When one person leaves or enters a group, the dynamics--and group effectiveness--change.
Groups--no matter how large or small--are about equilibrium. That equilibrium comes from a balance of power. Over time, we all learn where we "fit" in a group given the topic, our role, and how things operate. When someone comes or goes, our sense of influence changes. That's because new relationships and alliances begin form in order to establish a new balance of power.
Note: When someone new joins a group, most of us at least recognize the importance of acknowledging the person and talking about the new role. However, a single person leaving a group will create the same disequilibrium and requires the same kind of acknowledgment and discussion. (That phenomenon is the rule rather than the exception right now). So. . .What To Do?
1. Stop action.
2. Read the paragraph above to the group.
3. Re-visit why the group exists, make any necessary modifications, and ask for agreement from each person on
4. Clarify each person's role in light of the new situation. Whether someone leaves or someone new arrives, there has to be a change in responsibilities and how things will get done. If you talk about it now, you won't have to resolve the conflict about it later.
Groups and organizations are systems. Systems work the same way as our bodies (systems). If you pinch one place, you'll get a referent "ouch" someplace else.
The next time something is about to change in your group, go through the four steps above. You'll minimize the ouches and get back to equilibrium and productivity because you've taken good care of your system.What About You?
You no doubt have made plenty of changes in your own life.
What stories or insights do you have about organizational/personal change that could help another reader?