MIT Sloan Management Review Article on It's Time to Tackle Your Team's Undiscussables

  • 16m
  • Ginka Toegel, Jean-Louis Barsoux
  • MIT Sloan Management Review
  • 2019

Subjects that are consciously or unwittingly deemed out of bounds come in four varieties and make it almost impossible for teams to function.

Undiscussables exist because they help people avoid short-term conflicts, threats, and embarrassment. But they also short-circuit the inquiries and challenges essential to both improving performance and promoting team learning. Our consulting work with dozens of senior management teams has taught us that a team’s ability to discuss what is holding it back is what drives its effectiveness. We have observed this dynamic in a wide variety of settings and have drawn on this experience to propose a framework, a set of diagnostic questions, and some targeted solutions to help teams address their own undiscussables. This approach enables team leaders to identify the dominant undiscussables in their businesses and kick-start the necessary conversations to bring them to light.

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  • MIT Sloan Management Review Article on It’s Time to Tackle Your Team’s Undiscussables