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Elephant in the Room

Profile picture of Céline Ozouf on the Neatroverse community
Image of the column The Elephant in the Room from the retrospective template Elephant in the Room on the Neatroverse community
The Elephant in the Room
What is the problem we've been avoiding?
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Image of the column Impacts from the retrospective template Elephant in the Room on the Neatroverse community
Impacts
What are the consequences?
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Image of the column Feelings from the retrospective template Elephant in the Room on the Neatroverse community
Feelings
How do you feel about the situation?
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Image of the column But why? from the retrospective template Elephant in the Room on the Neatroverse community
But why?
Why do you think we've been avoiding talking about this issue?
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Do you know that weird feeling when people sense an elephant in the room? Use this retrospective format to solve that problem collaboratively and thoughtfully.

How does this retrospective work?

1/ Identify the Elephant - What is the problem we've been avoiding

Begin by acknowledging the elephant in the room—the problem your team has been avoiding. This honest recognition is the first step towards resolution.

Example: Unresolved conflicts among team members due to a recent project failure that no one wants to address directly.

2/ Evaluate the Impacts - What are the consequences?

Understand the ripple effects of the unresolved issue. Discuss the tangible and emotional consequences to gain a comprehensive view of its impact.

Example: Delayed project timelines and decreased team morale stemming from the unaddressed conflicts, affecting overall productivity.

3/ Express Feelings - How do you feel about the situation?

Create a safe space for team members to share their emotions about the situation. This fosters empathy and promotes a supportive environment for open dialogue.

Example: Team members feeling frustrated and demotivated due to a lack of communication and unresolved tensions within the team.

4/ Uncover the Root Causes - Why do you think we've been avoiding talking about this issue?

Explore the reasons behind the avoidance. By understanding the underlying factors, your team can work towards sustainable solutions and prevent future elephants from emerging.

Example: Fear of confrontation and a historical pattern of avoiding uncomfortable discussions, leading to a culture of silence.

Why choose the "Elephant in the Room" retrospective?

Reason #1: It helps tackle the tough issues

Confront the problems that have been swept under the rug and hindered your team's progress.

Reason #2: It helps foster open communication

This activity is designed to create a safe space for team members, so that they can express their thoughts and feelings without judgment.

Reason #3: It helps drive meaningful change

By addressing the root causes, this retrospective sets the stage for lasting solutions and continuous improvement.

Don't let unresolved issues hold your team back. Face the elephant in the room and pave the way for a more productive and harmonious work environment.

Profile picture of Céline Ozouf on the Neatroverse community
Céline Ozouf
Master of my own 
Attirée par la psychologie sociale et humaniste, je m’intéresse au rapport que nous entretenons les uns avec les autres, ainsi qu’au monde qui nous entoure. Je suis particulièrement sensible à l’effet que peut avoir la présence attentive sur notre bien-être individuel, mais également la qualité de nos relations.
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The 4 elements of Elephant in the Room

Image of the column The Elephant in the Room from the retrospective template Elephant in the Room on the Neatroverse community
The Elephant in the Room
What is the problem we've been avoiding?
Image of the column Impacts from the retrospective template Elephant in the Room on the Neatroverse community
Impacts
What are the consequences?
Image of the column Feelings from the retrospective template Elephant in the Room on the Neatroverse community
Feelings
How do you feel about the situation?
Image of the column But why? from the retrospective template Elephant in the Room on the Neatroverse community
But why?
Why do you think we've been avoiding talking about this issue?
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