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  • Writer's pictureBennett Bratt

Making the Invisible Visible in Teams


There's intrinsic value in making the invisible visible in teams, but it means going beyond surface-level conversations. It's about exploring and nurturing an unseen ecosystem of shared understanding through dialogue.


Hidden beneath the currents of a team lies a power that often goes unacknowledged – the capability to make the 'invisible' visible. Invisible things are always happening between us, such as interpersonal dynamics, unspoken needs, silent fears, and subtle conflicts.

Addressing these invisible aspects means nurturing our humanity in the workplace, dispelling harmful assumptions, and fostering an environment where everyone feels seen and heard. It's about learning how to understand and manage the murky waters in our teams so that we can work towards our goals with transparency and empathy.

The trick is doing all that in a highly pragmatic way.

How to Make the Invisible Visible In Your Team: SNOW

Translating this power into action involves what I refer to as SNOW - See, Name, Own, Work. The essence of this approach is developing the ability to sense or see what's going on individually and collectively, label it, assume responsibility for it, and then work on it. Here’s a breakdown:


'See' refers to recognizing the underlying dynamics within a team. It's that lightbulb moment where you step out of the rut of your experiences and can appreciate something for what it is, even if you experience it as helpful or not helpful.


'Name' involves putting words to the dynamic you are seeing. This might sound like, "I just want to name that when we yell at each other, I can feel myself tense up and disengage from the conversation."


'Ownership happens when team members jointly take responsibility for the reality at hand. This is an individual mental shift that needs to happen at the collective level. For example, instead of blaming someone else for the reality you're experiencing, it may look like having a vulnerable conversation where you realize the part you can play in creating the change you want.


Lastly, 'work' calls for a collective, concerted effort towards the identified issue or opportunity. And here's the truth: it won't be some substantial, sweeping, immediate change you get done in an hour. It's going to be small, regular actions and changes in behavior over time that happen with accountability from team members.

The crux lies in us owning our lived team experiences, communicating them effectively, and collaboratively nurturing our shared workspace.

Regain Authenticity Through Conversations

We need genuine conversations that delve beyond surface-level interactions, providing a safe space for team members to openly share thoughts, emotions, and experiences without fear of judgment. This vulnerability fosters a sense of shared humanity, deepening connections among team members. Such conversations establish a solid foundation for powerful team interaction and growth, building trust and strengthening relationships, ultimately resulting in better collaboration and synergy within teams.

Transition From Transactional to Meaningful Relationships

By making the invisible visible, an extraordinary transformation happens within teams – relationships evolve from transactional to meaningful exchanges. We begin to see and understand one another beyond our professional role – we redefine our shared venture as a human journey rather than just a workspace, fostering deeper connections and collaboration.

Once we can have meaningful exchanges within our teams, we can engage in our work with higher impact and less distress. We've turned on the lights for ourselves and our team. Instead of stumbling around in the dark, bumping our knees on the proverbial nightstand, we can more accurately and efficiently navigate the course we have set out to chart together.

Call to Action

Make it safe enough to help the invisible become visible. It’s one of the best investments you can make in your team.

** Want to learn more on this topic? Listen to Ben's recent podcast on the subject here.

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