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Leaving unreflected

The option to leave something unreflected upon is necessary for survival, because otherwise one would not be able to function anymore. Every system, including a team, can only selectively afford reflection, or else it would be overextended with its inner complexity. Therefore, anything which serves the preservation of the team and aids the accomplishments of its goals can, in principle, remain unreflected upon. But to preserve this unreflected state becomes dysfunctional or dangerous, when not only little signals, but also more massive events (high sickness levels, large staff turnover, quality problems, competition is quicker, better or cheaper, costs are too high, time limits not adhered to) are simply accepted with the shrug of a shoulder. If this happens, it is, seen from the outside, usually a sign of communication blockages. How are such blockages explained, when non-members of the team, the organisation or the counsellor with limited impressions, can assert, astonished, that something is not right and that the team members ought to speak to each other?

The answer is relatively simple. There are no rational reasons for this, only emotional ones: fear of failure in conflict, fear of offending, fear of being excluded, fear of being discovered as incompetent, fear of losing recognition, fear of being overloaded etc.

As the famous emotional intelligence is not always as well developed as necessary, the team then avoids the necessity for reflection, and, in a worst-case scenario, it moves, together with its members, all the way to a collision. At the same time, it is frequently still the case that there is a realistic assumption that the team is overextended with reflecting upon tricky subjects (“This would cause the whole thing to blow up!”), and because of that, it does not seek external counselling support. Even the fear of obtaining help is wide spread.

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