💡Problem-solving as a team yields excellent results, but it can also prove tricky if team undercurrents and communication are not at their best.

💭 Pretty much all of our team exercises involve some form of problem-solving. When a four-legged, 500kg team member is included, it inspires collaboration and creative thinking on a whole new level.

And, it’s clear when the problem-solving dynamic is dysfunctional.

For example, during a recent a program, a senior manager, Linda, was dominating the conversation, assertively throwing out ideas which didn’t click with the group. Their horse team member, Darcy, sensed this underlying lack of consensus and basically refused to move with the team. In fact, he walked away from them. Eventually, a more junior team member, Megan, who had been quiet the whole time put forward her idea. It was clever, well-articulated, and it worked! And Darcy (the team barometer) agreed, willingly staying with the team to complete the task.

Traditionally, senior managers take it on themselves to solve problems without consulting the broader team. While this may work, it doesn’t always and it doesn’t encourage team engagement. Horses in their herds naturally share leadership responsibilities to keep the entire group safe. Afterall, one leader cannot have all the answers. If leaders trust that problem solving is a team responsibility, the individuals feel empowered and engagement and investment increases. It’s a win-win.

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