Team at War! Tried out.

Last week, I attended the “Help! My Team is at war!” tryout at the XP.BE meeting organized by XPlore.

Yves and Ignace Hanoulle have again (after the “Leadership Game“) created a great simulation, where you learn something about yourself.

I won’t tell everything, that would spoil your surprise when you attend this session. The session had two parts. In the first half we formed trios and had to try to convince another participant to do something. Each in turn took the role of convincer, resister and observer. Most of us failed to complete the task. A few had spectacular results: they could convince their “opponent” in a very short time.

Ignace then explained the model that forms the basis of the session: the “Rose of Axen”. Yves and Ignace acted each of the different stances. We then had to replay the same game and try to take the stance that we had the most difficulty with, the way of dealing with conflict we would normally not use. This was not easy, but it turned out to work in my case. This exercise taught me two things:

  • You don’t have to accept self-imposed limitations. Even if I don’t feel comfortable taking a certain stance, that doesn’t mean I can’t apply it effectively when I need it. This reminds me of the way I feel about MBTI results: they tell me what my preferences are, the way I will act if I don’t think about it. They are not my limitations.
  • What’s the right way to deal with a situation? It depends. There is no one right way to deal with conflict. The Rose has different stances, we have to choose the one that fits the situation and the people we deal with. In the short exercise, I went through three stances in response to my “opponent”‘s response. This lesson also came out of the Leadership Game.

After the break, we had another simulation situation, this time with the whole group. Half of the participants acted out a situation, with cue cards provided by Yves and Ignace; the other half observed how the players dealt with the conflict. The simulation ran for two rounds, with a debrief and discussion after every round. The simulation was great fun, especially for the players who had to resist the leader. They evidently relished playing the “evil” role and opposing the leader.

Some of my colleagues are still acting their evil role, up to this day. Or are they acting…? 🙂

Another fun session where I learned something about myself. It’s not every day that happens.