The team moved into a debate. They had been talking about the update of their software and found themselves now arguing for and against a modification one of them had suggested.
The atmosphere had shifted. Everyone was on their guard. There was an idea on the table, something that might not work. And they were fighting about who’s right.
The team had not realized how that idea was challenging for some members of the team. For some it could make their past achievements superfluous, others didn’t understand it and yet others thought that all the interesting work would be done by others. All were now defending against the danger they perceived.
From discussing an update and work they were planning to do, the team had moved to handle egos.
What they hadn’t realized was that none of them had a really clear idea of the implications the suggested change had, neither for themselves nor for the update itself. By reacting to the idea with their instinct and what they liked or disliked about the idea they were using a shortcut and lacked the security that the change would actually work.
Captured between the yes and no, the question for or against the update, there was no escape from the fight or flight mode they were in.
They would have needed someone interrupting the debate, inviting them to step back and take the time to describe and assess the suggested change.
After having been curious and invested in understanding the problem there still is enough time to disagree. If needed.