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How constellation work can support you as a leader and your team

How constellation work can support you as a leader and your team

Get you playmobil figurines out and map your team relationships. This is how you could do it.

This post is about how constellation work can support you as a leader and your team.

Imagine your team grows together by understanding and solving dynamics and relationships?

Systemic constellation work can make dynamics and relationships on an individual level, on a team/group level and organizational level visible. The result is a picture of how we work together, how we relate to each other or how we communicate with each other. With this picture we can then work on the current state, what we would like to change and where we would like to go to.

Systemic constellation work is a powerful tool in individual coaching settings, when working with teams and when wanting to solve wicked problems in organizations.

Would you like to get started?

Get out some wooden figurines or playmobil figurines and use them to visualize your individual or team related questions and challenges.

Start on your own. Formulate one clear question. Maybe your question is: how can I as a leader or I as a team member relate differently to my team members? Important when you formulate the question: since you do this on your own, it should be a question that resonates with you. Also formulate it in a way that you can act out the solution with the answer of the question (not that another person has to act). So be the main actor of the solution.  

In a first step, map the current relationship constellation out of your point of view:

Choose a figurine that represents you and choose figurines that represent your team members. Position the figurines on a table according to how close you feel to each team member. Team members closer to you: place these figurines closer to your figurine. Team members less close to you: place these figurines further away from your figurine. Stand up and look at this picture. Which thoughts come up for you concerning your question you asked before setting up this constellation? Write down your thoughts – do not judge or evaluate your thoughts at this stage. Continue and ask yourself: which figurines (representatives of your team members) does your figurine(your representative) face or which figurines does your figurine turn her/his back on? Which figurines face your figurine and which once turn their back on your figurine? Write down your thoughts – do not judge or evaluate your thoughts at this stage.  

In a second step, understand the constellation and ask yourself questions:

What comes up when I look at each relationship between my figurine and another figurine? Go through all relationships. What comes up when I look at this constellation as a whole? What thoughts come into my mind concerning my question “How can I as a leader or I as a team member relate differently to my team members?” What emotions do I feel? What would I like to say to each individual relationship and what would I like to say to the entire constellation? Examples here are: I feel like I would like to have a better relationship with my team member Harry. I would like to invite Harry to come closer to me as a sign to have a closer work relationship. Take notes of your insights.

In a third step, change the team constellation slowly to how you would like the constellation to be:

Building on your notes and your insights you have gained from the first two steps, how would you like to change the relationship to each team member? Go from one figurine to the next. Example: What I see in this constellation right now, is this the kind of relationship I would like to have with Harry? Is this relation between my figurine and the figurine of Harry positioned in a way that this resonates with me, or would I like the figurine of Harry be closer or be further away from my figurine? Move your figurine accordingly to create a new distance or closeness to the figurine of Harry. When you reposition another figurine than yourself, first formulate the question in your head: I ask you Harry to come closer to my representative (or I ask you Harry to move a little further away from my representative) and then you move the figurine. Write down your insights and feelings after each repositioning.

Constellation work can be done with figurines or with real people who represent your team. There is also a version where the team members represent themselves in a constellation session. The type of constellation depends on your prior experience, the issue at hand, and how you and your team feel most comfortable doing this constellation work.   

About me

Since 2015 it is a great pleasure for me to accompany individuals and teams in different forms of constellation work. If you are interested to learn more about it or to use it for yourself or your team, I look forward to your message via email or on LinkedIn.

I work with leaders, teams and organizations. I am a new work coach, a sustainability consultant and a facilitator. In my work I bring new work and sustainability together. I run a podcast on „New Work and Sustainability“. I belief in learning and growing in communities of practice. I founded and run communities of practice on liberating structures, facilitation and new work practices: LS go online and Facilitation Lab and New Work Practices.


Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/focus-photo-of-super-mario-luigi-and-yoshi-figurines-163036/

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