The team was working on a problem they were encountering and the discussion wasn’t moving forward. They wanted to fix a problem in another team and were discussing how to achieve that. To get the process started a mail was to be sent. Any time they were coming back to the mail showed another cycle in the discussion. The suggested content of the mail followed the curve of the changing emotions.
The more details they uncovered, the more they wanted to get rid of the problem. The shift became visible in the fact that the starting point was one of “let’s gather information” later on reaching a point of “let’s put pressure on them”.
The action was moved from one serving as preparation to one serving the doing.
It was the consequence of the tension between two groups in the team. There were those staying in a perspective of preparing a decision and others seeing themselves as able to act. The first group wasn’t satisfied with the information and searching for other points of view. The second group felt safe enough to trust the source of information as given.
With no one asking “what’s it for?” the content of the mail kept being pushed from one part of the group to the other.
It’s by interrupting themselves and their discussion to ask “what’s the email for? Preparation or Doing?” that they could have gained clarity on their goal and understood who supported the stage they were in.
Clarity is the result of enabling a common experience.
By not asking they avoided discontent in the group. At the same time, they left everyone with their respective idea of what the outcome of the mail should be. Allowing everyone to continue to act towards their individual goals.
Confusion results from assuming that one has been clear.
When clarity is confused with agreeing, it leads to confusion being preferred. That is, as long as it resembles agreeing in some way.