1041 Chapters
Medium 9781609940072

Chapter 5: Storming

George, Bill Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

HAVING ESTABLISHED THE NORMS NEEDED TO SUSTAIN the group’s vitality, we turn our attention to the other side of the coin: behaviors that may impede your group, which we call storming.

Because all of us are flawed human beings in our interactions with others, groups eventually experience a storming phase. Yet many groups fail to acknowledge the difficulties they are having. Denial is as alive and well in groups as it is in families, marriages, and other social milieus. However, it is much more constructive to address members’ concerns in a proactive manner.

New groups go through a honeymoon phase when things are going smoothly and members are in harmony. Over time, irritations at how the group operates or how some members behave will inevitably grow. Storming kicks in when things are not going well, when there is tension, or when some members feel the group is not meeting their needs. Let’s look at some storming issues faced by one group and how it handled them.

Jane Cavanaugh was part of a group of professional women that had been meeting for three years. The women in this group shared deeply, the members participated fully, and no one dominated the discussions. This led to high satisfaction among the members.

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10 Questions

, The Arbinger Institute Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“Hi Tom,” Bud said warmly as we walked through the doors. “Did you have a good lunch?”

“It was too eventful for lunch, actually,” I replied.

“Really? I look forward to hearing about it.… Hey, Kate.”

“Hi, Bud,” she said, walking over to the minifridge of juices. “Sorry I ruined your surprise.”

“I didn’t intend your coming as a surprise, actually. I just wasn’t sure whether you’d be able to make it, so I didn’t want to get Tom worked up for nothing. I’m glad you could come.” He walked toward the conference table. “Let’s all sit down and get to it. We’re a little behind.”

I went to the same chair I had sat in that morning, with my back to the window, near the middle of the conference table. As I did so, Kate, who was sizing up the room, suggested that we move closer to the whiteboard. Who was I to argue?

Kate sat in the seat nearest the board on the other side of the table, and I took the seat across from her, my back still to the window. She motioned Bud to sit between us at the head of the table, his back to the board. “Come on, Bud. It’s your meeting.”

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Medium 9781576755846

3 Peace in Wartime

The Arbiner Institute Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“In June of 1099,” Yusuf began, “Crusaders from the West laid siege to Jerusalem. After forty days, they penetrated the northern wall and flooded into the city. They slaughtered most of the city’s Muslim population within two days. The last of the survivors were forced to carry the dead to mass unmarked graves, where they piled the corpses in heaps and set them on fire. These survivors were then either massacred or sold into slavery.

“The Jews, although not so numerous, fared no better. In the Jewish quarter, the inhabitants fled to the main synagogue for refuge. The invaders barricaded the exits and stacked wood around the building. They then torched it, burning all but the few who managed to escape. These people were slaughtered in the narrow streets as they attempted to flee.

“The brutality extended as well to the local Christians who officiated at Christian holy sites. These priests were expelled, tortured, and forced to disclose the location of precious relics, which were then taken from them.

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The Arbiner Institute Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
Medium 9781576756003

12 The Inquiring Leader

Adams, Marilee Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Sitting behind my desk this afternoon, I’m remembering that terrible day when I drafted my resignation letter from QTec. Months after that, when I was pretty sure I’d turned things around and was out of the woods, I got a call that unnerved me. My secretary buzzed and said that Alexa wanted me in her office right away — and “Bring that green folder with you” — I’d know what she was talking about. That sounded pretty ominous because the folder she described was the one that contained my resignation.

I dropped what I was doing, grabbed the folder, and started down the hall. Just as I raised my hand to knock on the big double doors of Alexa’s office, I heard voices inside, which made me even more concerned. Rattled by memories of that earlier visit, when I’d come with resignation in hand, my Judger started clamoring for attention. I steadied myself, took a deep breath, stepped into Learner, and tapped lightly on the door.

Seconds later, Alexa was greeting me with a friendly smile. As I stepped across the threshold I saw Joseph inside, sitting in the meeting area on one of the two sofas. As I approached he stood up and we shook hands warmly. I began to relax a little but still couldn’t make sense of the situation.

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