How to Improve Group Dynamics at Work - Part 3
In the first two parts of our article we looked at what group dynamics are and how to spot the triggers of poor group dynamics.
Promoting Positive Group Dynamics
In the final part of the article our aim is to give some key pointers to help bring your team(s) closer together and for your business to see the benefits both culturally and financially.
As previously stated, excellent group dynamics will assist your team:
- To grow
- To tackle challenges
- To surmount problems
- To find solutions
- To strategise projects
- To deliver results
What can you do?
1.Get to know your team
Spend time with your team whilst they carry out their day-to-day duties. The aim being to learn how well they seem to operate as a group. Advise the team of what you are doing and of your objectives. Do not forget to make notes whilst you are observing. It is extremely important to note disruptive behaviours such as negativity but also to try to become aware of and note any individuals who appear to be seeking approval of others. You should also observe and note the different skills and traits that your team members demonstrate. These will be invaluable when it comes to delegating projects.
Always be aware that different personalities will heavily influence the group dynamics which naturally occur. It is, therefore, a good idea to take time to talk to your team members individually in a private and confidential environment. Ask each person what areas within the team works well but also ask for areas where improvements could be made.
2.Set the ground rules and expectations
Setting the expectations out for each team member's role and what will be expected of them and how performance will be managed will set some good foundations for your team. If an individual gets used to working with expectations, then they will expect the same structure for all meetings and projects. In this way, during meetings time will be spent focusing on the agenda content rather than periods of time being wasted. You could also allow different members of the team to chair a meeting or have other locations or meeting styles. I often think of a time when I attended one of my client's morning management meetings, I was astonished that everyone huddled into his relatively small office (approximately 20 people) and everyone remained standing. The morning meeting took 20 minutes but everything on the list was covered. When I asked my client did he always do this, his answer was yes. He followed up with his thought that everyone's time is valuable, and he wanted to ensure that each person got back to their key objectives as quickly as possible. I also spoke to some of the managers later and they said they loved the fact that everything was dealt with each morning but only the essential information should be provided. I learned an important lesson that day.
3.Dealing with problems as they happen
Always deal with a problem as it happens. Do not allow any disruptive behaviours in meetings or generally within the working day. Particularly aggression, intimidation, or antagonism. Dealing with disruptive behaviours does not mean dealing with the individual during the meeting but promoting good communications styles whilst still dealing with any problems will undoubtedly create a better work environment.
After the meeting it may be good to explore any disruptive behaviour with the relevant individual. Talk about the impact of their behaviour on others and use empathy to ask them how they would feel about this type of disruptive behaviour from another team member. Constructive but direct communication will always promote positive group dynamics.
4.Open and diverse communication
It is important for everyone within the team to feel valued. Open and diverse communication will achieve this. People from different backgrounds, different age groups, ethnicities, experiences etc. will encourage the team to make individual contributions rather than having a team of “similar individuals” where the stronger individuals will dominate. As a leader it is important to communicate to everyone the importance for each member of the team to be able to contribute to ideas in a safe collaborative environment.
5.Team building exercises
Having fun together will build trust and encourage stronger work relationships. Team building does not need to be a night at the pub, which does not sit well with some employees, but a chance to work on something different together will foster great relationships. By discovering for themselves what a great team there is to work with, this will help to bring the results your organisation is looking for.
I hope you have enjoyed our articles on group dynamics. Please do not forget that the team at Monarch Personnel has expertise in helping you to further understand some of the dynamics of your team with personality profiling. Why not contact us to learn more. We would love to help.We will be publishing more “leadership tips”. Please let us know if there is any specific area you would like us to focus upon.