Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Group dynamics

Whenever meeting in a group, be sure to consider the dynamics of the individuals in it. Often we spend to little time anticipating the emotional reactions of our peers. This leads to hurt feelings, less than optimal performance and eventual leadership failure. Change in leadership can yield defection, dissent and unrest. It also provides an opportunity to bring higher performance and increased profitability for any organization. And who doesn't want a bit more profitability? A few keys:
  • Solicit feedback from all members of the team. This is particularly true about introverts or analytic types as they may be less likely to share.
  • Be careful of the "loudest wins" syndrome - sometimes the minority has the right answer, so be sure to judge on quality of response and idea, not necessarily the most enthusiastic or loudest.
  • Beware the naysayer! Those who are perpetually negative may not be engaged in the current process or problem - there may be more to the story. Keep them and the group on track.
  • Be kind & earnest - have integrity, and be sensitive to people's feelings.
  • Use the principles of team to have the work of the group better than the work of a single individual.
  • Seek first to understand (thank you Covey, it is still true).
  • Start and end on time with a clear focus / objective.
  • Know who the leader(s) is(are) and allow them to perform their function.
  • Avoid sabotage / defection. If you have a problem, go DIRECTLY to the person first. If they continue to be a problem, then engage other solutions or bypass them.
  • Dissent or "storming" is normal. Allow it to happen, don't take it personally and know it is simply part of the process.
There are more. You get the idea. If you want to share any of your keys to group dynamic success, please post!

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