Psychologists do important work, but it doesn't take one to know that people operate a lot like computers. We've got code inside that issues a response when stimulated. The more you know the person, the more you know which responses to expect.

In any organization team building improves organizational outcomes. But what is going on when team members bond?

A chart of two vectors on x and y axis heading in slightly different directions and intersecting.Two 1st quadrant vectors intersecting and heading in slightly different directions.

Alignment is a concept that explains what's going on. Let each line in this chart represent a person; but more than that, let it represent their psychology, the millions of associations their mind makes between images and expectations, words and definitions, and information and responses.

Now increase the angle of one line so the slopes are farther apart. The two lines will no longer be aligned, they will be heading in different directions. This is a key factor in relationships, whether they are personal, among colleagues, or in communities and networks: alignment.

Definition rewrite

To achieve alignment people communicate. The more readily they are willing to rewrite their definitions (or reclassify them), the more quickly they can align. The less flexible they are, the more limited will be their alignment potential.

Open processed communication, the suspension of judgment, the suspension of ego politic, a willingness to find win-wins and agree to disagree to quickly move on, these are the secrets to alignment.

Organizational momentum

For teams, friends, families, organizations, and more, alignment is a key to successfully achieving organizational objectives, having fun, or living more fulfilling lives. And just like physics vectors, people vectors get more momentum when they combine and align.

The next time you want to bring someone on board (or more accurately meet someone on board), run this by them. If they are willing to buy in, you can pick your direction and get going with greater confidence in a smooth and rewarding journey.