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.