If you’ve been lucky enough to already go through a Five Behaviors Team Development training, you know that the topics discussed touched on many more issues than you could address in the time frame allowed. If you’ve facilitated the Five Behaviors® program you probably had to let some very interesting comments pass without asking for further reflection. If you’ve read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, you probably have insights you’d like to record and maybe share with others. Using this Journal can help us go deeper into the rich topics of Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results. It’s a space in which to safely consider how to move from where you are to where you want to be.
This Journal can be used by anyone working on the Five Behaviors. Perhaps you’ve just read our article Be a better teammate: Accountability and realized that you’ve fallen down in this area and you need some time to reflect. The Journal can help you focus your attention on this area.
The Journal can be provided to participants before a Five Behaviors session. This can be helpful if the team has low trust. Putting thoughts down on paper first can make it easier to speak them aloud later. The Journal can also be given during or after a session to keep people working on the task of becoming more cohesive. Facilitators might suggest additional questions based on what they know about the teams with which they work.
Journaling is more than a great excuse to buy a new notebook and pen. It’s something even time-crunched, successful leaders see as an important technique for learning.
“Extraordinary leadership is rooted in several capabilities: seeing before others see, understanding before others understand, and acting before others act. A leader’s unique perspective is an important source of creativity and competitive advantage. But the reality is that most of us live such fast-paced, frenzied lives that we fail to leave time to actually listen to ourselves.”
A journal provides a dedicated space for the discipline of reflection. The process of reflecting upon an experience like a Five Behaviors session or on an insight gained will make it a deeper learning experience. Reflection reinforces learning and gives space for a second look at one’s own assumptions.
Journals are also a place to examine emotions. When you’ve just had a session about vulnerability or conflict, you can expect a few emotions to surface. It’s hard to give them much attention while in a group, but writing about an emotion can make it easier to understand and channel appropriately.
Staying focused on a difficult topic like conflict or accountability can be hard. The questions posed by the Journal help sustain the attention needed to gain the momentum to make changes or challenge assumptions or even policies. Focusing on the team and your role on the team will make a difference in the team’s cohesion.
The right way to journal
There is no right way to journal. It helps to set a specific time for the exercise. It helps to keep distractions to a minimum. But you don’t have to give detailed answers to the questions posed. If your thoughts take you elsewhere, you can go with them. If a question holds little meaning for you, you can skip it.
For some people who journal daily, they may find that reviewing their journal entries can give them a sense of growth. It can also show patterns of thought and behavior they might want to change or enhance.
The Five Behaviors Journal
Download the Five Behaviors Journal questions