How to Create Belonging, Significance, and Meaning on your Team
Welcome to the Leadership Vision Podcast, where we share our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a Strengths-Based approach to people, teams, and culture.
In this episode, we talk about how to create opportunities for a team to feel a greater sense of belonging, significance, and meaning. Brian details a recent experience with Serve the City and his thoughts on the importance of belonging and meaning in the workplace. Then, we dive into actionable steps you can take to create more belonging, significance, and meaning on your team. Enjoy!
A Greater Need for Belonging, Significance, and Meaning
In three years of working and living with Covid, we’ve learned that people’s need for meaning, belonging, and significance is heightened more now than ever. This is because many people have gone a long time without significant events where their needs for meaning and belonging are met. Now, when people are showing up to the workplace or for a volunteer experience, they have a greater expectation that these experiences are going to have a greater sense of connection and belonging than they have before.
People are returning to work in different capacities and as team leaders, we have the opportunity to invest in our people and their respective needs. What if we thought about creating opportunities for team growth or team connection by adding layers of diversity or layers of challenge that will intentionally challenge the mindset of people on how they create together?
How to Create Belonging, Significance, and Meaning on Your Team
By creating opportunities for team members to have a greater sense of belonging, meaning, and significance, a team can begin to expand their intellectual or cognitive aperture of creativity to be more creative in how they choose to collaborate and problem-solve together. When you challenge people to become more creative in how to solve a problem, there can be a new sense of self-awareness. You’re able to see what you and others are made of in these moments of difficulty and challenge.
Before you start the activity with your team below, consider the following:
- What is the team going to solve? If a team leader chooses to do an exercise like this, the first thing to ask is what is the objective of your meeting? What are you trying to solve? What is the challenge or invitation that you’re going to ask the team to actually work on?
- Seen and Unseen Diversity. To engage this psychological need for meaning, belonging, and significance. And to take advantage of this neurological reality of creativity comes in the midst of greater diversity, there is a diversity that is seen in a diversity that is unseen.
1. Ask your team questions with the intention to increase team awareness of the diversity already in the room.
Pick two or three questions below. Each answer represents a layer of diversity that the team needs to be aware of as they’re having conversations or working together to solve a problem.
Questions about Diversity:
- Place of origin – One example of an element of diversity is where are you from? This could be what culture are you from? What country are you from? It could be, are you from a small town? Are you from Suburb? Did you grow up in an agricultural community? Did you grow up in an urban community? Your place of origin is going to shape your mindset and reveal a layer of diversity.
- Education – Another area of diversity is to ask people about their educational experience. The issue of education reveals a sense of diversity where a person may not have had the best education available to them. Some may have had the opportunity to go to a private school. Some may have gone to a very large public school, a very small school, or anything in between. Parents that were highly educated or parents that weren’t, there’s a diversity that is there as well.
- Belief system – Another layer of difference could be any kind of question that ignites a conversation around a belief system. This could be social beliefs, religious beliefs, personal beliefs, or values.
2. Pair up team members to discuss each question for two to five minutes.
Many people know what the elements of difference in diversity actually are but they oftentimes go unsaid. When we give teams the chance to name the issues or diversity, it puts that difference in the center and makes it common. Then there’s an invitation for us to now ask, what are we going to do?
3. Ask yourself and your team the following questions:
- What were the elements of diversity that emerged?
- How did people answer the questions?
- What was it like to ask and actually answer the questions?
- What were you feeling when other people were giving their answers?
- Which of these areas of diversity is something that’s going to help as a team to rally around or have in common?
- Which of these areas of difference can get in the way of the team in how they work together?
Belonging, Significance, and Meaning on Your Team
When we provide opportunities to create a deeper sense of belonging, significance, and meaning on our teams, it provides a collective sense of trust emergence. How has creating belonging, significance, and meaning benefited your team? We would love to hear from you – connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Leadership Vision Podcast
The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Please contact us if you have ANY questions about anything you heard in this episode or if you’d like to talk to us about helping your team understand the power of Strengths.
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