I have been simplifying and clarifying in all aspects of my life and that includes a redesign of my website. I am trying to move away even more from words that sound canned or jargony. I want you to connect to what I am saying and offering without rolling your eyes or having to scratch your head.
I realized that I use the word “alignment” a lot. I may find an alternative. In the meantime, I thought it might be worthwhile exploring what that means and why I see it as a value for my clients.
Alignment is not:
- Total agreement
- Sublimating my needs to meet yours
- A waste of time
- Becoming aware of the gap between our beliefs, strategies and goals
- Finding shared interests or values even when our positions differ
- Standing side by side and looking together at the same goals
- Supporting each other to serve our shared interests
The Jazz Improv metaphor:
Have you ever watched Jazz musicians jam? It is a beautiful thing. They are listening inward to the music in their head, they are connecting to their instrument and they are listening outward to the music that is being created with their fellow musicians. Everyone seems to have a role—not always all at once, but there is a trust that their moment will come, their instrument can contribute. They are attuned to one another.
Think about your team. Think about your family. When you are aligned the way jazz musicians are aligned, you feel supported, you feel well-used and heard, you are at the ready to play a constructive role and to wait it out when it’s not your turn. You might be surprised at how other people do their job and you find a way to weave your approach into theirs. More often than not you have a smile on your face because this way of working and living keeps you feeling alive!
I know. You know. And extensive research literature proves, that teams that function this way—are more productive, satisfy their customers better and get consistently higher ratings on performance evaluations.
And –their heart rate is healthier, their BMI is in check and their sense of well-being is enviable. Now you know why I try to coach for alignment?