What The Oscars Can Teach Us About Chemistry - ZM Coach

Whether you watched the Oscars or not, you’ve likely heard all the rumblings about the on-screen chemistry between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born. The smile on her face. The sparkle in his eye. Their intimate performance at the Oscars only fanned the flames. Their undeniable connection continues to fuel incessant love affair speculations all over social media. And, while it’s entirely possible, I have a slightly different take on it all.

As someone who’s led teams and coached executives to build them, what I saw wasn’t the result of a scandalous love affair, but two professionals totally engrossed in peak performance. They were doing their jobs—selling the song and the story of romance between two characters—just as you would with any successful pitch or presentation. There was a mutual respect, authenticity, and generosity between them. And, they both brought their A-games. As a result, their synergy and the performance itself were highly memorable.

What really struck me was how foreign their chemistry seemed to so many. After all, if it were more commonplace, would it have sparked such an uproar? Many managers try to manifest that magic for their teams because they know how valuable it can be for innovation and productivity. But, it’s not linear or formulaic. It can’t be faked or packaged. So, what can we do to create that spark?

While they’re both incredible talents who came to the table with their own success, Bradley and Gaga both admitted to insecurities they battled before shooting their hit movie—him as a first-time singer-musician, and her as a first time feature-film actress. Their active choice to trust, support, and be vulnerable with each other allowed them to express themselves without fear of judgment. THAT is what sparks unprecedented creative freedom and the kind of chemistry that brings out the very best in any kind of work, be it on a stage or in the boardroom.

When colleagues who respect each other are genuinely committed to a common goal, the potential for chemistry is limitless. So often, what gets in the way is a lack of real authenticity, vulnerability and generosity. Those elements give each individual the space and confidence to think and create outside the box. Camaraderie and collaboration follows, fueling teams to complement each individual’s shortcomings and foster their strengths. That’s what helps each player to bring their very best.

While both Cooper and Gaga acknowledge their special relationship, they continue to chalk up their chemistry to mutual admiration, respect, and an unwavering commitment to their craft. Now just imagine what would be possible if you and your colleagues were that open, that connected, and that supportive of one another. When you truly love what you do, prepare with integrity, and commit to a common vision, show-stopping performances of all kinds are possible.

Here are some questions to help you cultivate chemistry on your team:

  • Where do you see the most potential for deepening chemistry with your colleagues?
  • Where could you deepen trust by reaching out to a colleague for help or support?
  • Where can you contribute generosity and encouragement?
  • What would be possible in your career if your team experienced a surge in chemistry?

If you’re struggling to answer any of these questions, need clarity, or want help building these kinds of working relationships, schedule a call with me. I’ll show you how to get there.

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