I would like to share this story same as how I have done the same to my team just now. Just an hour ago, two of my teammates had some misunderstanding brought about by some decisions done with no malice. I put them in a vacant room together with the others and we let all the ideas and sentiments be expressed. It was a chaos.
I know that the stress level now has rendered them all virtually deaf and too smart to listen and accept things but I thought it would be best if I think of something that will make them realize the very essence why I am trying to mediate in the first place – to keep the team united for a common goal!
I may have succeeded or I may perhaps fail later but the point is… A TEAM IS A TEAM. No more, no less! So here is a story or rather a parable with an origin I too am quite unsure. Anyway, it is not from Aesop and this has been passed from one tongue and pen to another. So please read on…
What’s a mouse got to do with teamwork? Here’s a very brief story about teamwork…
A little mouse living on a farm was looking through a crack in the wall one day and saw the farmer and his wife opening a package. The mouse was intrigued by what food the package may contain. He was aghast to discover that it was a mousetrap. The mouse ran to the farmyard warning everyone “there is a mouse trap in the house, there is a mouse trap in the house”.
The chicken raised his head and said “Mr. Mouse, I can tell you this trap is a grave concern to you, but it has no consequence to me and I cannot be bothered with it.”
The mouse turned to the pig, “I am so very sorry Mr. Mouse, but the trap is no concern of mine either.”
The mouse then turned to the bull. “Sounds like you have a problem, Mr. Mouse,” the bull said, “but not one that concerns me.”
The mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected that no one would help him or was concerned about his dilemma. He knew he had to face that trap on his own.
That night the sound of a trap catching its prey was heard throughout the house. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness she could not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife.
The wife developed a bad fever and the farmer knew the best way to treat a fever was with chicken soup. He took his hatchet to the farmyard to get the soup’s main ingredient.
The wife got sicker and friends and neighbors came by to take turns sitting with her round the clock. The farmer knew he had to feed them, so he butchered the pig.
The farmer’s wife did not get better, however. In fact she died. So many friends and family came to her funeral that the farmer had to slaughter the bull to feed them all.
So the next time you hear that one of your team-mates is facing a problem and think it does not concern or affect you, remember that when anyone of your team is in trouble, we are all at risk!