Group dynamics - learn the inner truth about working together
Forces push and pull a working group in different directions - social (status) and psychological. Group members quickly divide into 'roles', even though they do not recognise this. EXAMPLES: the 'star' (taking control, coming up with the creative initiatives), the mediator (settling disputes), the geek (focusing on one task - computer, advertising, marketing), the show-off performer (wanting the spotlight but not being effective), the comedian (obvious!) the isolated scapegoat (excluded and blamed), and the 'sick' (lazy but excused). These 'roles' are invisible. This is the 'INVISIBLE GROUP' within the Group (visible). GROUP DYNAMICS: instead of asking the 'what' questions, ask the 'how' - how is this group structured? The 'INVISIBLE GROUP' is the 'background'. The (conscious) Group is the 'foreground' BUT! - there is more going on. The 'INVISIBLE GROUP' is different from the Group. Its members have different characteristics. That explains the working relationships in the Group. Not just functions. But relationships and 'roles'. Each pulse of activity in the Group is set off by the initiative of a member. Does it catch on? Yes? Good! Is it productive? Good! Now on to the next pulse of energy & activity. The 'INVISIBLE GROUP' always exists. Make it work FOR you all, and for the TASK - the PROJECT. DO NOT BECOME THE DEPENDENT GROUP - members expect the leader to do everything for them. ('INVISIBLE GROUP' becomes - 'why are we here?', 'we don't know anything', 'what are we supposed to be doing?') Wrong! DO NOT BECOME THE LEISURE GROUP - members turn the Group's goals into the social, entertainment, hanging out, quarelling and making up again. ('INVISIBLE GROUP' becomes - 'what are you doing tonight?', 'you seen this on YouTube?', 'X fancies Y', 'Y hates Z', 'what are you wearing, good girlfriend?'.) Wrong! Energy is wasted in other activities. Fantasies are generated about 'B' wanting to take over the Group.... about 'C' wanting to leave.... 'E' might be excluded.
DO NOT BECOME THE FIGHT OR FLIGHT GROUP - challenges for leadership, conflict between personalities, rebellions against the Project itself, or main points of the SOAP BIBLE. Conflict resolution is unsuccessful. Two members openly quarrel and remain in a state of conflict (FIGHT). They enlist supporters. Others avoid saying or doing anything that could give offence (FLIGHT).
DO NOT BECOME THE THERAPY GROUP - ('INVISIBLE GROUP' becomes - 'I was depressed last night - again', 'am I bipolar?', 'am I bloated?', 'trust my instincts', 'am I really sexy?', 'will this make me a celebrity?', 'I fear criticism', 'I fear loss of control', 'my weapon is ridicule', 'I deny everything', 'I can't face the end of this project', 'let's unite against the common enemy'.) These BAD GROUPS all resist the TASK - the PROJECT. BAD GROUPS get stuck. Minimise the power of the BAD. You don't have to discuss endlessly these BAD undercurrents. Get over them.
SOLUTION - LEAVE YOUR TROUBLES OUTSIDE!
IF YOU ARRIVE LOOKING TROUBLED INTO CLASS - you send out negative signals to your group. You lack START-UP. You spend time telling them about some particular 'TRAGIC' incident? You cause delay! The ENERGY LEVEL of the group falls. WHY? We send out body signals all the time. YOU ARE SENDING OUT THE WRONG SIGNALS. Group work requires: a trusting and trustworthy, collaborative atmosphere. WHAT TO DO: Show respect for yourself. Show respect for others. Respect the PROJECT.
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