In one of my previous posts I digressed into biology. Although our genes are ‘selfish’ (or ‘eternal’, meaning surviving the individuals and perpetuating themselves), this does not mean that we as humans are intrinsically selfish. To the contrary, all mammals are to some extent altruistic, if only because mothers produce milk for their offspring. Pure individualism does not exist.
Social animals are altruistic to others. They give to the group and to other individuals: sharing food, warning for enemies, defending the herd together, taking care of wounded or sick members of the herd. Humans have evolved as social animals as well. Sharing has been important, functioning as a team was vital for our survival.
And the important point: Social behavior is rewarded by a built-in mechanism. We are rewarded by a rush of the ‘feel good’ hormone oxytocin when we behave ‘nicely’. Giving birth and breast-feeding give a huge boost in oxytocin, orgasms do as well. But oxytocin rewards us also when we interact nicely with others, show empathy, are fair, defend the weak against the strong. And when we do fun and exciting things. A built-in rewarding mechanism that encourages us to behave in a way that helped our survival in the past.
This is our biological background. Behaving as a real team member comes natural to us. But we often have not created the right work environment at work. We have created hierarchies and command and control structures and budgets and approval processes and they all prevent us from being who we are and from working the way we like to work, among colleagues we know how to work with and who we can rely on.
This is what we try to achieve at ADJUGO through our TeamGrowing training. Because although we have a built-in mechanism that rewards us when we behave nicely and create a well-functioning team, we have also ‘unlearnt’ this natural tendency. We want to achieve that most natural organization of all, the self-governing team, and yet we have to learn again how to achieve that.
So we are really glad that we can bring Linda Dorlandt and Remi-Armand Collaris to Belgium for this intensive training (in Ducth): TeamGrowing. In 3 modules of two days each they will give tools and insights that we can use to help our teams become self-governing as well. And receive the reward of a happier workplace.