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A Street Called Normal

A Street Called Normal

By: Ross Paterson

A few years ago, I had the chance to hear author William P. Young share the back story of his book, The Shack (20 million copies sold). He described his early years as a child and made the profound statement, “We all grow up on a street called Normal”. Wherever and however we are raised is ‘normal’ to us, and perhaps it is not until we are self-aware adults that we begin to understand that ‘normal’ looks quite different in other people’s lives.


Our invitation to assist our small-medium business (SMB) clients are most often instigated by the agony of team dysfunction that shows up in relational pain and lack of profitable performance. Frequently these teams can’t picture other options, their current state is ‘normal’ to them. Most SMB organizations lack exposure to better models.


So, what does a healthy, high-functioning team do better than most other organizations? The MIT Human Dynamics Lab has provided data-based research that reveals several easily observable behaviors of high performing organizations.

  • Everyone talks and listens in roughly equal measure, short and sweet is the norm.
  • Team members face each other and have highly energetic conversations.
  • Team members are connected to each other, not just through the leader.
  • There are hundreds of backchannel and side conversations happening daily.


Business owners, does your team look like this? We would love to help you and your team create breakthroughs and operate on a new ‘normal’ level: the XtraMile.


Ready to alleviate your team dysfunction? Send me an email at