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Example of a Team Reflection Pattern

Our example team can, if one observes the external behaviour, be considered as extremely reflective. For years, regular team workshops have taken place. These serve to reflect on strategic and fundamental factual issues but are also used for feedback processes regarding collaboration and conflict resolution. In the everyday meetings, the factual issues dominate. Conflicts tend to be handled bilaterally.

However, if one looks at the implicit experience and what results these reflection activities have, another picture emerges: the reflection gives poor or no results. One speaks about the topics but nobody plans to change their own behaviour and nobody reckons that others will do so. One has come to terms with the recurring problems. In this case, reflection serves more for the unburdening of concerns, or for catharsis, i.e. producing clever analyses which remain self-contained. The reflection of this phenomenon omits to tackle things, like the occupation with the type of identity formation (German Engineering) or the low interest in the concerns of others.

Thus, the pattern of team reflection is this: it is important to speak about everything and then to alter nothing, because others don’t either. So the reflecting has the effect of preserving the status quo, because, by means of superficial insight, the wind is taken out of the sails of criticisms and one cannot be accused of having done nothing.