Is Your Project Like an Orchestra?

By David Ryback, Ph.D.

A successful project is like a concert orchestra.  All the musicians have to be tuned to one another, not only in musical pitch, but also in terms of precise timing.  That’s for starters.  Beyond that, what makes for excellence is the ability of its members to be tuned in, not only in terms of pitch and timing, but also in terms of the nuances of how the togetherness of either is expressed as the music is performed.  The greatest orchestras have that togetherness of nuance perfected to the point that all the conductor has to do is keep time and remind the players of what he or she expects by body and facial expression.  In such a manner does the conductor bring out the best talent of each individual musician to blend with the union of instruments that make up the orchestra to bring it to its fullest potential.  The result can bring an audience to its feet, applauding with heartfelt passion.

Similarly, in a successful project, the more the team members are “in tune” with one another—not only in terms of overall mission and united effort, but also in terms of  the underlying context of how each individual feels fulfilled in sharing the best of his or her underlying potential—the greater the opportunities for success.  And the only way to bring this togetherness in place for greatest success is by clear communication, not only at the analytical level but also at the more intuitive, emotional level.  This means the ability to connect or, as this title has it, ConnectAbility.

As you will soon learn, ConnectAbility is a complex concept, embracing not only how we present ourselves as we attempt to communicate as clearly as possible, but also how we see others and how they need to be heard, particularly within the context of the business environment in which we happen to find ourselves.  So ConnectAbility involves presenting ourselves most effectively, listening so that we’re hearing the essence of what’s most important, all this in the context of the values of the organization we’re striving to make the best it can be.  No other concept has ever embraced all three components of excellence in communication.

So what does this mean for you?  First of all, it means that you can take control of your situation and decide if you want to be more successful, whether with your tam members or your boss.  Second, it means, should you choose it, that you can learn to enhance the potential for success in your career, by becoming a channel of excellence in communication in any circumstances in which you happen to find yourself.  As you learn and adopt the principles of ConnectAbility, others will see you as more understanding, less judgmental of them, and wise about the project at hand.  You’ll begin to sense a power not over others, but rather with them.  As you learn and integrate ConnectAbility into your life, you’ll feel more secure in your perspective, since it now embraces that of others within the context of the overall philosophy of your project.  In other words, others will see you, as you indeed become, more central to what’s meant to happen on the road to success.

Third, if you allow the ConnectAbility practice to meld into your personal life, you’ll find your relationships, from the most intimate ones to the casual friendships, becoming more satisfying and fulfilling.  Your family and friends will appreciate being heard more often and being treated in a manner that seems much fairer than what they’ve experienced in the past.

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