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Goal and Goals

Of course, very few teams have only one goal. Most of them have a goal pool (we can thank Eberhard Stahl for this term), out of which different tasks also emerge. With regard to the stability of the team and its ability to consistently process decision-making conflicts, it is, however, essential to create unity about that which is the primary goal of the team, and, in the case of doubt, to prioritise this above all the others. If several goals of equal importance exist, it is ultimately not possible anymore for the team to consistently decide, because some choose to act this way and others another way.

In team consultations one discovers, again and again, that sustained conflicts or repeated non-attainments of the goal are associated with different goals or goal interpretations by the team members. Often, the team is unaware of this finding. If there is an official, shared, primary goal, then, of course, this does not prevent one or several people surreptitiously following their own (additional) goals: for example, when someone has the goal of putting himself forward in order to make a promotion more likely or to prove to another that the team is on the case.

In team developments, therefore, the processes also revolve around being united regarding a goal, so that peripheral goals also remain possible. An over-euphoric “Go for it!”, which is often seen as an ideal, is, in the viewpoint of the guiding process goal setting sensible on the one hand, and on the other hand, problematic, because it threatens to ignore the complexity of the environments and the resulting conflicts. In the long term it allows the members too little scope to see their own motivations as legitimate.

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