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  • Writer's pictureGinny Telego

Why Does My Team Frustrate Me?


Recently I was talking with a middle school teacher who is teaching a class focused on helping students learn about their strengths and how working with others who have different strengths can be beneficial as team members. As we discussed the challenges that students have with “tolerating” people who do things differently than they do, we reflected on how we as adults have the same challenge.

When people come to my equine assisted action learning workshops and are challenged with the horses “not cooperating,” I share with them that the horses are simply reflecting back information that is being presented to them. If a person shows up angry, the horse responds negatively. If a person shows up confident and non-predatory, the horse responds positively. Whether we choose to accept that the horse is reflecting our intention is up to us. This is the beginning of self-awareness for clients as the horses are giving non-judgmental feedback that is not coming from a place of bias or “baggage.” Through discussion of the experiences with the horses and other participants, clients begin to see that although they approach the task from their own point of view and strengths, the other members of their team – and the horses – are also approaching the task from a place of THEIR point of view and strengths. As we know, not everyone has the same strengths, knowledge, talents or life experience so this is where things can get messy.

When you are in the midst of chaos in your office and placing judgment on everyone else for not thinking/doing things the way you would, try this instead:

  1. Realize that they are coming at the situation from a different place than you so their perception is likely not the same as yours.

  2. Find out how your team members take in and use information – using a simple tool like Kolb’s Learning Styles Inventory

  3. Do the StrengthsFinder assessment as a team – learn each other’s strengths and work together to ensure that team members are in positions that leverage their strengths. Understand how balanced strengths helps teams be more effective.

  4. Invest in experiential leadership and team development for yourself and your team. Assessments are only effective when team members learn to apply them in concrete experiential learning.

Wager’s Way Equine Assisted Action Learning specializes in helping teams move from chaos to unity by taking prior learning and assessment information and providing an arena to take action in implementing that knowledge in ways that facilitate change. Contact us to find out how we can help your team stop stumbling and start moving forward!

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