This blog has emerged through an intense discussion, over coffee, with my dear friend Sushma Sharma, who has an expertise in Complex Adaptive Systems. I am sharing my understanding of creating a container in the following essay. This essay, would be of interest to anyone, who would like to create high performance teams, either in work place or life in general.
A container, is a space created through, intention. Clarity of intention, will help hold the container, so that it doesn’t fall and shatter. As soon as two people interact, a container is created, this container may either hold business interest or relationship interest. Whatever may be the interest of creating a container, it will always give you a choice to grow. Even if the experience in the container is not pleasant, it is our choice to grow and move up the spiral. From this experience we learn to create better containers, where relationships and people can thrive and grow.
An ideal container would be the one in, which everyones opinions can be voiced, and even when there are disagreements. The voicing is not easy. In a container people may have several opinions and thoughts, but if the creator/ leader of the container, doesn’t give enough space, there won’t be enough voices. This will retard the growth process, and the container will become dysfunctional. This is true for organizations, families, groups, friends etc. Wherever there is not enough space, for voicing opinions, people will say exactly, what you want to hear, until they move to another container. A container holds patterns, or fractals, observing the pattern and being able to appreciate the differences in the pattern, brings out the uniqueness of the container. It also makes the container more, meaningful.
In most of the teams, the need for approval, causes us to seek out people, who approve of our thought processes and ways, we then become a part of a formal or informal group, with like minded people. These ‘like minded’ people end up then creating a container, where conformity is rewarded, and conflicts are not welcome. This is generally in the air and unspoken. Most of these spaces will talk about, how, they are open to negative feedback, but may not have a clue, about how to handle them.
Creating a container, where people can openly speak about, there feelings and inhibitions, without fear of losing a relationship, has to be a part of the intention, with, which, the container is created. In such a container, both the leader and the team grow. Here team members, can freely talk about, what, “doesn’t resonate”, in the moment and create a constructive conflict, which, will then lead to growth. Such a conflict should be welcomed and heightened for maximum, transformation. This is possible only, when we feel, secure and confident, in handling our internal dilemmas, during this confrontation.
Only opening up, and being vulnerable in the moment, sharing our internal world, in that moment, creates equal membership, in spite of differences, in the container. Where both the leader and the team member feel and experience equality. Such a container is truly transformational for all, and this container itself keeps evolving.
Image Courtesy: http://continuumcs.com/wp-content/themes/continuum_cs/images/slideshow/transformation.jpg