What’s the way to a team’s heart?

Do team’s have heart?!

Do teams have laughter, joy, celebration?


Firmly believing that a team has all of a human’s vital organs, a system in its own right is fundamental to building resilient teams.

Teams do have a personality and identity of their own. Each member of the team brings their perspectives, voices, actions to bear to impact the entire organization, at all levels. By virtue of being a system in its right, a team brings its own shadow and light. The up days. The down days. The mood swings. The challenges. The revelations and inspirations. The full range!

In a busy, thriving organization, a team with heart and will comes with both shadow and light.

What does this mean?

It means a lot of things. For us at FosterEssence, it means range, a spectrum of possibilities that sparks heated, and breakthrough conversations.

A team who’s relationship with shadow and light is healthy and strong allows for real conversations. Conversations that both challenge the status quo and honours tradition. From this perspective, voices and actions allow for novel ideas and new information to enter the conversation.

Aptly said by Debbie Ford in “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers”:

“We can’t have the full experience of the light without knowing the dark. The dark side is the gatekeeper to true freedom. Each of us must be willing to continually explore and expose this aspect of self. Whether you like it or not, if you’re human, you have a shadow…The saintly and the cynical, the divine and the diabolical, the courageous and the cowardly: all these aspects lie dormant in us and will act out if they are not recognized and integrated into our psyche.”

The same goes for teams. With the full range of light and dark, the doorway to team resilience opens for effective teams to have space to innovate, problem-solve and create valued contributions. There is a gift, signal and message in the shadow side that empowers and changes teams. It humanizes and transforms organizations.

So, what’s the way to a team’s heart?

Listen for all the voices, signals, perspectives – particularly the quiet and isolated ones. Explore the full spectrum. Explore the light and the dark, the rational and the emotional, the mind, heart and gut. In doing so, hidden inspirations, insights and creativity are called forth in full spectrum, filling the heart, the room and the entire organization with much needed freedom to live in light and in shadow.

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