Two monks are walking along a country path. They soon are met by a caravan, a group of attendants carrying their wealthy and not-so-kindly mistress and her possessions.
They come to a muddy river, and cannot cross with both mistress and packages - they must put one down and cannot figure out how to do so. So the elder monk volunteers to carry the woman across the river, on his back, allowing the attendants to carry her things, and then all can go on their way. The woman does not thank him, and rudely pushes him aside to get back to her caravan.
After traveling some way on their own, the younger monk turns to his master, and says, "I cannot believe that old woman! You kindly carried her across the muddy river, on your very own back, and not only did she not offer thanks, but she actually was quite rude to you!" The elder monk calmly replied: "I put the women down some time ago. Why are you still carrying her?"
Have you ever met a team/team member that holds onto the past - the way things were (whether good or bad)?
Team members, 'mourning' the loss of the team, can often prevent (or actively block) change/development and or their personal growth. As a leader/team member who intends to create development opportunities, can, often at times, be difficult to understand their motivation, be difficult to get them on board, and/ or be difficult to communicate in general.
Though understandable, it often can be a mistaken perspective to think of them as simply negative people. The issue is that the previous leader/team never successfully traversed through the final stage of team development and adjourned or 'closed the loop'.
For a brief recap: the 5 Stages of team development; (See article here if you would like more information on the Stages of team Development: How to manage each level to ensure success).
Forming: when the team comes to together and the goal/vision is outlined. People are generally polite.
Storming: when the team generates ideas to create a plan of action. This is where sub groups can be formed and it's the leaders role and responsibility that agreements are in place for team members to disagree and handle feedback agreeable. Some teams or individuals can be stuck here and never really create a sense of belonging for themselves. They are in the 'storm clouds at work and at home'.
Norming: when the team is organising themselves and working out the finer details of operation/implementation.
Performing: when the team is in synergy, and the plan for action is being implemented smoothly (some teams may never reach this stage due to not successfully traversing the first 3 stages). Everyone is on the bus heading for the same destination or playing the grand final ? where personal issues are put aside and the energy and focus is on outcomes and achievements.
Adjourning: this will either be a celebration or mourning.
It is interesting to note that team morale is affected enormously if this stage is not handled well when a project closes or the make- up of the group changes. It can have a life-long impact on the individual and the workgroup.
So, two key questions: