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 Must Read.. Team Dynamics

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Posts : 306
Join date : 2011-03-04
Age : 43

PostSubject: Must Read.. Team Dynamics   Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:55 pm

More on team Dynamics... A great eye opener..

Group Dynamics



A group is able to share experiences, to provide feedback, to pool ideas,
to generate insights, and provide an arena for analysis of experiences.
The group provides a measure of support and reassurance. Moreover, as
a group, learners may also plan collectively for change action. Group
discussion is a very effective learning method.

i Participation

Participation is a fundamental process within a group, because many of
the other processes depend upon participation of the various members.
Levels and degrees of participation vary. Some members are active
participants while others are more withdrawn and passive. In essence,
participation means involvement, concern for the task, and direct or
indirect contribution to the group goal. If members do not participate,
the group ceases to exist.

Factors which affect members participation

- The content or task of the group- is it of interest, importance and relevance?
- The physical atmosphere - is it comfortable physically, socially and psychologically?
- The psychological atmosphere - is it accepting, non-threatening?
- Member’s personal preoccupations - are there any distracting thoughts in their mind?
- The level of interaction and discussions - is adequate information provided for everyone to understand?
-is it at a level everyone understands?
- Familiarity - between group members- do members know each other from before?

ii Communication

Communication within a group deals with the spoken and the unspoken,
the verbal and the non-verbal, the explicit and the implied messages that
are conveyed and exchanged relating to information and ideas, and

Group Dynamics

Two-way communication implies a situation where not only the two
parties talk to each other, but that they are listening to each other as
well. It helps in
- Clarification of doubts, confusions and misconceptions
- Both parties understanding each other
- Receiving and giving of feedback

It indicates the degree of respect between the two parties
Helpful hints for effective communication

1. Have a circular seating arrangement so that everyone can see and
interact with everyone else

2. If there are two facilitators, they should sit apart so that
communication flow is not in one direction

3. Respect individuals- let everyone call everyone else by name

4. Encourage and support the quiet members to voice their opinions

5. Try and persuade the people who speak too much to give others a

6. Ensure that only one person speaks at a time or no one else will be heard

7. Discourage sub groups from indulging in side talkiii

Problem solving

Most groups find themselves unable to solve problems because they
address the problem at a superficial level. After that they find themselves
blocked because they cannot figure out why the problem occurred and
how they can tackle it. Therefore an effective problem solving procedure
would be to:

1. Clearly define the problem: Is it what appears on the surface or are
there deep hidden aspects?

2. Try to thoroughly explore and understand the causes behind the

3. Collect additional information, from elsewhere if necessary, and
analyze it to understand the problem further

4. The group should suspend criticism and judgment for a while and try
to combine each other's ideas or add on improvements. The objectives
should be to generate as many ideas and suggestions as possible.
This is called "brainstorming" in a group, when individuals try lateral

Group Dynamics

iv Leadership

Leadership involves focussing the efforts of the people towards a common
goal and to enable them to work together as one. In general we designate
one individual as a leader. This individual may be chosen from within or
appointed from outside. Thus, one member may provide leadership with
respect to achieving the goal while a different individual may be providing
leadership in maintaining the group as a group. These roles can switch
and change.


The developmental process of small groups can be viewed in several
ways. Firstly, it is useful to know the persons who compose a particular
small group.

• People bring their past experiences
• People come with their personalities (their perceptions, attitudes and
• People also come with a particular set of expectations

The priorities and expectations of persons comprising a group can
influence the manner in which the group develops over a period of time


Viewing the group as a whole we observe definite patterns of behaviour
occurring within a group. These can be grouped into stages.


The initial stage in the life of a group is concerned with forming a group.
This stage is characterized by members seeking safety and protection,
tentativeness of response, seeking superficial contact with others,
demonstrating dependency on existing authority figures. Members at this
stage either engage in busy type of activity or show apathy.


The second stage in this group is marked by the formation of dyads and
triads. Members seek out familiar or similar individuals and begin a
deeper sharing of self. Continued attention to the subgroup creates a differentiation in the group and tensions across the dyads /triads may appear. Pairing is a common phenomenon.


The third developmental stage is marked by a more serious concern
about task performance. The dyads/triads begin to open up and seek out
other members in the group. Efforts are made to establish various norms
for task performance. Members begin to take greater responsibility for
their own group and relationship while the authority figure becomes


This is a stage of a fully functional group where members see themselves
as a group and get involved in the task. Each person makes a
contribution and the authority figure is also seen as a part of the group.
Group norms are followed and collective pressure is exerted to ensure
the effectiveness of the group. The group redefines its goals in the light of
information from the outside environment and shows an autonomous
will to pursue those goals. The long-term viability of the group is
established and nurtured.


A group cannot automatically function effectively, it needs to be
facilitated. Facilitation can be described as a conscious process of
assisting a group to successfully achieve its task while functioning as a
group. Facilitation can be performed by members themselves, or with the
help of an outsider.
To facilitate effectively the facilitator needs to
• Understand what is happening within the group
• Be aware of his/her own personality
• And know how to facilitate


The process of finding out what is going on in a group may be called
diagnosing. It is an essential skill of a facilitator. Diagnosis involves
understanding the causes after looking for clues within the group and
outside the group. Some examples follow to illustrate the point.

Problem -Not everyone participates or shows interest and a few remain silent
Possible causes -Perhaps the goal or task is not relevant to some of the participants. Some of the members may
feel insecure or dominant on the basis of caste, class, education or gender.

Problem- Some members ignore or disregard contributions from other members
Possible causes- Members of the group may be nervous and unaware of others’ needs.

Problem -The group is not able to come to consensus or are unable to devise a plan to implement the decision.
Possible causes -Perhaps the group lacks adequate information or skills to solve the problem. Perhaps the decision is
threatening to some of the group members. Perhaps the group fears failure.

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