The Vague Complex occurs when the team underuses the Curator team role.
When used appropriately, the Curator team role is used to bring clarity to the information, ideas and understanding. Curators listen, ask questions and absorb information, so that in their mind's eye they can achieve as clear a picture or understanding as is possible. They expand their knowledge and collection of experiences, and also look to the future by envisaging clear goals and clear pathways to achievement of those goals. The focus on clarity also brings greater attention to detail.
If the Curator team role is used insufficiently, however, and it becomes a 'No-Go-Area' for the team, then they may fail to keep important information, check it's accuracy or clarify the information they exchange. This means that they may incur a significant overhead of duplicated effort in trying to obtain information that is not readily accessible. The may also fail to capitalise on previous experience, and may not even recognise the valuable asset they have in their collective knowledge. In team meetings they may fall into 'scope creep', where they go off at tangents or expand the topic under discussion so that they are trying to solve a different problem from the original. They may also misunderstand each other without realising, because of the ambiguities in their discussions. They fail to check they have a common understanding, and therefore communicate inconsistent messages to people outside the team.
The complex is given the name "Vague" because the focus of the team is not clear and team decisions are either not articulated or expressed in indistinct terms.
Complexes can be very difficult to deal with. See our general page on Complexes for more information.
A good facilitator or consultant can help the team address the Vague Complex in various ways, such as:
- Asking questions to get greater clarity of team members and collective views, and maintaining focus on the topic in hand
- Not letting the team reach agreement on vague statements, but identifying where there may be latent differences or misunderstandings
- Using a flipchart or laptop/projector so that decisions are recorded in detail at the time of decision, and that detail is immediately visible to team members
The Vague Complex results from the team's rigidity in their avoidance of introverted Sensing.
See all sixteen team complexes.