The We – They Conversation source method is a way to make sense of the relationships and connections between the objectives of a team of people and the objectives a wider organisation or culture.
The We – They Conversation concept is based on the natural human behaviour of in-group and out-group formation, where the in-group describe themselves with the personal pronoun ‘We’ and describe the corresponding out-group as ‘they ‘. The We – They Conversation method is a way to share collective perspectives and perceptions of both the in-group and the out-group so that any tensions and disconnections can be explored and resolved. The formation of in-groups and out-groups occurs most frequently in larger organisations that contain multiple teams. The teams can often become tribal and feel that they are collectively defending against the larger organisation, which often results silo and island formation.
The purpose of the We – They Conversation method is to provide the opportunity to identify and clarify the relationship between a team or group of people and a larger organisation. The We – They Conversation is used when a team or group of people is exploring their relationship with a larger organisation so that they can continue to build it in a way that is mutually valuable. The We – They Conversation is also very useful in collating 18 vision so that it can be shared with the larger organisation as a way of increasing support for the team’s activities and purpose. The We – They Conversation can be used in conflict revolution and mediation by helping the team to understand the differences between how they perceive themselves and how other groups of people perceive them.
- To develop healthier connections between groups
- To resolve conflicting perceptions and perspectives between groups
- To gain a deeper understanding of intentional and unintentional collective actions
- To explore complex and uncertain in-group/out-group issues in greater depth
- To make sense of an issue from an organisational perspective
- To understand congruences and incongruences between teams and cultures
- To clarify the relationships between a team and a larger organisation
- To understand the mutual purpose of a team and an organisation
- To increase support for the activities and development of a team
- To mediate and resolve conflicts between teams and larger organisations
- Become more aware of how a team perceives itself and is perceived