Here are some of the telltale signs of falling into pseudo teamwork or community dysfunctionality:
- The predominance of silence filled with only a few loud voices.
- Tired debates over positional stances that avoid collaborative processes for changing, learning, rethinking, problem solving etc.
- Use of the shared space as a dumping ground for personal frustrations, resentments and other forms of baggage.
- Routine experiences of "talking to a wall" and getting deprived of feedback, reactions, responses, and other perspectives.
- Polarizing of members into cliques, mini-tribes or turfs to make enemies of other members and to fortify defensive rationalizations.
- Contributing to mutual misunderstanding, mistrust, escalation of tactics and adoption of superficial stereotypes.
- Expecting others to provide what's missing while abdicating responsibility for contributing to much-needed solutions.
Over the years, I've come up with many explanations for why these patterns reappear so consistently. Here's more than a few:
- Left brain cognition thinks in dichotomies which rejects the nuances and complexities of effective interpersonal relations
- Emotional baggage interferes with authentic relating and our ability to understand others insightfully.
- Doctrinaire approaches to schooling breed passive learners who cannot regard "what's going wrong" as a lesson to learn from.
- Bureaucratic employment enforces a culture of top-down, hierarchical power structures which repudiate power-sharing, bottom-up initiatives and teamwork.
- Scientific objectivity rejects the cyclical, interdependent, reciprocal and self referential dynamics of seeing other people and "their" problems.
- We only relate effectively when we're feeling understood, and otherwise become preoccupied with getting attention or getting even.
- Systems of abuse silence their victims and teach them to feel permanently powerless, dominated and vulnerable to hostilities.
- Outer directed consciousness falls into vicious cycles which drains the participants of their personal motivation, commitment and creativity.