Improve Group Dynamics – Whenever three or more people are conversing on a common topic of interest, we can see group dynamics at play. Kurt Lewin coined the term “Group Dynamics” in 1940. Kurt was a social psychologist and a change management expert who described the effect of the behavior pattern on a group. Many recent studies on Group dynamics are based on his ideas which have also become a key in the generation of best management practices.
Group dynamics are seen in various settings, business meetings among volunteers, children chatting in the classroom, and in social gatherings. In any group setting, a person would take the lead in conversation and offer his thoughts while others would be seen sitting as a mute spectator; while one would like to have a conversation faster, others in the group would try to change the track. As there are different people, different minds are working, and so are different behavior and attitude, this creates hindrance in meeting a goal and arriving at a conclusion. On many occasions, meetings may simply go out of hand. It is not a new thing if people assume these meetings are a failure or have been a waste of time.
However, in any corporate setup, management has to see group interactions and meetings shows improvements, and there are ways for this. Principally changes occur in the team in the way the members interact and relate with each other, towards their organization and their management.
A good team shows the following traits:
- They are goal-oriented
- Share common objectives
- Feel a sense of belonging towards the group or a team
- Cherish versatility and diversity
- Motivated to be creative and show an inclination towards taking risks
The anticipated growth of the team is what keeps the group sustained and moving. Any group passes through the different development stages, which are:
- Forming: It is an initial stage of the development process where each member has their own set of ideas to achieve the group’s purpose. People ought to be very careful about what they talk about and how the way they take their conversation. Each one of them displays his or her behavior and shares their own ideas. Each group member’s suggestion should be valued, and then a combined goal is formulated.
- Storming: It is an arguing stage that happens when the team defined its prescribed task. The team tends to the generation of what is known as dyads and triads when members would look out for people who are similar in nature and are familiar to their own individualistic goals, and they all tend to share their goals more deeply with each other. The regular attention of the subgroup can result in tensions and differences in the group, but pairing can ease the situation resolve the problems.
- Norming: Activities are decided, which help the group members reach a consensus that requires negotiations. Individual members generally think that what they are saying and talking about is correct, but they might be wrong, or their ideas might not meet the group’s objectives, but by listening to the other viewpoints or understanding other person thoughts, they can develop the inclination in them to think in a different way. Explaining or understanding reason or a cause about something can allow someone to see or perceive differently,
- Performing: It is a stage of the final performance of a group. When the group members have reached a consensus, they are then committed to performing the task and also listen to diverse ideas. Each person contributes in his or her way. Group norms are carried on excessively well, and collective pressure is exerted to make sure the Group effectiveness.
Adjourning: if the groups are developed temporarily with the little task, they perform what is known as adjournment. This means once the project is over, the group is disbanded, and many emotions are evolved in the group.
Help the Team To Get Acquaint With Each Other
Since we are all related to each other, it is sensible and courteous to make sure that we get acquainted and introduced to each other. In the meetings, newcomers feel exclusive as the old and senior executives make no room for the new aspirants to speak as they themselves are always deeply engrossed with each other.
Here, a manager or a team leader should intervene and help newcomers feel at ease and motivate them to speak first and share their thoughts. Some of the groups also include activities of what is known as Ice Breakers or “Get Acquainted Activities”. These are simple games that enthuse people to start interacting. This step can prove to be a valuable investment as members then understand each other behavior and how each one of them reacts to a certain situation or an idea.
Each member carries his or her own assumptions or expectations of the meetings. It is often very little talked about an idea on how things should be or how the people behave and react. The members can face a situation when what they have been expecting comes out to be different when they actually experienced the group dynamics activities and their missions and goals, and this makes it difficult for them to react positively and appropriately to the real situation. It is best to give few moments to clear the member’s doubts and make them acquainted with the main theme of the meeting for a discussion. They would then realize whether their expectations are conjuring with the goals of the group, and a simple question like “What is an expectation for us today and what we would be accomplishing today can meet the purpose.
Divide the group into Teams
If the group is large, it can be divided into different group dynamics for teams, with each team can be allotted a prescribed task. Each member of a team can work in coordination and cooperation with each other to achieve the common goal.
When they are performing in a team, they adopt a cooperative, interdependent nature. They are independent yet dependent on each other for achieving the target. This nature helps them get creative and new ideas that might be different from the team but can help produce better results. This helps in determining the performance and actions of all the contributory members.
Also, it is suggested to assign them different roles among the team leaders and make sure to ask open-ended questions. By the end of the meeting, organize the list of who is responsible for the action and what is a due date to work on the next action.
Each member in the team is interrelated or interconnected to each other and is positively valued. These group dynamics teams are either task cohesiveness in nature or social cohesiveness. A team with a higher degree of social cohesiveness displays more liveliness, and if work includes fun and play, then a deep bond is developed. While Task cohesiveness is the way abilities and skills of the team is mixed to produce effective results.
Cohesiveness has many positive impacts, including providing satisfaction, low absenteeism, turnover and productivity; higher cohesive groups may have a detrimental impact on the organizational performance if their goals are not aligned with the goals of the organizations. They may also be more vulnerable towards the groupthink, which happens when any group member tries to put pressure on the other to come to a consensus. Groupthink occurs due to the carelessness of the people, unrealistic judgments, and lack of realities.
Effective Communication Skills
Having effective communication is not just the right way of talking but about being a great listener, getting and receiving feedback, adopting the practice in comprehensive verbal messages. Team effectiveness is also ensured if they have a proper communication network, and they are aware of who is communicating with whom and who is out of the network. Respective norms are also developed in establishing communications. Norms have to be formed and placed so that each member is motivated to participate and avoid one or two members dominating the group and time.
Each member should participate in a team and understand that the mission of the team is very important. The leader should ensure that each member is committed and must fulfill this mission; Commitment only comes when each member feels that his or her contribution is valuable for the group and for their own career growth. Each member should also display a higher degree of loyalty and trustworthiness towards the team, group, leader, organization, and himself. A leader needs to ensure each member’s mission should be oriented towards the mission of the group though they had their own individual task and individual personality.
The leader should ensure the team member displays competency and skill with the resources and available time and space. As his performance can have an impact on the whole team and so he cannot be negligent or unskilled in his task. His slight mistake can hamper the group’s mission.
Groups are generally formed either to achieve a social purpose or accomplish something and discuss or be involved in a controversial or debatable issue. In this situation, group dynamics is generally stronger, particularly when the group has restricted time and resources. Here, a strong leader is crucial as he can intervene to neutralize the heated debate. He can offer the solution and then request each person in the group to express his or her views on the said topic but within a prescribed time limit. A leader will then analyze how many are in favor or against his suggestion and make the final decision as per the suggestions of the majority and what is in the organizations or group’s best interest.
To achieve this
- A leader should help each member understand the problem, its implications, and what they intend to achieve.
- Each person in the group should understand on how he can contribute to come up with the solution and resolve the problem.
- Every group member should be able to recognize and understand the kind and nature of the contributions others are making.
- Each member should have the capability and willingness to share the information or provide help to contribute.
In short, an ideal team is one that displays unity in distinctiveness. They clarify each other doubts, ask the help from the teammates whenever required, appreciate each other efforts and provide positive comments to each other. The leader makes it a point that conversation does not go off track and the task they are performing is done on time and retain each team members motivational level always at the peak.
Nothing can reduce the walls than laughter which is the best remedy to ease the tensions and reduce any differences. In between the work and meetings, keep on adding jokes and pranks that make the members laugh and feel comfortable. Humor is the best remedy to ease the tension and stress. A bit of humor can also bring people much closer. Give or tell something to the group on which they can cheer, whether it is about celebrating a company’s success or the success or achievement of any individual group member.
In group dynamics, it is all about how the members coming from diverse backgrounds have different mindsets, thoughts, values and ideologies to achieve the common goal. There is a need to build a team, work as a team, and make each member feel like the team. And, it can be possible by having a great and effective leader who can make the people in a group adopt the values of working in a team and orient their behavior and mission towards the groups, mission, and goal, and is not just driven by a small but a picture as a whole. Each team member should not be just motivated to talk but to listen and value each other ideas and thoughts and feel important.
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about the Group Dynamics for Teams, so just go through the link.