in this?
The first is that acceptance is the baseline.
What happens is that at the very base level you have a group of people:
- That simply accept the vision,
- That simply accept the direction,
- That simply accept the decision,
- That simply submit to the process.
Now, it is probably the lowest level of alignment and unification you could get but we need to start somewhere. It is the baseline. We want to elevate it much higher because what we want them to do is be part of that creation, part of the process,
- So, they feel heard,
- They feel part of it, and
- They feel that it was a choice that they made.
And not something that was shoved down on top of them.
Now, in some cases, there are very few choices that can be made because we have to do things a certain way. Sometimes, from a regulatory standpoint, we don’t have choice. You got to it this way otherwise, we have a regulatory problem but by and large, we should be able to allow people to at least be heard so they feel like:
- They had input into the process,
- They were part of the co-creation of the result, the direction, the vision, and
- That they had a choice in the matter.
The second thing I want you to know is to realize that it’s important to create alignment and we talked about alignment in a prior episode and how important that is. But alignment as to the values and the intent that you’re bringing to the table in this context.
And so, in fact, in the episode, I talked about hiring. I said skills are kind of like the baseline to get in the door but until I know that there is an alignment of values, they will never cross the hiring line. That in order to cross the hiring line we need to know that there is an alignment of values. I need to understand that the people that are on the team have similar values to where we want to go, what we want to …
- As an organization,
- As a team, and
- Even as individuals.
Because here’s the reason for that (1) it allows me to know that if they have a similar set of values that we want as an organization, and they are committed to those values that the choices they make are going to be driven by the same values that we put into place. The likelihood then of them making the wrong choices is far less than it would otherwise be.
Second and probably more important than that I think is this, is that if they have similar values, by virtue of fulfilling there from a (and I’m going to say this, I don’t mean it in a negative way but), by virtue of them being selfishly driven by their own values, they further the values of the organization. So, that’s one of the reasons I want people in my organization that have a similar set of values that I do and that I have for the organization as a whole because by virtue of them accomplishing their values, by virtue of them accomplishing their values, we as a whole, all accomplish our values. So, there is this alignment.
And then, the alignment with respect to intent. Here’s the challenge. Mistakes are going to happen. Problems are going to come about.
- Any time we press into new territory.
- Any time we try something new.
- Any time we try to launch something or do something.
> We may not have thought about everything and in relationships it’s just the same.
- There may be mistakes.
- There may be challenges.
Here’s the thing: It’s not about the mistake that is ultra-ultra-important. Mistakes do happen. The question is, we can question how the mistake happened. We can question how to fix it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. What we don’t want to question is the intent behind it. Was there mal-intent?
Now, if we start to question intent and we may need to at some level, but if we start to question intent, that’s when it starts to erode the relationship. So, what we want to make sure is that there is an alignment with the values and the intent as we move forward versus questioning that this person may be had the ill-intent to do damage, to do harm.
And I really believe that the majority of people out there are good people and that they don’t intend to do harm. They don’t even intend to make a mistake. It happens. So, let’s make sure that we have an alignment of values and intent as we move forward.
And the third thing that I want you to know is that I want you to agree on the opinion and the steps.
It’s about getting to the level of agreement. Here’s the thing between agreement and alignment is the more risk, it’s a balancing act that you play between risk or exposure and trust. The higher the risk to them personally, to the organization, the more trust you need to have in the process.
And so, as the risk goes up, I need to move from alignment to agreement because the trust level at an agreement level is much higher. So, what ends up happening is in order for us to unify and in some senses, we agree in opinion and strategy and tactics and steps and we start to move forward as if we were stepping in the same footsteps as the picture shows here. So, that’s how I would look at this concept of unity.
And there is a framework that I built around this to help with unity and it’s called The Unity Formula. I call it The Unity Formula. We will help you out to understand this hierarchy that I just talked about and so, I want to present it. I want to kind of give it to you but also I want to give credit to a friend of mine, Michael Hyatt. Many of you may know Michael Hyatt and Michael talked about this in a blog that he wrote a number of years ago and now, I’ve tweaked it, I’ve modified it a little bit but at the same time, Michael is brilliant at some of the things that he talks about and this was really insightful and enlightening and kind of help build this framework out.
So, at the base level, I said that we need to build acceptance. We need to build that but if that’s all we’re doing is getting acceptance from the people than in all likelihood, what’s happening in your organization is that it’s being dictated to them and they’re accepting it as part of their responsibility, as part of their job feeling like they:
- Have no ability to have a conversation
- Have no ability to have a voice
- Have no ability to do anything differently
> To even have a dialogue around it.
They’ll work for you and they’ll work for you for a period of time but
- At some point they’re going to feel disregarded,
- At some point they’re going to feel devalued, and
- At some point they’re probably going to leave.
So, what we need to do is start to elevate to a level of alignment to create alignment in the sense of getting them at a place where they trust you and we talked in a prior episode about this element of alignment really dealing with:
- Creating an ally type of relationship,
- Having an atmosphere of articulation where they had the ability to communicate with you, and
- To have access to you as the 3 elements of alignment; to give access and openness to doing that.
And then, once we have the alignment, remember, values and intent, then we can get to the level of agreement to elevate that. So, what’s the process that we need to go through here? And I think that there’s a number of steps that we can look at to make this happen and this is just one way. And like I said, this is something that Michael Hyatt talked about in one of his blogs a number of years ago.
But first things first is to understand and acknowledge the awareness of these levels of acceptance, alignment and agreement to realize that there is a difference between all of these and that they don’t mean the same things, they’re not interchangeable:
- When it comes to leadership.
- When it comes to teams.
- When it comes to outcomes in that context.
The second is for us to completely come together and articulate the values, the vision, the strategy and the process we are talking about. In other words, having that dialogue. I work with a number of boards of directors and businesses and entrepreneurs and thoughtpreneurs to help them built their businesses and one of the things that we need to do is
- Articulate the vision,
- Articulate the values,
- Come up with the strategy, the process; define it all.
Some of the masterminds at my Thinktank and some of the things that I do, we bring some of this out, we extract it, we kind of try to pull it out because this becomes the umbrella in which all your choices, all your decisions are made and if we can articulate it at some level and have a dialogue, a discussion around it; now what happens is that you create an environment that feels like an environment of co-creation and I have a good friend of mine, Brendon Burchard, he says, “People support what they create and when you have people involved in the process and they co-create, they buy into it.”
They support it more wholeheartedly.
They support it with more fervor.
Because they were part of the process which means that you need to allow for a safe place for dissent. In other words, I don’t want to be in an environment. I worked with an organization years ago that was an auto parts, air conditioning auto parts distributor and I tell you, this guy ran the place if (and I may be dating myself here) but if you remember the TV series with Boss Hog and Dukes of Hazzard, he ran it, he looked like Boss Hogg, he ran it like Boss Hogg and it was like people walked on eggshells because they were afraid that he was going to explode.
So, this wasn’t an environment or the safe place for them:
- To dissent,
- To have a dialogue,
- To have a conversation,
In a way:
- That would be meaningful,
- That would create cohesiveness,
- That would allow them to have the ability to co-create
And so, even from me coming in as a consultant, I knew because of that environment, because of that atmosphere that I wasn’t going to get the truth. I wasn’t going to get the real facts of what was going on and what these people were feeling because they were scared for their jobs.
And so, we need to create a place, a safe place for them to dissent, to allow them to do that and remember, separate out the statement from the person because it isn’t personal unless they try to make it but then we just call it out and say, “We don’t want to make this personal. Let’s just talk about the facts and let’s work through this.”
So, then the next thing is to listen, to reflect and consider and that is not just you; that is everyone. We need to listen to everyone. We need to reflect on it, consider it, have a dialogue around it, a discussion around it and ultimately in that process, we make a decision and we ask everyone for agreement.
And the keyword there is ask. Is if we shove it down their throat, if we say you have no choice; they’re going to, even if they want to buy off on it, they’re still going to be reluctant because they’re going to have that bad taste of it being enforced on them.
Now, in some situations you don’t have a choice. So, there is no ask but in most situations, the ability to ask them for their agreement, in other words, allow them to say, “Do you agree without pressure” and they say “I agree and I agree but I’ve got these concerns.”
Allow them to be heard so when they give you their agreement, they give it free of corrosion and they give it voluntarily because when they do that:
- They’re going to buy into it
- They’re going to stay with it
- They’re going to fight for it
Because they felt:
- They had a voice,
- They were part of the process,
- They were part of the creation, the co-creation of it.
And now, what you’ve done is you’ve created unity in the process and so, I hope this helps you. For those of you that are struggling out there with organizations to try and find alignment and cohesiveness and unity, to use these couple of episodes to help you try to find that. To go through the process and it is a process; it’s not something that happens overnight.
Especially, if you’ve had friction for a period of time because that friction has probably eroded some of the trust. It has probably eroded some of the safety feeling so you’re going to have to work at it:
- To allow them to come out,
- To allow them to talk,
- To allow them to be able to dissent,
- To be able to communicate in a meaningful way
And I can only say this that if that is the situation where you’re at and the first time they say something, you become defensive, you become aggressive, you dig your heels in and you make it personal, it will shut them down and they’re not going to open up again.
So, the real key here is to create an environment of openness to allow them to start to come to your side to understand and this isn’t about convincing them, it’s about coming to a co-creative conclusion as to where you want to go—come to unity and not through dictatorship but through some dialogue per say.
So, I hope that you found this of value. I hope that this will help you through the process. Again, I thank my friend Michael Hyatt for his writings not just these. If you don’t subscribe to Michael’s stuffs, you got to. He’s got some really good stuff. So, make sure you subscribe to his but subscribe to mine too.
Make sure that you’re subscribed to mine. Hit the subscribe button, stay with me because we’re going to give you these action guides, these tools on a regular basis to help you with your business, help you with your success, help you with your wealth, help you in life as we move forward.
And while you’re at it, do me a favor. Share this episode with a friend. I’m sure that you’ve got friends out there that are struggling and having challenges. Share this episode with a friend and again, if you are looking to get the unity formula go ahead and go to MelAbraham.com/session063 an d I will make sure that we get you the action guide. And if you’re not by your computer, simply text me MYLEGACY one-word with no-spaces to 38470 and I will make sure that we get you the action guide.
And one last thing. If you have questions, if you have comments, if you have concerns, reach out to me at AskMelNow.com. Most of those will end up as one of my episodes on one of the upcoming episodes on the show but here’s the thing, here’s why it’s important to me. I want to have a dialog with you. I want to hear from you. I want to hear what’s going on in your life. I want to be able to help you, support you and guide you as best I can and I can’t do that if you don’t communicate with me.
So, leave comments below. Leave comments all over the place and leave me a message at AskMelNow.com, okay?
I look forward to connecting again on the next episode. Until we get a chance to see each other again,
May your vision be grand, your journey epic and your legacy significant!
See you soon. Cheers. Bye for now!!
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