Tag Archives: group dynamics

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group dynamics

Group Dynamics of What Happens Next

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Social media seems to be alive and well. The suggestion of social distancing, which translates to physical distancing, has ensured more online interactions. Have you considered the group dynamics of what happens next?

Group dynamics always play a role. We’ve experienced it since we were kids.

“Peanut butter and jelly is gross,” from one kid and suddenly others may agree.

It is also true for the love of banana seat bikes in the 1970’s and Ninja Turtles in the late 1980’s.

Group Dynamics

As adults we’re also conditioned by the dynamics of groups.

When one person suggests the boss is a jerk and then someone else corroborates the concept, the group may follow.

We see it in the workplace, in politics, and certainly what is broadcast in the news. We read, watch, and listen to the narrative, yet ultimately, we decide what we will believe.

Our decision to believe is often connected to the actions and behaviors of the group. When enough people believe, it often is considered to be evidence of proof.

Hysteria sells a whole lot more than the daily routine. People are often looking for the excitement, the energy of fear, anxiety, and panic.

Fear is a short run game. It divides the field, splits the group, and creates a dynamic of winners and losers. Those on one side win by the elimination or conquering of fear, while others are destined to remain afraid.

What Happens Next

What happens next will likely depend on the group you choose to join.

One group wants to gain attention, be the most exciting, become the most watched, the most listened to, and the most followed.

With all the numbers it must be true, right?

In grade school or high school your parents may have had concerns about the other kids you hung around. They were trying to protect you and steer you to the right group.

Today as adults it isn’t much different only the stakes are higher. It may create a dynamic of success, or a dynamic of doom, gloom, and persistent failure.

Choose the right group. Make good decisions. Following the crowd off the cliff is never a good idea.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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team agreement

Team Agreement or Agree to Disagree?

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When you’re seeking buy-in do you get team agreement or are people agreeing to disagree?

Chances are really good that any time you have two or more people working together eventually you’ll disagree about something.

When working with groups and teams on conflict I always suggest that conflict is a natural part of people working together. How they choose to manage conflict will determine if it becomes harmful.

Team Agreement

Why do we disagree?

It is an interesting dynamic because many businesses claim that they are seeking to hire employees who are the perfect fit. Often the expression of fit is not about competencies or skills, it is more about values, beliefs, and perspective.

Boards of directors often take a similar position. They often seek people for board seats because they want to achieve agreement on difficult issues. When the board approves a motion, it must be the correct decision. Board members with differing opinions need not apply.

Yet, the pull to the push is that diversity of opinion may make us stronger.

Decision by consensus may quickly come to mind. True decision by consensus is not about majority vote, it is not popular opinion. Decision by consensus means that a group has complete agreement about the decision.

As you may quickly realize, true decision by consensus is often hard to attain.

Should we agree to disagree?

Agreeing to Disagree

I believe that agreeing to disagree is a good temporary patch to a disagreement that may be about to explode in to a harmful argument. One important aspect of agreeing to disagree is that it is not a win-win solution.

What do you do when the team cannot agree? Are the minority members shunned into silence or forced to vote to the affirmative?

We can suggest that some group members may lack experience, understanding, or that they simply have a closed-mind. Most commonly, we suggest that they are wrong.

Achieving team agreement may be a delicate balance of give and take.

Decide on where you will give.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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meeting questions

Meeting Questions Without Knowing The Answers

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Meeting management, meeting etiquette, and the list of attendees, what drives the output from a workplace meeting? Often meeting questions feel responsible for the output. Should we already know the answers to these questions?

Meeting Observer

When you attend a meeting as an observer something strange happens. You aren’t really engaged, you are observing from a different seat. Sometimes physically and literally true.

As an observer, often your only expectation is to keep quiet. This different view allows you to have a different perspective.

What does an observer notice?

The group dynamics associated with meetings can become interesting. We know from Bruce W. Tuckman theories that groups go through four or five stages of development. What behaviors, if any, are conditioned by the dynamics?

An observer, with good listening skills, may notice that there is a flow to meeting questions and the associated answers.

Meeting Questions

Meeting participants may follow a certain question and answer protocol depending on the meeting and group dynamics. Here are a few examples:

  1. Questions are a test. There is a right answer and a wrong answer. Questions aren’t driving things forward they are responsible only to confirm or command.
  2. Status questions. These questions typical apply to paths of known engagement. What is the status of the project or what are the sales figures for the month?
  3. Direction questions. Where do we go from here? What path should we choose? What are the options?

Perhaps deeper consideration should go into the list of attendees, the purpose of the meeting, and are these meetings effective?

Questions that are a test can likely be managed without calling a meeting. Status questions can likely be answered without calling a meeting. Direction questions may be an effective use of everyone’s time.

What is the direction the meetings you attend?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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