THE 7SELVES

SYSTEM TO BUILD A TEAM

The 7Selves system is a daily guide to assist and positively enhance management, staff or workforce alike. It is a powerful motivational tool to encourage empathy and incentivise. It is a relaxed discipline to follow which will train the mind and thought processes to create a “go to” positive atmosphere. It converts the daily grind into fun and will build a successful team mentality. It can be used for small groups or large and will encourage a more effective workforce.

 

We call it the 7Selves because it can be used over 7 days and each Self begins with the letter S. It doesn’t matter which day of the week you start to apply it to so long as you keep the system going over each week. Keep it in your head. Think, today I must be …….. Your workmate may be on a different day, but you will always be able to understand them and empathise with them.

 

You can use the principle of each “Self” in any order so long as you carry them all out over a weekly period. Over Time you will find how easily they link up to make an efficient Team. Get a Rota together and put your names against which is your Self Day or make up your own individual rota and get the others to guess which one you are today

Brian George

1.) Sweet

By Sweet what do we mean?

 

The definition of sweet can be taken many ways. My Thesaurus and Dictionaries tells me that it can mean Sugary, Syrupy, Saccharine or a Bonbon, a Toffee, or just a Sweetie, meaning Confectionery. In my country Sweet can mean a Dessert or as we say Afters!

 

Now we are not asking you to be sugary or syrupy to people because that would be to overdo it, but it is a good way to memorise in a humorous way.

 

(Are you with me?) get response

 

Now, the definition I prefer are the alternative adjectives: -

 

lovable

cute

charming

engaging

appealing

attractive

delightful

adorable

 

or another version: -

 

kind

thoughtful

considerate

pleasant

amiable

friendly

caring

gentle

good natured

soft hearted

agreeable

sweet-tempered

accommodating

obliging

 

and yet another: -

fresh

pure

agreeable

pleasing

(Are you with me?) get response

 

I’m sure you get my drift. You should aim to be pleasant, and agreeable, considerate, charming and engaging. If you are dealing with your workmates or customers, or clients you must aim to keep the thought in your head, your “Self” that day is “Sweet”. Be pleasant or charming even in your response to a mean and nasty natured boss or customer or workmate. Believe me it will disarm even the worst and nasty person, they will try to provoke you but if you think “Sweet” it will produce an inner grin and you will be able to brush it off and treat it as their being rude or mean spirited and it may just make them think again about their own attitude.

 

(give example from previous situation)

 

(Are you with me?) get response

 

 

I’m sure that you understand me now, you keep it in your head that day, or you write it in your diary or even put it on your screen saver so that if you leave your desk, when you return you will be reminded “today I have to be Sweet!” 

 

(OK, are you with me?) get response

2.) Smart

Let’s go back to my thesaurus and get a definition of Smart and we’ll see that also has many and variable meanings.

 

Elegant

Neat

Tidy

Stylish

Chic

Well-groomed

All of which can be applied to your mind as well as your dress sense, we say “tidy minded” to encourage that discipline. Who here uses their bedroom floor to keep their clothes?

Think how can you be smart if you are forever picking through a pile of unfolded or un-pressed clothes?

(OK, are you with me?) get response

Now the other definition of Smart, which I’m sure you are aware of is :-
 

Clever

Intelligent

Bright

Brainy

Sharp

Quick

Now on your Smart day you not only are well turned out, being well groomed that day will encourage you to think Smart. Think “Today I have to come up with a smart idea to assist the team”

(Give example from past Projects, create team identity, turn other’s hostility in your favour, use it to build a togetherness, something to be used to create a siege mentality)

 

(OK, NOW, are you with me?) get response

There is of course another definition of Smart, which is a verb we say “ouch, that smarts”: 

To Sting

To Burn

To Hurt

 

Now I’m not telling you to go out and sting people!

but think about the Smart response to being stung or burnt?

The Smart response to a sting would be to get a cream, or put tiger balm on it or similar, so it is the same if someone gives a hurtful remark, think “Smart” the adjective. I’m confident because I’m dressed Smart today and my brain is Smarter than theirs, and your team-mates brains added to yours will be even Smarter, get together with your Team. Have a Brainstorming session and I’m sure you will get your Smart answer to any problem, or at least a Team response.

(OK, NOW, are you with me?) get response

3.) Simple

Ok, the word Simple can have many definitions also. We used to use it in almost a derogatory way to describe someone who was say “a little thick or slightly unbalanced”. In England we call the Irish thick, in the USA they call the Polish the same, but how many times have these people pulled one over on us? I am not stereotyping any nationalities here, that would be racist and not very Sweet or Smart, but I am sure you can all think of other examples. What I am trying to do is make you aware. It is a game some play to keep you off your guard so think about it, is that really being simple? I think they are the ones being Smart, don’t you?

 

(OK, I think you are with me, are you?) get response

 

Let us go back to the definitions then, my Thesaurus and Dictionary again says it all, they are a great tool the Thesaurus and Dictionaries because they make you think about what you say. It helps sometimes to take time out and think about what you say to your workmates. OK?

 

Back to the definitions of Simple: -

 

Easy     - able to be done or understood quickly or with very little effort

 

Not elaborate – lacking decoration or embellishment

 

Not complex or Without complications or Straightforward

 

Undemanding or effortless

 

 

Now that is what we should aim for in our daily work, to keep things simple and effortless, to not take the long and complicated way. Think a little before you do a task, analyse it how can I simplify it. That simplification will equate to efficiency.

 

We have all worked with those people who try to stretch out their day, who pretend that they are so busy or inundated with work that they have to sit at their desk late into the night. They are not keeping it Simple, are they? They are embellishing the impression that they are working hard when by keeping things simple they could probably do their tasks within the allotted hours.

 

Do you all know someone like that?

 

(tell another tale or example) note: Boss on leave, he left a massive pile of files on his desk, I got staff together and we shared out the outstanding jobs and finished them all with days to spare. We simplified it and made our own tasks so much easier that we were awarded a new and prestigious contract to work on.

Keeping things Simple will make you more efficient.

(Are you with me?) get response

 

Another definition in my dictionaries is :-

Plain ……… and the definition of Plain goes even further to demonstrate the Self of Simple which is:-

 

Minimal

Unadorned

Unfussy

Down to Earth

Clean

Clear Cut

Unpretentious

Austere

 

Therefore, keeping things Simple should be your aim, don’t overdo things, look to get the tasks done as quickly as possible, don’t cut corners, but spend a little time to analyse the Simple Way.

 

As we go on you will understand how all these “Selves” link up as a discipline.

4.) Sensual

Now this will get you laughing and sniggering behind your hands and will certainly grab your interest, (Am I right? hmmm! thought so!) get responses even embarrassed ones!

 

Back to the Thesaurus then. 

 

Carnal – Relating to physical or especially sexual pleasure

 

Voluptuous – suggesting a great deal of physical or, especially sexual pleasure

 

Sensory

 

Now I am not advocating that you all start getting too close to your team mates; that would take away all the efficiencies we’ve created in the previous Selves. What we are saying is that you use your physical senses, to get a feel for your day ahead, to use your physical or sensual being to assist your mental capacity. It is all about raising your awareness of the people around you, being sensory to the world around you. 

 

In the office it could be a desk, a filing cabinet, a copier in the office or if you are an engineer, I’m sure that you have felt the surface of a machine or an object. Maybe the car you are in makes a different noise today or you feel a vibration or a knocking sound, or the elevator makes a jerky movement. Use your sensuality, your senses to increase your awareness of the world around you. Feel the environment. 

 

We are all more aware of the environment today and the need for us to be more environmentally aware. Train your sensual side into the awareness of your surroundings.

 

Your Sensual Self is essential for Health and Safety. How many of us have been too casual about noticing or putting up with dangerous situations? If you see an overloaded electrical socket or bare wires you should point this out as it could be harmful to your team mates, a cable stretched across a floor which should be dealt with or taped down, a piece of debris above, be sensually aware.

 

But by all means use the first definition in your private life………… (laugh, nod, wink etc.then a louder “Are you with me” he he!) get the response. 

5.) Sensible

Ok, Sensible now. I’ll bet you are all thinking, boring or back to plain and simple?

Well back to my Thesaurus again and yes the first definitions that appear are: -

Showing good sense, having or demonstrating sound reason and judgement.

Again, Practical – usually comfortable & hard wearing not worn as an adornment or sensible like shoes!

But I prefer the later definitions and here you will understand their relativity to the earlier Selves: -

Subject to perception – able to be perceived through the senses (think back to Sensual)

Conscious – Awake or conscious, having the capacity to understand (think back to Smart)

Aware of something – very aware of something emotionally or intellectually (maybe Sweet)

 

Now, I use 2 Thesauri, and in the other,  there are more 1 word definitions and from many of these you will be able to understand how all the Selves link up. There are so many for Sensible: -

level-headed

sane

rational

shrewd

wise

sagacious

prudent

judicious

 

And again those that we’ve seen earlier:-

 

Aware

Mindful

Conscious

 

(Are you with me?Louder) get response

So, on your Sensible day the only difference from the others, like all of the Selves is in subtlety.

You will still be aware, mindful and conscious in the ways of your other Selves just maybe a little more careful in your application on this day. Coming after your Sensual day and before the next Self you need to use this day to slow down just a slight amount, use it to think a little more, maybe gather your thoughts about the previous Selves of that week, take on board all the positives from earlier and consolidate things. Maybe have another brainstorming session with some of your Team mates. If you are a Leader or Manager get everybody together and get some responses, write down any Sensible efficiencies, innovations or changes that are obvious benefits to the team and make a plan to implement them.

 

(That would be Sensible wouldn’t it, are you with me?) get response

You will need to do that because the next 2 Selves are going to liven things up again!

6.) Sexy

Ok, so you are all eager and smirking again at this Self and can’t wait to see where we are going with this one.

So, it is back to my Thesauri, well three of them must have panicked and let their prudish side affect their judgement about what to print because I drew a blank. That is the Anglo-Saxon way of dealing with awkward situations, to ignore them and they might go away! 

But we are stronger than that aren’t we? By now you should be aware of our love of words and the depth of meanings, so it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that we have a brave take on the Sexy Self.

One of my other English Thesauri describes Sexy as:-

Arousing Desire

Appealing, because of being new, interesting or trendy

 

I am sure that you have all heard the expression that “Sex Sells?” so it could help your business then?

That is true to a point but not always, because some people are embarrassed using the word and would not openly buy an overtly sexual magazine or book, therefore from that we must understand that there is some reticence in people to be overtly “Sexy.”

When we use Sexy as one of the Selves, we are encouraging you to come out of your shell, to be more confident, in effect to be more appealing to your customers, your work mates, in this way we can link this with our “Sweet” Self but maybe just a little more forward, push a boundary a little. We are talking about both Men and Women here.

We are telling you to express yourself more. 

If you create more desire in your customers to return and do business with you then it’s not such a bad thing is it?

 

(Are you with me?) get response

 

Maybe add an accessory to your dress that day, a little flamboyance that will keep your awareness of your Self on that day. The ladies will know all about accessorizing to stand out but even the most macho of guys can add something, a colourful tie, an unusual belt, even a different jacket, something that will boost your confidence.

Back to the Thesauri then; the only other one brave enough to really express a few similes was the Spanish: -

Sugestivo

Fascinante

Attractiva

Erotico

and of course, our other Self ………Sensual

 

Although that was probably a more obvious link, but Sweet would also apply and even Smart  

(Are you with me now? Louder) get response

 

With your Sexy Self then we want you to push yourself forward, be confident, be aware of your Sweet, your Smart, your Simple, your Sensual and your Sensible Selves but add a little dash, boost your confidence and push your own inner boundary just a little, break out and add just a little something you wouldn’t normally do or wear. 

It is like getting up and singing at Karaoke the first time you’ll feel an adrenalin rush, afterwards and once you have got that out of your system you will find it so much easier the next time until it becomes natural.

 

(Are you with me?) get response

7.) Sassy

Now here is the one Self that I think pulls all the others together and is a fine one that can be used to re-energise all of us. It is generally used to describe women more than men and isn’t a commonly used word. It has emerged in the last few years more as an American Slang expression.

 

My English and American Dictionaries and Thesauri describes it as: -

 

Impudent as in impudent and disrespectful

 

High-Spirited as in theatre shows

 

Stylish

 

Lively

 

playful

 

impish

 

brazen

 

full of fun

 

Showing no respect for people in authority

 

Impertinent

 

Pert

 

Cheeky

 

Lippy

 

Feisty

 

I can see that some people would imagine that this would work against the team as far as a boss would view it, but it is again relevant to the other Selves, but we prefer to see it as a healthy way to question the status quo. To use it to innovate and instigate change where it is needed.

 

Use it to challenge pomposity. Use it in a humorous way where possible to point out things and help others to laugh at themselves a little, but always remember to be able to take it back when aimed at you, be your Sweet Self then and use that example to accommodate new points of view.

 

If you are brainstorming get one of the others to take on the Sassy Self and point out where situations, or people have become complacent. 

 

It is healthy for a business to analyse itself and for some to question, or to learn to accept impertinence.

 

How many times do people get into buzz words and phrases and expect others to follow their thinking?

 

How many times do we get expressions thrust on us; one that used to appear at meetings at one company I worked that was often used was “At this moment in time” where the Simple Self would apply the one word “Now”. The team then turned it around and used to try to find ways to add it to every conversation until it became so ridiculous that it was discarded.

 

This is where the Sassy Self works. We use it in a nice fun way to build our confidence and lead us back into the softer Sweet Self for the next week. It is our little response to those rules that need to be challenged, to make others aware of them and to prepare to find a joint way forward to temper change and introduce innovation again.

 

(Are you with me?) get response

 

 

Use this Sassy Self when you must sometimes build a defence mechanism to build a fence around your team, to encourage them to bond together to fight or compete. It is a standard sports coach tactic to make the team believe that everyone else is against them and to turn this back at the competition. To use that belief to encourage the team to beat all comers. You will have to use this sparingly though because in a wider company situation it can be frowned upon.

 

I used this when I was on the project in Australia that we mentioned earlier. I was sent to carry out rectification of a defective part of the project, but our manager of the overall project did not want to give me his good workers, instead disparagingly made me take what he called the “sh..”; I used that to inspire them. I told the full team that the manager had called them that and that they had to prove him wrong. I gave them an identity and got them chanting every day as I walked around the job. They had a common enemy to turn their energy into beating. We not only beat our own manager, but we outstripped 3 competing companies in productivity overall of the massive project and won an award for the most effective Team on the job.

 

We also organised beach parties and barbecues occasionally which was frowned on by the manager. It was impertinent maybe, but my management team came out of that project with extra support from our clients. 

 

Our Sassy Self triumphed on that project and enhanced our Team’s reputation, but it didn’t make our manager very happy, but sometimes bad management has to be challenged and shown up for what it is. The secret in a situation like that though is to make sure that your other 6 Selves are strong already. Be careful again that you don’t overdo it. As always moderation is the key and ensure that all the team are with you.

 

(Are you with me?) get response

 

Closing Speech and Questions

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