How to Improve Group Dynamics at Work - Part 1
Helping Your Team Work More Effectively Together
A group with a positive dynamic is a pleasure to behold. Team members trust each other, they work towards making collective decisions, and they are happy to hold each other accountable for making things happen. When a team has a great dynamic, creativity and thought provoking ideas are always evident too!
In a group, with poor group dynamics, one team member’s actions or behaviour will detract from the critical business objective. As a result, the group may not achieve the best outcome for the business or even more seriously make the wrong decisions, as the group does not feel in a position to search out the best ways forward.
In this section of our series of articles, we’ll look at what group dynamics are and why they matter.
What Are Group Dynamics?
Group dynamics are behaviours of individuals in one group and also their responses with another group of people.
Why are group dynamics important?
Knowing how the individuals in your group “feel” about certain situations and what their natural characteristics are, as well as how they will act with other known individuals, is key to successfully leading a group. Knowing your group as individuals will help you to learn how the group makes decisions, how they respond to change, how the group members interact with each other and how your group interacts with other groups.
For strong group dynamics, individuals need to learn:
- Trust and confidence in others within the team
- Awareness of each individual within the team and their level confidence within the group too.To growTo tackle challengesTo surmount problemsTo find solutionsTo strategise projectsTo deliver results
Excellent group dynamics will assist your team:
- To grow
- To tackle challenges
- To surmount problems
- To find solutions
- To strategise projects
- To deliver results
It’s essential to run some small group activities to allow new members of a team to get to know each other both personally and in a work situation. By feeling comfortable with each other, a new team will be able to deal with setting goals and overcoming challenges far more efficiently:
As a group leader, it is essential to demonstrate appropriate behaviour when involved with your group. If you expect a specific response, it is necessary to display that response yourself. For example, if you expect everyone to arrive at a meeting on time and be prepared with any information needed, you must always do this too.
It is also essential to allow team dynamics to develop equally for all members of the group. It is crucial to ensure that the “loudest” members are not the only ones who get heard. It can be a good idea as a new leader to get your team to form smaller groups to allow them to build alliances.
When individuals start to challenge or question the decisions of the leader, it represents the growth in that individual. They have increased comfort within the team environment and an increase in their need to define their role within the group. This is where tolerance is an essential characteristic of a leader. Without patience and understanding for all members and from all members, the group will fail. By being able to deal with challenges presented from each other, the group will become more robust and more diversified as they become used to resolving their differences and being able to communicate effectively with each other. We must remember that it is reasonable to experience tensions and arguments within a strong team dynamic. It is essential to allow team members to share controversial ideas. Resolving an issue also results in greater trust and co-operation.
Once individuals within your group can resolve team issues, team members will also be able to work on their own goals, assist another team member with their goals while maintaining focus on the group goals too. In this way, the group is working together to accomplish objectives as a group and for the good of the business.
“Performance” is the highest stage of group dynamics. This is when individuals accept their roles and responsibilities within the group. In this way, the group achieves synergy, i.e. achieves an objective together that no individual could have accomplished without the others in the group.
Performing team members are motivated and knowledgeable, confident in their skills but also confident in the skillset of the remainder of the group. A performing team will continue to succeed as long as they focus on their individual goals and to where their goals fit into the overall team objective.
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