Do you have a clear goal and all thoughts and actions are focused on this one goal? Or, do you have a goal? And, you also have another goal. And, another one. Maybe, today you want this and tomorrow you want that. Or, one day you know you will achieve your goal and the next days you doubt it. Let’s welcome your inner team.
You Inner Team
The Inner Team is a personality model of the German psychologist Friedemann Schulz von Thun. It uses a team leader and team members as a metaphor for inner dialogs (inner voices). This model is quite comprehensive, however, we borrow some aspects of it and apply them to goal setting.
Your Inner Goals Team
If you have ever been in team meetings in your organization you have probably seen this. Sometimes all team members are on the same page and have the same opinion. But, there are also situations when the opinions are quite contrary. Conflicts might evolve and if these conflicts are not resolved it is not healthy for the team and for the whole organization.
This is very similar when we consider our inner voices as a team. Sometimes things are quite clear. But, sometimes there are opposite voices and this leads to conflicts and to wrong, delayed or no decisions at all. Here is an example.
Inner Team Member Mrs. Career: “I want to get the promotion next year. So, I have to put all my time and effort into this current project.”
Inner Team Member Mrs. Travel-the-World: “I want to travel the world for two months. I need to work to earn enough money.”
Inner Team Member Mrs. Family-Woman: “I want to spend time with the family now. If I work too much I have no time to spend with my kids and my husband.”
Team Leader Mrs. Me: “OK, so what can we do?”
All the inner team members play different roles and thus have different goals. As we can see these goals are not only different, they are even conflicting. So, the team leader Mrs. Me doesn’t know what to do.
Your Inner Perspectives Team
Even if your inner team members have the same goal, there might be different perspectives.
Team Member Mrs. Travel-the-World: “I want to travel the world for two months. I will see new places and meet new people. This will also be a great family adventure.”
Team Member Mrs. Family-Woman: “I want to spend time with the family now. Travelling will be a great way to spend more time together.”
Or, here comes another example.
Team Member Mrs. Career: “I want to go to the company’s summer party. This is a great chance to talk to the management in a more casual atmosphere. This will help me with my career.”
Team Member Mrs. Family-Woman: “I want to go to the company’s summer party. It is a barbecue outside and everybody will also bring their kids and spouses. We talk about how to best handle family and work.”
Beware Your Saboteurs
Team Member Mrs. Naysayer: “My boss is stupid. He hates me and will never promote me. A two-months sabbatical is impossible either. I do not have the money. All I can do is to work long hours and only see my family on the weekends.”
Manage Your Inner Team
The team leader, Mrs. Me – so you – needs to make sure that all team members pull into the same direction. There might be different opinions and even different goals. However, for a team to work well it needs a joint vision, joint goals, and joint effort.
What can you do when there are conflicts? First of all you need to be clear about your team’s values. From there you can find your inner team’s overall goals. Remember the team is you, so it is about finding your goals. Your goals need to be aligned with your values.
Friedemann Schulz von Thun suggests a team meeting for resolving conflicts. This is quite similar to a real team meeting in an organization.
You – the team leader – talk to your team members – your inner voices. You listen to your team members one after the other and take care of what they say. You can even write it down. Each inner voice represents a role, for example you as a parent, spouse, employee, or adventurer. Write down the roles along with their objectives and concerns. Be kind to your inner team members. They all have the best intentions.
Then you jointly search for solutions. This is not an “either or” approach but rather the search for a joint solution in alignment with your team’s values and goals. You can look for alternatives that are acceptable for both conflict parties.
At the end you have a team agreement all team members can agree on for the sake of the bigger goal. You can also write this inner team agreement down and sign it.
Now It Is Your Turn
Try it out and reserve some time today for your inner team meeting. You will surely learn something from your team members and if you do these meetings regularly it will also help you with your life goals – both, to find out what your life goals are and to achieve them.
Do you need some help? The resources and tools on our web site contain practical information and tricks all around goal setting. And, our free VidaGoals goal-setting app for Android can become our daily or weekly goal-setting companion.