Reflection Guideline

In the rhea.framework, flows are observable interpersonal interactions between a person holding a leadership function and one or more team members that impact team performance in a work context. Leadership is hereby seen as functional - supporting the longevity and performance of a team. It is not necessarily related to specific formal team roles.

Elemental to each flow is a particular tense situation and interpersonal interaction to impact involved tensions. Significant interpersonal situations frequently:

  • appear to be mainly described by adjectives with emotional connotations.
  • are frequently expressed in superlatives.
  • appear to precede a shift in a situation. The situation is described to be perceived differently afterwards.
  • appear to be repeated several times in the course of an interview.
  • appear to form, shape or align to some sort of ideal - an ideal value, or an ideal self or situational imagination.
  • seem to form mental representations for comparison with other personal experiences.
  • General Suggestions

    Find a place where you can comfortably reflect and write - maybe in your office, on your couch at home, or in a café - whatever suits your needs and preferences best.

    Actively schedule time to reflect on your work situation. Assembling a flow can take 30 minutes and more in the beginning, and less time, approximately 15 minutes, if you are more comfortable in your writing process.

    Use the Flow Template and this guideline in a manner you find suitable. They are intended to provide helpful anchors in reflecting work situations, not to be rigidly followed.

    Come back to your flows to refine, or change your descriptions whenever you consider worthwhile. Use the template to sketch out your insights.


Flow Template Facets

Title

The title of a flow.

A proper title may emerge only after a flow is described.


Description

A flow description may include the following reflection anchors:

Intent

A significant interpersonal situation involving the project team with team members or associates in a leadership function impacting team performance. A focus is set on the personal perception of the situation as well as personal motivation for interaction in it and related feelings.

Context

Circumstances in which this particular situation of interpersonal tension emerges in the team and its environment (including e. g. interpersonal team atmosphere, team history, team size, project phase, company core values, organizational process structures, ...).

Tensions that are perceived to influence or establish the situation (may be listed).

(Intended) Solution

A leadership team interaction that (is intended to) impact(s) the tense situation.

Consequences (or Resulting Context)

The (contingent) destinies of involved tensions risen through (intended) interaction.

Questions

Asking yourself questions such as the following may facilitate describing the situation (compare: von Schlippe & Schweitzer 2016, p. 138):

  • How would this stakeholder perceive the situation?
  • What would that specific team member say about it?
  • How does colleague A perceive his/her relation to colleague B concerning the situation?
  • If the situation allows it and you feel comfortable with it, involved participants could be asked for feedback - in the group, one to one, or anonymously. Or, they could be asked to read through the Flow and comment on the description?

If you feel that the situation and involved tensions are sufficiently described, continue to outline consequences and (intended) solutions!


Keywords

3 to 5 expressive keywords may be added to a description to highlight flow key points.


Picture

An image may support recognizing the meaning of the interaction description.

An image could be a diagram that represents some relations or workflows, or a metaphoric representation (such as a drawing or a collage) of the issue. UML Activity diagrams (Booch et al. 2005) are recommended to depict relations and workflows.

An outline of Activity Diagrams is given in the following UML Activity Diagrams Introduction.


Resources

Further reading, links to online tools contributing to the flow description.


Categories and Relationships
To relate a flow to other flows in the rhea.framework reference model, it can be categorized. Relating flows may support flow linkability.
Leadership Team Interaction Category Heuristics (adapted from findings in each category)
TEAM MEMBER SELECTION Recruiting competent personnel, selecting team members
TEAM NORMING Explicating norms and expectations, establishing team rules
TEAM STRUCTURE MANAGEMENT Forming a team, verifying team structure, clarifying roles, clarifying task assignments
ROLE MODELING Leading by example, taking risks to promote necessary change
COMMUNICATION Providing feedback, establishing effective communication channels, listening attentively, communicating customer feedback and market situation, encouraging transparency, fostering dialogue competencies in team members, enabling utilization of language ambiguities
CONFLICT RESOLUTION Negotiating and resolving conflicts, reducing conflict, discussing unavoidable changes with team
CONSULTING Overseeing the project, assisting problem solving, proposing solutions, recalibrating actions, training team members to communicate with each other
COACHING Training and developing team member skills and confidence, channeling abilities of people to be effective in team
MOTIVATING Enhancing task motivation, providing recognition for achievements
CO-LEADERSHIP Leading together
PLANNING AND SCHEDULING Developing plans, providing and setting clear project goals and directions, searching and structuring information, offering clear strategies
ALLOCATING RESOURCES Obtaining and maintaining resources the team needs
MONITORING AND CONTROLLING Managing personnel resources, monitoring operations and performance, assessing work progress, reviewing efforts and talents
CONTINUOUS LEARNING Practicing personal creative ability, challenging the process, accepting reasonable failure, advancing professionally, practicing improvisational abilities
SENSING Interpreting internal and external events, mastering internal forces, giving sense, monitoring environmental change
VISION Creating a vision, supporting a shared understanding of wholeness, envisioning change, inspiring a shared process
BUFFERING Protecting team from external pressures, filtering external communication for team, helping different teams to communicate together, shield team from organizational conflict and power struggles
MANAGING INTERFACES Organizing for border crossing, e. g. through transparency, defining cross-functional interface personnel, enabling team collaboration among interfacing team elements
REPRESENTING Representing team for higher management, organizing team and work visibility, involving higher authority
CREATING A SUPPORTIVE TEAM ATMOSPHERE Establishing a positive team climate, giving prerequisites for collective to emerge, fulfilling nontask needs for team members, relating to other individuals in the group, creating emotional spaces, listening actively and supporting cohesiveness of the group
ENABLING TEAM PROCESSES Empowering people to take initiative, communicating on a meta-level, providing interesting and challenging work, fostering team member commitment, encouraging team self-management
INTERPERSONAL FACILITATION Inspiring trust through personal credibility, providing support when someone is upset or anxious, providing encouragement, encouraging innovative thinking, focusing on interaction and creative processes, challenging people to question assumptions, celebrating
MENTORING Informal apprenticeship

compare (Haselberger 2016)

(compare Haselberger 2016)

Risk Category Heuristics (adapted from findings in each category)
Orientation Unclear mission or business objectives, identifying all stakeholders
Funding Underfunding of development or maintenance
Performance Strategies, Goals, Schedules Unclear tasks or project goals, no agreement on project plans, unclear requirements, changing scope, artificial deadlines
Role Definition Unclear role definition, insufficient or inappropriate staffing
Resources and Technical Knowledge Acquisition Perceived technical uncertainty, missing professional skills, insufficient resources
Complexities in Market, Organization and Tasks Intense competition, stagnation in competitive environment, introduction of new technologies, stability of technical architecture, indecision, decentralized uncontrolled work processes
Motivation Low motivation, apathy, low team spirit, perception of inadequate rewards and incentives, poor recognition and visibility of accomplishments, little work challenge
Conflict in Roles, Team, Organization Politics Excessive conflict among team members, role conflict, power struggles, organizational conflict
Interdependence and Trust
Team Atmosphere Little team involvement, low degree of mutual trust and respect, problems in attracting and holding team members
Reassurance Fear of failure and potential penalty, (unintentional) isolation of knowledge, decision alternatives are not fully explored
Interpersonal Relationships Lack of cooperation, collusion, protectionism, lack of user involvement
Change Excessive requests for directions, strong resistance to change
Leadership Experience Disinterested, uninvolved management, lack of leadership credibility, wrong timing of intervention, excessive use of outside consultants, lack of controls over consultants, vendors and subcontractors
Communication Poor communication among team members and with support groups, lack of performance feedback

compare (Haselberger 2016)

In the Unified Process, four project life-cycle phases are differentiated: Inception, Elaboration, Construction and Transition. Find out more here.

Besides taxonomy categorizations, related flows can be listed here.


References
  • C. Alexander, Notes on the Synthesis of Form. Harvard University Press, 1964.
  • G. Booch, J. E. Rumbaugh, and I. Jacobson, “The unified modeling language user guide - covers UML 2.0, Second Edition.,” Addison-Wesley object technology series, 2005.
  • D. Haselberger, “A literature-based Framework of Performance-related Leadership Interactions in ICT Project Teams,” Information and Software Technology, vol. 70, no. C, pp. 1–17, 2016.
  • J. Kriz, Self-Actualization. Norderstedt: Books on Demand GmbH, 2006.
  • A. von Schlippe and J. Schweitzer, Primer on systemic therapy and counselling I: Basic Knowledge (orig.: Lehrbuch der systemischen Therapie und Beratung 1: Das Grundlagenwissen), no. 1. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016.