Teamwork: When a mousetrap is not about the mouse

| Teamwork Fable | Press
One day a mouse looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opening a package when they got home from the store. It was an ordinary day like any other for the mouse. She was wondering what food did the farmer and his wife bring home? But instead of delicious food, the farmer brought home a mousetrap. Retreating to the barnyard the mouse warned everyone “There’s a mousetrap in the house, a mousetrap in the house!”

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Excuse me, Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There’s a rat trap in the house, a mousetrap in the house!” “I am so very sorry Mr. Mouse,” sympathized the pig, “but there is nothing I can do about.”

Then the mouse turned to the cow which heard everything and said, “Like wow, Mr. Mouse a mousetrap. I am in grave danger duuuuh.” So the mouse returned to the house, head down and worried about how it will have to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone one day.

Jan Mousetrap 600x400

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see if they have finally caught the mouse. She was in such a hurry to see if the problem with the mice was finally over that she forgot to turn on the light as she came into the room. In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and once the doctors were finished she returned home with a fever.

Now everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the barnyard for the soup’s main ingredient, the chicken. Even though the farmer got his wife the soup his wife’s sickness continued. Because of that their friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer’s wife still did not get well.  She died, and so many people came to her funeral. To feed them all the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide meat for all of them to eat. While all of this happened the mouse was all alone in the barn wondering what would have happened if only the other animals would have taken some time to listen and solve the situation together. 

Moral of the story:

Situations will arise at work or other environments when your team members won't listen to you because what you will be telling them isn't their "problem" at the moment. Find a way to make them see that what affects a part of the team affects all of them. Otherwise, you will have to find a way to deal with the consequences. Maybe that means finding a new team...

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