The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Creating frustration

Not too long ago, in a workshop, participants were discussing how to deal with employees who don’t engage in suggestions they received.

It is a situation leaders frequently experience. They start developing great ideas they see as a means to assist or enable their team members. These, however, react by doing nothing or rejecting the offer. Usually, with an excuse that makes no sense.

Some participants reacted with suggestions as to how to listen to team members and inquire into their reasoning. Others reacted by judging and giving up on those team members who didn’t take up the offer. And yet others found themselves reacting with a sense of helplessness.

The first solution is the one used by leaders who don’t want to give up on others or themselves. The other two solutions build on either giving up on others or oneself.

What is common to all three solutions is the assumption that the team leader knows what his team members want or need and that the team members will agree. Should they not engage immediately, the next assumption is that there is a disagreement that can be dissolved by persuading them.

The difference in points of view has turned into a project to prove that the leader is right.


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