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Reflection on Interaction Patterns

Interaction patterns create order in the team. If one wishes to reflect upon these, categories are required, i.e. attention foci towards which one can direct one’s observations. This is similar to buying clothes, where one can look out for size, colour, fit, or material. Which categories of the interaction pattern can a team call upon during the self-observation, or a consultant during the observation of others? Those which are, from our viewpoint, particularly important, you can find below:

• Which rules guide the behaviour? Which rules (of other teams) are being rejected?
• Which explicit norms sanction and reward behaviour?
• Which formal and informal roles can be described? Which roles are unoccupied or are regarded as unimportant?
• By which rituals is one recognised?
• What values are shared? Which are jointly rejected?
• What is the self-definition of the team?
• What typical atmosphere is predominant?
• Which typical communication forms are used (humour, sarcasm, irony, accusations, complaints, indignation, justification, instructions, orders etc.). Which are not or only rarely used?
• How are conflicts handled? Which topics cause conflict? Which do not?

What is particularly important, from a metatheory perspective, is to always reflect upon that which ‘isn’t’ or that which is ‘not’ spoken about and to include it in the analysis. Thus, the focus of the complete reflection is always: Do these interaction patterns help to attain the goal or are they more harmful?

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