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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Leadership and facilitation for collective thinking in work place teams

The paper addresses the question of how both team leaders and facilitators can work with teams in the work place to increase the likelihood that team members will develop and sustain durable mental representations that the team is adequately safe, secure and responsive - and hence is a good enough container for thinking together. The key thesis presented in the paper is that Thinking is a transactional process where, at any given moment and at a largely unconscious level, the thinker thinks towards a container for the thought. The container almost always involves one or more other human beings. In a work place team the container for ones thinking is a combination of the organization in the mind, the team-as-a-whole, subgroups and relationships with other individuals. Some implications for the functioning of leaders and facilitators of this hypothesis are explored.