While swimming in Banderas Bay near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, I reflected on the joys of salt water. Its extra buoyancy allows one to put more energy into going somewhere and less into just staying afloat.
There is a parallel with workgroups. Some have a quality that conveys buoyancy to one another. The quality of the culture helps everyone to stay afloat. In a smoothly functioning, civil workgroup, encounters with others further work towards a shared mission.
In a poorly functioning, uncivil workgroups, social encounters detract from the shared mission. They bring individual or clique goals into the mix. Individuals devote more of their energy just staying afloat, defending their self-respect and searching for a way to function effectively and painlessly.
Not that one should take a well-functioning group for granted. As with salt water, it is important to track the flows. Progress requires careful attention to the flows of currents. Getting in and out of the waves can be a delicate procedure, especially during dynamic times. It’s good to have built up some resilience.
Swimming in salt water has its joys but it also brings responsibilities.
What is your favorite place to swim?
Are you swimming in salt water today?
Or are you facing a raging torrent?