By September 19, 2013 Read More →

How To Create a High-Performance Team with Vision, Identity, and Values

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“We must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” — Benjamin Franklin

If you want to change the world, you’ll need a high-performance team to help you with that.

After all, go big or go home, right?

The challenge is that when teams first form, especially high-performance teams, they go through stages of FormingStormingNorming — and Performing.

If you’re familiar with this model of group development, you know how painful, contentious, and unpleasant the Forming and Storming stages can be.  Norming is where the team starts to come together, and sets the stage for a high-performing team.

Interestingly, the better you embrace the Storming, the better you’ll be able to “storm the castle.”

What if you could speed up the process of getting to a high-performance team, and make it less painful going through the Forming and Storming stages?

You can use the NLP Logical Levels Co-Alignment pattern to help the team gel faster so you can create a high-performance team to change the world.

In the book, The Big Book of NLP Techniques, Shlomo Vaknin shows us how to use the Logical Level Co-Alignment pattern to create high-performance teams that can take on the world.

The NLP Logical Levels

According to Shlomo Vaknin, Robert Dilts, one of the most productive NLP master trainers and researchers, first introduced the Logical Levels to NLP.  Robert Dilts suggests that rather than focus on physiology and behavior, or emotional sate, focus directly on strategies, sub-modalities, beliefs, and identities.

The NLP Logical Levels are:

  1. The First Level.  This is the environmental level.  This is about where, when, and with whom.
  2. The Second Level.   This is the behavior level.   This is the specific behavior that occurs.
  3. The Third Level.   This is the capabilities and strategies level.  This is where you express skills.
  4. The Fourth Level.  This is the beliefs and values level. This is where values guide thinking, feeling, and action.
  5. The Fifth Level.  This is the identity and mission level.  The person’s identity is like a mini-environment.
  6. The Sixth Level.   This is the purpose level.  This is where a person’s beliefs and identity work together to create another level of meaning, beyond them, and help them define their place in the world.

Overview of the Logical Levels Co-Alignment Pattern

You can use the NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) concept of Logical Levels to create high-performance teams.  By aligning Logical Levels, you help individuals on the team bring out their best and act in in more resourceful ways.

You can use the Logical Levels Co-Alignment pattern to create a shared sense of identity, shared vision, and shared values, so that the entire team can fire on all cylinders, while individuals can see how their unique value and skills, play a role in making things happen.

It’s a powerful way to unite a team for the greater good, while getting down to business.

Summary of Steps

According to Shlomo Vaknin, the steps of the Logical Levels Co-Alignment pattern are:

  • Step #1.  Select the Location.
  • Step #2.  Answer the “Doing” Question.
  • Step #3.  Answer the “Skills and Abilities” Question.
  • Step #4.  Answer the “Values and Beliefs” Question.
  • Step #5.  Answer the “Identity” Question.
  • Step #6.  Answer the “Vision” Question.
  • Step #7.  Explore the Vision Overlap.
  • Step #8.  Bring the Related State to the Identity Level.
  • Step #9.  Move to the Identity Level.
  • Step #10.  Move to the Behavior Level.
  • Step #11.  Explore the Full Results at the Location Level.
  • Step #12.  Test.

Let’s walk through each step …

Step #1.  Select the Location.

In this step, find a healthy place to work from.  Maybe this means going off-site or getting a new team room.

Vaknin writes:

“Select for this pattern an environment that you and your team share with a common purpose.  When you just being using this pattern, select a place that is neutral and not knowingly holding negative anchors for members of the team.”

Step #2.  Answer the “Doing” Question.

In this step, Vaknin recommends having each team member answer the following question:

‘What do I desire to do or accomplish in that place?’

Find out what people really want to do and accomplish.

Step #3.  Answer the “Skills and Abilities” Question.

In this step, you put the the collective skills and abilities on the table.

Vaknin writes:

“Have each member describe the tools, skills, authority, and abilities that they feel will best empower them to accomplish their aims in this place.  It does not have to be public at first; they can each work on their won list without sharing with the rest of the group until they feel comfortable enough to do so.”

Step #4.  Answer the “Values and Beliefs” Question.

In this step, you put collective value and beliefs on the table.

Vaknin writes:

“Have each member describe the values, attitudes and beliefs that drive their desire to exercise these resources to accomplish their aims in this place.”

Step #5.  Answer the “Identity” Question.

In this step, you find out who people are and who they want to be.

Vaknin writes:

“Have them explain who they are as individuals with these motivations and beliefs driving their use of skills and other resources to create the desired actions in this place.”

Step #6.  Answer the “Vision” Question.

In this step, you paint a picture of the future.

Vankin writes:

“Have them describe the vision that they wish to manifest, and that gives dimensions to their identity as a person with beliefs and attitudes that drive their use of skills and abilities toward specific actions and results in this place.”

Step #7.  Explore the Vision Overlap.

In this step, Vankin recommends discussing the ways that your individual visions statements are similar, by asking: “What do they share?”

Explore for non-obvious overlaps.

Step #8.  Bring the Related State to the Identity Level.

In this step, you bring the vision, mission and identity together.

Vankin writes:

“Access the positive state associated with this vision and sharing.  In that state, return to your identity level, experiencing the vision and sense of identity and mission simultaneously.”

Step #9.  Move to the Identity Level.

In this step, you find a shared identity.

Vankin writes:

“With this sense of vision, identity, beliefs and values, return to your capability space.  Explore what capabilities you have as a team that goes beyond your individual identities.”

Step #10.  Move to the Behavior Level.

In this step, you figure out the actions to take and explore the significance.

Vankin writes:

“Take this sense of vision, identity, beliefs, values, and capabilities back to the behavior level.  Explore how all of your behaviors, even seemingly trivial ones, affect and reflect upon all the higher levels you have explored, right up to the level of vision.

Now ask, ‘What collective actions shall we take together?’ “

Step #11.  Explore the Full Results at the Location Level.

In this step, you explore what’s possible from the location.

Vankin writes:

“Place all the levels you have explored into the location.  Experience how these insights, understandings, and feelings transform and enrich this space and mission.”

Step #12.  Test.

Test your results.
Vankin writes:

“Over the coming days and months, observe any ways that this pattern has influenced or expanded the team and your individual contribution to its work.”

Are you ready to take on the world?

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Image by woodleywonderworks.

2 Comments on "How To Create a High-Performance Team with Vision, Identity, and Values"

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  1. Galen Pearl says:

    After taking a break from blogging for the summer, I’m enjoying making the rounds and catching up with great blogs and great writers. One of the things I appreciate about your blog is that even your business related posts offer something to everyone! I’m retired but I can always find something relevant to my life. Hope you had a great summer. Feels very much like fall here in Portland today–blustery and rainy.

    • JD says:

      Hey Galen, welcome back!

      Thank you.

      I’m still working at it, but I love how business skills can help for life. Edward de Bono shares executive thinking skills with the world. I try to share any insight and action that can help us live more, learn more, laugh more, or love more … in work, and in life.

      Summer was great. I miss it already.