Working with contradictions

Work with inner and different “sides”

If it turns out that a target is not easy to bring into focus, or that a desired goal is clear but some things still block its achievement, a proven way is to work with different inner or symbolized “sides” or „voices“ or „personal aspects“. To do this, in a first step one imagines a kind of team discussion and identifies the inner team members. The inner facilitator/chairperson “negotiates” with the different sides who needs what and who can contribute what to achieving the goal.

For team coachings, one can also work very well with Belbin and deBono’s “Thinking Hats” model. For individuals there are different models from different schools of psychology. What makes this work productive is that supposedly “negative” sides are made accessible to being perceived in a different light, so that they are appreciated and integrated. Depending on the topic this can be beneficial, efficient and connect to a wide range of aspects such as self-acceptance, feasibility, caution, risk assessment etc.

What sounds so easy and seems so plausible here can be time-consuming, depending on the subject. Depending on the individual concern, it makes sense to avoid assigning standardized roles to the team players, allowing them to name and detail them first. The more intensely emotions are involved in clarifying the issues, the more care and small steps should be taken in this process. In the end, however, these efforts share in enabling all inner and symbolic sides to be heard and understood.

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