What makes us always assume the same team roles?
Leadership Coach, Front of Room Leader and Systemic Change Guide

We all have the tendency to step into the same role in any new group and endeavour. And there’s nothing bad about it per se. But when we sense our or someone else’s resistance, it’s an invitation to reflect and experiment.
So my default in any team is to ensure that things move forward: I make sure of a shared intention, commitment, goals, to dos, accountability, if noone else asks what exactly we want to create together, and how we will do that.
After a usually inspiring first gathering this role sometimes feels cumbersome, like pulling a cart on my own. Because the truth is that I love working with partners who have drive and create momentum, and when they don’t, I wonder:

Why don’t I just let go of this role, when I find myself pulling too hard?

Here’s the honest reason: I’m afraid that if I let go, the next steps will be unclear. Which has happened before, and I struggle with a lack of communication and confusion.
So if I am fully honest with myself, my underlying driver is a lack of trust. Ouch!
What I find empowering about owning up to this is that I become aware of a fear that I normally ignore. And to shine a light on that blind spot is an opportunity to grow – and might even bring me peace of mind.

So what if this project does not get off the ground?

Instead of allowing for that to happen, my natural role of forward driver, leads me me overlook if others are invested or not. And it’s a missed opportunity of being curious about the reasons. Because something might just be missing for them as well.
In my experience, a lot of people step into the role of observers. They observe what happens rather than making something happen, and if nothing does happen, they shrug their shoulders and focus their attention elsewhere, or they complain behind each others backs. Which is a pity, because

there’s a more leaderful and creative approach to (re)ignite a team.

It’s having honest conversations. That takes more courage and persistence, and it holds the rewarding joy of co-creating with ease and momentum.

What most people shy away from is to ask for what we need, and if it was agreed, but the need is not met, to have a conversation about what works for all co-creators. We naturally hesitate to storm and norm, even if we know that groups can only turn into teams, if they undergo those two stages of clarifying needs and creating a shared understanding of how to meet them. The beauty of taking heart is this:

By asking for what I need, I invite others to share what they need to do great work together.

For leadership coaching and developement, get in touch

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