The Wisdom of Dialogic Awareness in Teams

Many parts in the one whole

The awareness to balance the parts

Dialogue consistently reveals that everything is inter-related in a seamless whole, even though we may each have only a partial sight of that. With this awareness of the parts and the whole, the organizational wisdom is to hold a dynamic balance between vision (what we are aiming for), participation (what we are doing) and performance (the outcome of our activities):

  • Anchoring the Vision
    Ensuring the team does not lose track of its vision and strategic aims. In busy days this can be a challenge. Without realising it, people can find themselves distracted and working tangentially to the vision. Is the team as a whole clear about its aims, purpose or mission?
  • Enriching the Participation
    Attending to how people are participating and their understanding of the difference their contribution makes to realising the collective vision. Making sure that everyone knows what their role is, and how to play their part. How well do people support each other?
  • Simplifying the Performance
    Being clear about what needs to be done to realise the vision. Keeping your eye on the ball and putting the ball in the net to score the goal! Ensuring that the combined activities of the team will actually deliver the organisation’s vision. Do the individual activities support or contradict what the team is trying to do?

Knowing where to intervene

Having the wisdom and systemic awareness to know where and when to intervene to best support the whole process. It means tracking the energies of potential, participation and performance to realise outcome. What may need to be done to help your team be less dis-jointed and more inter-connected?

Are the dynamics of the team predictable?

In some circumstances, people can predict the response and reactions that will meet a new proposal. Perhaps there will always be winners and losers without anything really being resolved. What would it take to change that dysfunctional situation? Can a team develop, and if so what is involved?

Does your team have a reflective practice?

Does your team reflect regularly to understand what has happened and why? What change only comes in response to external factors. With a reflective practice learning is generated about what works, what does not, and how to tackle things differently.

Everything depends on the container

Would you describe your team meetings as safe, energetic and ready for the possibility of change? If so, you have a great container! If not, what can you do about it?

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