Attunement – Evolving Teams in Evolving Businesses

In an evolving business, with evolving team members, there is a constant need for attunement.

It’s like tuning a guitar: The first string gets tuned, then the next, and by the time the 6th string is tuned, the neck (overarching structure) has been pulled just enough so that the first string is no longer in tune, and the cycle repeats.

This happens about monthly for our team members – they cycle through a need for attunement. Weekly would probably be better as we continue to evolve our business infrastructure, campaign models, project management systems, and hire new team members.

But attunement isn’t a permanent thing – neither for teams, nor  guitars.

The weather warps the neck and pulls on the strings, or loosens them. Playing on the strings stretches their molecular structure and tugs on the anchor points at the ends. Adding or replacing strings obviously has an impact. As does the newness or seasoned-ness of the the material they are made of.

What I’ve been noticing  is that when a team member is feeling out of tune, the layer of judgment or stories held in their minds or the minds of other team members creates additional stress and fear.  There is a subtle withdrawal and the need for attunement becomes a fear of rejection or a perceived failure. The fear that arises which takes us out of the productive flow and adds even more strain to the team.

Eventually, the team member either gets called out or comes out, and we have a conversation that gets that person back into tune. Suddenly they see the evolutionary shift in their self  and feel a deep relief, joy, and appreciation for being held through the transformation. It’s one of the most gratifying aspects of my role – holding space for those conversations and those attunements, and generally witnessing the flux of the dynamics in our team as we evolve together.

Bottom line: everyone on the team can expect to get an attunement. At some point or another, we all feel ‘off.’ It’s a natural part of evolving in a team environment with a multitude of dynamics at play.