28th July 2016
Sam Dods

start slow

Sometimes we have to slow down to go faster.


For groups to perform effectively time, effort and courage need to be invested in developing a sense of trust between its members.


Without trust we can get stuck in the forming or storming stages of Tuckman’s group development model. This often results in a complex array of issues including resistance, indecisiveness, lack of progress, frustration and aggression. We can find ourselves spending a lot of time in meetings fighting over insignificant points and when we think we’ve finally reached a decision team members continue to question it and fight amongst themselves, sometimes in ways that are very hard to see or understand.


In my experience fear and anxiety often underlies this aggression – fear of being over-powered, fear of humiliation, fear of failure – all sorts of fear that we sometimes deal with by overt or more hidden aggression.


To move beyond this needs Dr. Travis Bradberry’s emotional intelligence: self-awareness to see what is going on and courage to address it.


Doing this can result in some fairly lively exchanges between team members as they begin to express their feelings – often starting with aggression then moving onto their fears and anxieties as trust develops.


If this stage can be handled well then the group will reap the rewards: as their fears drop away so will the resistance and the team will become significantly more decisive and productive.


So sometimes we have to slow down to go faster.