The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Waiting for information

Tim was describing how dreadful the experience of last weeks had been for him. He had joined a team and was finding himself constantly confronted with information popping up. Most often it was unexpected and pushed him to react. Even worse, when he had started it was with a long list of things to do his predecessor had left him.

He had immediately started to plow through his list, checking off the different tasks and racing to get ahead of his list. But the constant stream of information was holding him back.

He had started to feel like a victim, explaining that no one had told him what to do.

Tim was suffering from his predecessor’s working style. He had taken the list as his work and assumed that his role was to follow the path indicated by the list.

He was drowning in a sea of details.

It blinded him to the possibility to take a step back and think about his role. It also prevented him from stepping back to figure out what questions he could be asking to create a map of his tasks.

Understanding and defining how he would want to step into his role would have helped him see what type of work was asked of him. Starting by asking questions to understand the tasks and link them to his role would have helped him distinguish between the tasks relevant for his role and important to his ability to become a contributing member of the team.

By waiting for information he had unconsciously decided to be a follower instead of a leader.


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