Awareness Brings Effectiveness (ABE)

When we are aware of what is going on around us, we can often resolve situations before they start to become issues. We are also aware of upcoming deadlines, new projects, and events that directly impact us, both individually and as a team. We are ahead of the curve ball, not just swinging at the last minute and missing.

Have you ever watched somebody who was so focused on one thing that they had zero comprehension of what was going on around them?

Here is a team development exercise to illustrate this idea. You will lead a willing partner to have a visual understanding of ABE.

Awareness Exercise

The ABE Effect - A Team Development ExerciseMake sure your partner’s hands are free. Ask them to take their right hand, extend it straight out in front of them, with their fingers pointing up and the palm open and facing them.

Have them close their fingers and ask them to focus on the little space between their two middle fingers. With their arm still extended, have them take that arm and move it all the way to their far right, then all the way to their far left, then all the way back to their far right. Have them do this five or six times really fast, all the time focusing on the gap in their fingers.

While they are doing this, you stand in front of them about six feet away and flash three sets of numbers at them with your fingers, in random order. This should take no more than one or two minutes.

After you complete this team development exercise, ask them to tell you the numbers you flashed. Can they recall all of them? How about one or two of them? More than likely, if they were concentrating on their fingers, they could not see the numbers that you flashed in front of them. They were so focused on the gap between their fingers that they were unaware of what was going on around them. When you are on a team, you have to be aware of what you are doing as well as what others are doing around you. This is the basis of ABE, and it benefits both you and your team.

The concept of ABE brings up another essential subject, personal responsibility. Knowing your position on a team is important and so is taking responsibility for dropping the ball from time to time. Let’s face it – WE HAVE ALL DONE IT! We will all do it again at some point. It happens to every one of us. We are humans, not machines (although there can be computer errors too). The thing we all try to avoid is making too many mistakes or repeating the same mistakes. If you practice ABE, you will definitely reduce mistakes and errors. It is more important to take ownership and focus on solutions than to dwell on the fact that you made a mistake.

One Team, One DreamExcerpted from One Team, One Dream by Gregg Gregory

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