Team (glossary entry)
On most of my pages related to "psychology and sociology for men" I use the word team as if it were defined this way:
team: A group of men1 acting together towards a shared common purpose.
Teams have the following attributes and functions1:
- Encourage and promote mature masculine behavior by all members. This mainly involves identifying shadow archetype qualities and using appropriate strategies to get the men to manifest the corresponding mature character.
- With regards to the Magician (the most
difficult to distinguish from its shadows) roles of the team include:
* Honor the truth with regards to what a member is saying. If it doesn't seem right, say so.
* Respect confidentiality, but without using confidentiality as a barrier to progress.
* Avoid politics, unspoken agreements ("gentleman's agreements") and anything that interferes with the team accomplishing the other things described here.
- Agree upon, and periodically reconsider, a statement of purpose that the men can all stand behind. Endeavor to pursue and serve that purpose.
- Respect and support the well-being of the members.
- Be a supportive and active contributor to the members' lives in each of the several different levels of ogranization.
- When in need, reach out to help others outside the team.
- Exhibit unconditional trust, respect, etc. for its members and those outside the team.
- Practice committed listening to each other, and develops clarity and agreement on common issues.
- Set itself to projects and goals that are challenging or even beyond its reach.
- Keep team ego in check, exhibit good sportsmanship, etc.
- Develop and hold an appropriate context.
- Agree upon, and periodically reconsider, a list of core values that the men can all stand behind. The core values should inform statement of moral principle, and provide guidance for decisions. Refinement of principle and experience gained through decisions should influence changes to the core values.
- Accepts responsibility and accountability for its own successes and failures.
- Be aware of any self-sufficient belief systems that arise within the team, and work to counteract any that undermine the team's purpose.
- Where applicable, the team as an entity should be a team player within the division or larger organization. Particular attention will often be needed to the political process.
- Exhibit exemplary behavior, whatever that means in your culture.
Teams can fall victim to various team diseases, even despite exceptional wisdom and experience on the part of members and their best intentions. For this reason it is good for the team to have relationships with other teams. Such relationships can be implemented through joint meetings, shared goals and projects, and membership in a "team-of-teams" (which in these pages is referred to as a division to extend the sports analogy).
The men's teams I have been a part of also share a common experience of initiation. This adds somewhat to the feeling of unity and purpose but is not essential for any of the properties listed above.
1 : men: NOTE: It is not suggested that all of these qualities are only applicable to men, or even that they are more applicable to men but most of the men in my life have found that a combination of most of the above is sufficient to make the team uniquely beneficial to men. In other words, the list above has a bias towards the masculine side of personality and psychology. See my discussion of the task vs. relationship attribute for more about this gender distinction, and my archetypes page for a more in-depth discussion of the qualities associated with the two genders of personality.