The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

That’s reassuring, isn’t it?

Sometimes children need to be reassured. When reassuring a child, parents seek to help their child process an emotion. They accept that their child may not yet be able to process this emotion on his own and in that moment.

In doing so, they take the responsibility that their evaluation of the situation is the right one. They assess that the child does not yet have the means to carry that responsibility by himself. It belongs to how parents take up their role and assist their children while they develop their maturity. By limiting the task the child has to deal with they ease their learning. And by expanding the task step by step they allow their children to take more responsibilities and feel empowered. It is a journey filled with failures and success. For the children, it involves learning to assess risks and possibilities. For the parents, it means to contain the learning within the emotional space the children can regulate.

The same mechanism applies to organizations and teams.

The leader who settles with reassuring his team decides at the same time about its responsibilities and empowerment.

When reassuring happens as a reaction to the existing discomfort in the team and serves to relieve them from their anxiety, it is a way to tell the individuals that they are not responsible. The team is being released from acting by itself. They may happily accept dependency or resent being denied their power.

Well thought through it can also be adapting one’s leadership to one’s team. A team’s maturity develops over time and the things within a team’s control will also shift as work progresses.

A leader’s task involves choosing how to best support his team.

It includes assessing what makes the team dependent and what will empower it.



Share this post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *