Team building is too often looked upon as “some things” to do instead of “some ones” to become. Teams are composed of people, not parts like a machine. In fact, it is time to stop treating your body and life as parts, somehow separated into bits and pieces. If we only use our left-brain mental constructs, this is how we tend to focus. For example, traditionally we see teams in terms of strategies, tasks, and dollars-and-cents measures (“bottom line”).

While these aspects are important, they need to be attained from the perspective of a foundation that is sustainable. They should only come after reflecting on the components that will engage the mind and heart of the people who will determine if, how, or when the bottom line manifests. Only focusing on numbers is like focusing on the trees and being blind to the context of the overall forest. It is very shortsighted (as in myopic). It’s time corporations have their vision corrected.

Collaborative leaders need to consider such factors as:
* Clarifying values, purpose, and mission in a way that engages the heart to integrate between employees and the company.
* How blind spots disrupt trust and create fear of conflict and insecurities that block vulnerability and human connection.
* The power of passion and meaning to fuel attention to results and ways to develop the mindset of the individual team members.

Here are three steps that leaders can bring to the table as they are developing and inspiring their teams:

Values of the company are clarified and communicated. There has to be a process to bring into awareness where there is common ground between individual core values and organizational values and culture. Where there are areas of alignment, passion will be stimulated and meaning/purpose bought forward into a more conscious level of mind. For example, if the company’s value is to give the client service that truly puts their interests first, an employee who rates ‘integrity’ as a high value will feel kinship with the expressed values of the organization, and hence feel congruency between their heart and the company. It is important to help people to understand what gives their own life meaning and how the company shares those same values.

Answer: “Who is the ideal psychographic client?” Notice I did not say “demographic.” It’s time to realize that all women between the ages of 30 to 60 do not think or “emote” alike. We are serving human beings with a set of values, hopes, needs and dreams, not just bodies with similar physical characteristics. It is stereotyping to say that women over 30 who are college-educated want the same products and services. Clarity about the ‘what’ and ‘why’ (this connects to values, purpose and mission, of course) is important before the team starts plowing toward an end result in a chaotic attempt to increase the bottom line.

Have personal development programs that will integrate the lessons into day-to-day projects, so the lessons are used in real-life situations. Action wires the brain, so it’s not just learning theoretical skills sets and five-step systems. It’s time to connect the dots that mindset determines the action one takes – or not. Personal development needs to be transformational, not simply playing games. Reflection and an experiential understanding of how the brain wires or changes patterns in a way that engages both hemispheres is an art – with science. People need insight, not just more information.

Here’s an innovative idea: Teach people to see the workplace as a place to grow and evolve. They spend a major proportion of their lives there. You take you with you wherever you go. Trying to act one way at work and another way at home is one reason why we are not self-directed and powerful. We are not integrated within, we are “dis-integrated” and we are therefore disintegrating. We have forgotten who we really are. Focusing on fitting into a box of conformity, staying only in our heads and fearing feelings and change are ingredients to a lackluster, uncreative, and desperate life.

As Henry Thoreau said, “Most men (people) lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

This is the only way to cultivate authentic personal power and confidence that leads to more accountability, commitment, and strategic results.

Organizations are composed of people, and people need to have engagement of their mind with heart; an environment that fosters innovation and trust; and to learn communication skills built upon inner self-image development, not just techniques.

To adapt to change and to innovate, organizations need cooperation/integration of departments and divisions; a culture that embraces conflict as a way to stimulate diversity of ideas; and to allow individuals to grow and expand their minds, not simply conform.

The silo mentality is the fast track to becoming irrelevant in today’s marketplace. It wastes time, energy, and money. We can’t overcome the silos in our environments until we overcome the silos within our own selves.

Author's Bio: 

Valencia Ray, M.D. teaches business owners and corporate leaders how their amazing brain can actually hijack personal power -- not in the abstract, but in the context of integrating business and personal life. Dr. Ray, a board-certified eye surgeon and medical business owner for over 20 years before selling her practice, shares her own life changing process. By sharing her story, she helps others to expand their vision and learn that by living with purpose and confidence, it is possible to have a more integrated, healthier lifestyle – with less struggle, more inner peace and more abundance.

For more information and to contact her regarding dynamic, inspirational keynotes, trainings in collaborative leadership and team building, entrepreneurship and coaching programs, visit her website at