Day 41: More arguments 

No, worry not. Scotch and I did not fight any more. We found a very amicable solution to her nibbling rubbish from the roads. You’ll find out soon enough how I had my way, while Scotch did her entire morning walk stick between my knees in embarrassment.

The arguments, in fact, were with the Council that I already introduced to you gentle folks sometime back in this post. We had to organize an event today and you know how I walked out of the first planning meeting. Well, there was a second planning meeting, where we added on to the decisions made on Tuesday, and I played along. I’d rationalized some of their points of view in my head and even contributed to the activities.

And then we met again on Friday, and turned the entire plan around. I missed this one because of a drained phone, and came back home to find myself completely lost in the decisions for this meeting. It seems the team met and thought of changing the event strategy for a better one: the one I proposed in the first meeting. Since I wasn’t there at this meeting, we did a little vote later on, and I was the only one voting for a plan that I had opposed on day 1 itself.

I felt like a fool. The event went on smoothly, and during the course of the event, I realized that a number of folks were unhappy with the way decisions had been made, although each one had been one of the decision makers. During the debrief, we met for a long drawn, hour – long meeting at the end of which we set some ground rules for the team ‘s functioning going forward. Rules, starting with a facilitator for each session, to keep us on track and ensure we’re being productive.

I remember a theory on group dynamics from work days. Every group or team goes through for typical stages of group formation.

  • Forming – Where everybody has joined the group for the first time is not very familiar with the others, and is therfore always letting the other take the chair. There’s a lot of ‘After you’ and ‘Pehle Aap’ at this stage. This is where we take sucky decisions as a group because we are trying too hard not to offend the others.
  • Storming – There’s only so much one can put up with another’s crap before shit hits the fan, and it always does. So, the group argues and fights about every minute decision. Every one wants to emerge as the leader and have their final say. The loudest or the most popular eventually win. We’re still making sucky decisions because nobody cares for reason.
  • Norming – Now the group realizes that there’s an impasse, and for it to look good in front of the leaders, it’s critical for harmony. Everybody feels this for a different reason, but they all do come together to sort their differences out. The group sits as an entity and sets down some rules. The worst is over.
  • Performing – After the norming stage, the group has realized that each member has their own skills that are vital to the group and every member is indisposable. They all begin to work at peak efficiency and the group shines. It doesn’t mean that no differences exist; members just look past them for the greater good.

While many have tried to pre-orient groups about this theory, so that they can skip the initial charade and directly enter the Norming stage, group dynamics requires each group to go through this painful cycle.

I’m hoping that we’ve just crossed over that bump of stormers and set up our rules. I’m hoping there’s only performing hence forth.

Hope all you may. But why did you put me through this embarrassing ordeal? I eat some noodles from the road and you punish me with a duck face?” Scotch 


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