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Identification with the Goal

Every team is dependent upon its members identifying with the goals. Only in this way can the goal be maintained. A lack of identification can be dealt with, either through a change in goals, insofar as one can find agreement within the team to an adjustment and so long as there is decision-making scope at all, or one seeks the flexibility on the side of the employee. They then need to find an internal scope and postpone or give up their own beliefs about what is sensible and appropriate, in favour of other beliefs or preferences.

The task of identification – “All for one!” – is difficult to process, particularly if many possible alternatives are available. Under complex working conditions this is usually the case. Therefore, it is necessary to know and permit many, and very different, forms of identification: from enthusiasm to finding it sensible, from “quite ok” up to “I am against it, but I will go along with it to prevent something worse.”. The idea that everyone is always filled with enthusiasm is inappropriate, because, in that case, latent criticism (and therefore change potential) would have disappeared from the team. This would tend to be dangerous. Over-identification is usually just as dysfunctional as non-identification. For this reason, there is hardly any competence as important on the side of team members as “I disagree and commit!”

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