Group Development and Group Dynamics

Group Dynamics

Human beings form groups to achieve outlined goals much faster or solve existing problems. When two or more people come together, various psychological processes or behaviours will emerge. Researchers, sociologists and psychologists consider these attributes when focusing on group dynamics.

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My seminar group exhibited a number of dynamics throughout the period. For instance, all members embraced positive behaviours in an attempt to make the group successful. In terms of size, the group had a total of five members. The main objective was to come up with a project that was unique to the team. Another unique dynamic was that of group development. My team exhibited the major phases of group development.

Group norm is a dynamic that cannot be ignored whenever studying the effectiveness or performance of teams. The members of my group were keen to follow acceptable manners. For example, all individuals were required to respect each other and be involved throughout every decision-making process. They were also expected to remain committed and motivated in order to support the performance of the team. Cohesiveness was another outstanding dynamic observed in my team.

This usually refers to the manner in which individuals are bonded or willing to be part of the group (Drescher et al. 2014). These dynamics can be used to explain why my group was successful. Cohesiveness contributed to a number of positive outcomes such as reduced absenteeism, reduced competition and increased productivity. Desirable behaviours also led to the group’s success. The commitment of different members explains why the expectations of each of the phases of group development were recorded.

Due to the nature of the proposed project, various changes were implemented in the group over time. The concept of group dynamics supports this outcome. This means that change is inevitable if a group is to complete its duties on time. Throughout the period, all people completed various roles depending on the anticipated goals. During the second week, one of my colleagues assumed the role of a leader in order to ensure the right topic for the project was identified.

I also completed various duties throughout the period. Some of them included being an interpreter, sharing ideas and insights with my colleagues and suggesting the most appropriate organisation that could be considered by the group. Since the group had a small number of members, it was not possible to implement numerous changes within those four weeks. It is also expected that new roles or changes might occur within the next two weeks. These reasons explain why these changes were considered: the desire to engage each others, completion of roles in a timely manner, the limitation of time and absenteeism.

The outstanding observation is that the implemented changes had significant impacts on the group members. The first one was that each person managed to participate in the group work. My colleagues found it easier to solve emerging problems, promote cohesion and propose appropriate suggestions for the project. Personally, I found the changes meaningful because I was able to complete various roles, thereby being in a position to improve my leadership and communication skills. I realised that there was a need to engage in lifelong learning and continue to guide my teammates.

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Processes of Group Development

Our group went through a number of stages in accordance with Bruce Tuckman’s model. The first stage is called norming (Makikangas, Bakker & Schaufeli 2017). For our group, this process emerged when we began to work on the targeted project. During the phase, the members began by brainstorming in an attempt to identify a suitable topic for examination or discussion. Having been placed in the same organisation by the name Wellways with one of my teammates, it was possible to focus on the issue of mental health practice. This understanding encouraged the group to identify appropriate ideas and topics for the final presentation project. Most of these activities were completed during the first week.

During this period, I only shared adequate information about Wellways with my group members. The first stage was completed successfully despite the fact that some members presented divergent opinions or ideas. The second week saw several improvements and role changes in our group. The presence of another member during the period made it possible for us to achieve positive outcomes. In terms of development, our group was now in the storming stage.

This phase was utilised to identify and interpret the most appropriate ideas. I decided to focus on the role of an interpreter during the storming stage. I shared similar insights with my colleagues. The group was satisfied with a study focusing on the needs of patients with mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder. All members were required to conduct extensive researches and present evidence-based concepts for the project in a timely manner.

With such achievements in place, the group found itself in the norming stage. During the phase, all members were pleased or willing to bring up adequate ideas. They offered suggestions for effective leadership of the team. One of the members shared appropriate concepts since he had worked in an educational group. An important issue to indicate is that a specific conflict was observed during this process.

This occurred when two of the teammates presented diverse opinions about the theoretical basis of our project. This issue encouraged all members to seek guidance from our tutor. Currently the group is in the norming stage at Week Three. During the next week, we will be discussing the most appropriate arguments and opinions for the targeted draft. This is a clear indication that our group might be in the performing phase of development.

The presented discussion has revealed that my group went through the major phases of developed outlined by Bruce Tuckman. These phases were recorded within the first three weeks of our meetings. After examining these insights, I have realised that all groups tend to follow specific phases that must be taken seriously. I have learned that members cannot skip a specific stage if they are to emerge successful. The involvement of all participants in every phase is something that can support the needs of many teams. The members should also agree at some point whenever pursuing a specific topic or subject.

This experience has also forced me to thinking about several questions. The first one is how can group leaders can ensure that every phase supports the intended outcomes. The second one is the importance of keeping journal entries in an attempt to support the success of different teams. Garrett (2005) indicates that groups that consider these questions will deliver every stipulated goal on time.

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Group and Personal Roles

Group Roles

The success of a project pursued by different group members depends on the roles each person completes. Throughout the period, my co-group members and I pursued different activities in an attempt to emerge successful. Such obligations changed from the first meeting to the last. This happened to be the case since we did not have a specific topic to focus on. Some of the members failed to attend some of the meetings, thereby forcing the ones present to complete diverse roles throughout the period.

My position was similar to that of an interpreter. During the storming stage, I took up this role in order to make the team successful. The specific roles completed included defining various teams, interpreting ideas and clarifying issues to my colleagues. Another member assumed the role of a leader during the second week. With a number of changes in the group, my teammate guided us to select the most appropriate ideas or topics for discussions. I also shared the contents of our discussion with absentees.

During the third week, all individuals were required to contribute to the project by presenting evidence-based concepts for analysis. Our tutor played a critical role since he guided us to solve existing confects smoothly and make the team successful. The fourth week was used to draft the project. This means that all members were involved in the process. They did so by presenting ideas and concepts for the final report. With such roles and activities, it was possible for my team to identify a proper project and compose a good presentation.

Personal Roles

The roles completed by different individuals were informed by their unique characteristics, competencies and philosophies. The number of attendees per session also dictated the activities pursued by my colleagues. For instance, one of my teammates took up a leadership role during the second week. The reasoning behind this role was that the individual was courageous and capable of guiding others. The second example is that of my roles.

During the third week, I acted as an interpreter after my colleagues presented evidence-based insights and ideas. I also construed ideas and shared them with those who failed to attend. I took up such roles because I am usually shy and less outspoken. Another colleague was keen to offer insights and liaise with our tutor in order to support the topic or project formulation process.

Throughout the period, various role changes were recorded in the team. For instance, the third week saw every member taking up leadership duties or responsibilities. The involvement of all individuals created the best environment for revolving emerging problems and pursuing the targeted goals. Personally, role changes in the team had a positive impact on my performance. This was the true because I was able to complete various activities while at the same time improving my competencies.

I also managed to identify new areas for improvement. Since some individuals failed to attend several meetings, role changes made it possible for the group to achieve its goals. Decisions were made within a short time, thereby making it possible for the group to deliver the intended presentation paper. The support gained from our tutor also made the group successful.

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Role of Leadership

Leadership is a critical attribute that dictates the performance of small and large organisations. Similarly, groups can benefit significantly from the concept since it fosters collaboration, decision-making, empowerment and focus on the outlined goals (Nanjundeswaraswamy & Swamy 2014). Our group had five members. Each individual was supposed to engage in teamwork and offer suggestions or insights that could improve the quality of therapy and educational available to persons with bipolar disorder.

What stood out from this group was that the concept of leadership was not clearly defined. This was the case since there was no leader to guide the team and support every decision-making process. However, all members were aware of their respective roles. This means that they respected each other, completed their tasks and offered the required support in order to deliver positive results.

It is evident that group leadership remained the best style for the team. This means that every individual was required to focus on the targeted project. All discussions were completed by giving each person adequate time. Despite the absence of a specific leader, most of the outlined objectives were achieved in a timely manner. Personally, I did not take any leadership role because I am usually shy and quiet. I wrote notes and summaries in order to share them with individuals who did not attend various meetings. Additionally, I learned that all individuals could come together and complete their respective roles, thereby being in a position to achieve their objectives.

As described above, every individual acted as a leader by completing the assigned tasks in a professional manner. Within the first three weeks, the concept of leadership had changed in the team. It was notable that all individuals started to appreciate the importance of engaging in teamwork. Decisions were made by all individuals depending on the intended problem or situation. They were also required to offer insights and ideas for achieving the identified goals. New attributes associated with effective leadership emerged, including collaboration, attentive listening, communication and problem-solving. Members also observed that there was a need to be engaged throughout the project if positive results were to be recorded.

Several moments in the group showed that leadership was something important. For example, all members appreciated the fact that it was appropriate to respect each other throughout the period. The individuals also discussed various ideas that were appropriate for the selected topic. All members presented insights for selecting and pursuing the best content for the project. Although the group lacked a specific leader, the concept of management was taken seriously by all participants. They liaised, collaborated and shared insights in an attempt to achieve the targeted goals. Group discussions were taken seriously during each meeting. These actions led to the success of my team.

Personally, I believe that the examples provided in this discussion support the role or importance of efficient leadership in groups. The members were keen to engage each other and focus on the outlined objectives. The absence of a designated leader does not mean that the notion of management was ignored completely. The outstanding lesson is that all persons can act as leaders without expecting any reward or recognition (Ingram 2016). Just as leadership occurred in my group, it is always necessary for members to collaborate, solve emerging problems, identify critical issues for resolution and support each other throughout the project period.

Working in Groups and Leadership

The completed group meetings have exposed various strengths that make me a team player. The possession of various attributes can make individuals successful leaders and guide them to achieve their potential (Zhang, Tsui & Wang 2011). Some of them include problem-solving, courage, enthusiasm, confidence and the ability to mentor others. Personally, my involvement in the selected group has revealed that I possess these competencies.

Other notable strengths include proper communication skills, effective listening, involvement in decision-making and collaboration. When these aspects or abilities are applied in a specific situation, it becomes possible to improve performance and ensure that the targeted objectives are realised in a timely manner. I collaborated with my teammates to identify the most appropriate areas of discussion and analysis. I believe that these strengths will continue to support me and make it easier for me to achieve my future career objectives. Unfortunately, there are specific weaknesses that can make it impossible for me to emerge successful. Some of them include the inability to engage in critical thinking and manage time efficiently.

There are specific changes that I have observed in myself over the course of the group experience. The first one is that I have become more courageous and confident. At the very beginning, I used to be shy and unable to offer reasonable ideas to my team. However, I have understood the importance of participation and how the practice can improve my confidence. Secondly, my communication skills have improved significantly.

This is true because I can now engage in meaningful conversations with different individuals and ensure that existing problems are resolved. Thirdly, the exercise has made be a leader. This is true because I have been in a position to guide and mentor my teammates. I also managed to interpret ideas and share them with my colleagues. My professional and career goals encouraged me to improve some of these competencies and be able to achieve my objectives. My tutor has always been instrumental in guiding and encouraging me to work on my competencies.

The weaknesses and limitations identified above will inform areas that should be improved. This achievement will make it easier for me to guide, mentor and encourage others to achieve their potential. Within the past four weeks, I have observed that I am a poor time manager. Skolnik (2007) indicates that successful leaders monitor their activities and keep journal entries every day. This evidence-based method makes it easier for them to manage time effectively and pursue most of their activities. I am planning to embrace a similar approach in order to deal with this weakness. The concept of critical thinking is yet to be improved.

It will be appropriate to focus on a wide range of challenging tasks or situations and solve them using evidence-based initiatives. I will embrace the idea of teamwork in an attempt to become a proficient critical thinker. If this area is developed, I will find it possible to formulate new goals and deliver them within the specified period. After completing various group activities, I have observed that I usually rely on some of my teammates to learn new ideas or concepts. This can be identified as a major weakness that is capable of affecting my future abilities as a leader. I will, therefore, embrace the concept of lifelong learning in order to continue improving or broadening my philosophy.

Reference List

Drescher, MA, Korsgaard, MA, Welpe, IM, Picot, A & Wigand, RT 2014, ‘The dynamics of shared leadership: building trust and enhancing performance’, Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 99, no. 5, pp. 771-783.

Garrett, KJ 2005, ‘Use of groups in school social work: group work and group processes’, Social Work with Groups, vol. 27, no. 2-3, pp. 75-92.

Ingram, OC 2016, ‘Servant leadership as a leadership model’, Journal of Management Science and Business Intelligence, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 21-26.

Makikangas, A, Bakker, AB & Schaufeli, WB 2017, ‘Antecedents of daily team job crafting’, European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-13.

Skolnik, S 2007, ‘Coming together: factors that connect social workers to group work practice’, Social Work with Groups, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-16.

Zhang, AA, Tsui, A & Wang, DX 2011, ‘Leadership behaviours and group creativity in Chinese organisations: the role of group processes’, The Leadership Quarterly, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 851-862.

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