The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

The way we do things around here

For a few years, a group of us met to train together with a coach. As time passed, some of us changed our priorities and moved on. As the size of our group reduced itself, we decided to join another group to keep a suitable group size.

It was a reminder of how much we had gotten used to one another.

Joining the other ground meant shifting our habitual ways and to become acquainted with how the other group worked together. It wasn’t entirely comfortable and took some effort. Nothing huge, but a good reminder of how team dynamics depend on who is present in the room and who is absent.

Changing the members of the team also changes the dynamic in the team. Every time a group changes, its members reestablish a mental map of who is a member and how they all relate to one another. In the beginning, this map, or the imago of the group as Eric Berne called it, remains a bit general and focused on one’s own relationship with those perceived as leaders and those previously known. It takes time until the imago develops into an image easing to locate everyone and feel prepared when changes occur.

Consequently, it also takes time for a team to feel at ease with the changed group, that is also to come back to the level of performance they used to have.


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