Speaking Truth to Power!
An extract from the latest book by Rob Stones: 'The Tao of Team - in Practice'
Purpose of this activity: To make it clear to the team members that diversity of opinion and being willing to disagree with the team leader - and with other team members - is a team expectation.
Equipment: A list of reflective questions as illustrated below.
- The words of Warren Bennis: "The first duty of the follower is to speak truth to power" are written boldly on a white board or easel pad by the team leader.
- The team is divided into 3 or 4 groups (The leader should be in one of the groups).
Each group is provided with the same list of reflective questions and given 15 minutes to discuss them before sharing the group’s opinions with the whole team.
'Speaking Truth to Power' Reflective Questions:
- What does this phrase really mean?
- Why would team members hesitate to tell the truth (as they see it) to the team leader or School Principal?
- What will happen to the quality of team communication if team members censor their own opinions, or hesitate to say anything that may be viewed as different or disloyal?
- Should the manner in which team members disagree change if the conflict is with the team leader?
- Does this group have any misgivings about reporting their honest opinions to the team and the team leader?
- After every group has reported their opinions the team leader asks:
- What was common about what we heard from each group?
- Was anything said that we should discuss as a team?
- What should be our attitude to internal team conflict in future?
- How do we manage to disagree between ourselves but unite behind team decisions when they are made?
- How will this change the way in which we work as a team in future?
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