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Jay Halverson

Steve
You have identified soem very good points thazt happen when the make up of a group changes, most notably the trust level of the group and the roles or status of the group memebrs. One point that I have found is that because the group has been together for a period of time and possibly clarified their roles and relationships, that is not alwaays a precourser to an increase in the trust levelof the group. for the trust level of the group to increase and become high functioning, there has to be a process where members have an opportunity to develop the trust within the group, i.e. feedback and self disclusure. even with that, there is no guarentee that the group's level of trust will become high and group memebrs will be open and honest with each other.

Royatkinson.blogspot.com

Steve - Thanks for laying out the steps clearly. As you point out, trust is an essential. This is the difficult part, especially when a team has been disrupted by layoff, reduction in force, or realignment in a department or division.

I think it's easy for us to forget that we have to cycle through all of the steps in order to remake the team - go back to forming or storming, if you will. Deciding how decisions are made: That's key, and a great takeaway for me.

Royatkinson.blogspot.com

Steve - Thanks for laying out the steps clearly. As you point out, trust is an essential. This is the difficult part, especially when a team has been disrupted by layoff, reduction in force, or realignment in a department or division.

I think it's easy for us to forget that we have to cycle through all of the steps in order to remake the team - go back to forming or storming, if you will. Deciding how decisions are made: That's key, and a great takeaway for me.

Steve Roesler

Jay,

Indeed, there's never a guarantee that a depth of trust will permeate the group. But most groups/teams that I've seen and worked with arrive at a point where there is trust surrounding the business issues at hand--and that's the important part in business.

For certain individuals, "trusting" in specific areas of life is difficult for various reasons, many of which have nothing to do with the members of the work group.

Thanks for adding to the discussion, Jay.

Steve Roesler

Roy,

Your reference to forming/storming tells me you've been around the block with all of this:-)

Yet I'm struck by long time associates, clients, and my own forgetfulness when it comes to paying close attention to group membership, small changes, and doing a quick "recycle". It doesn't take much; just remembering to go back to the beginning and do the right things, in sequence.

Bay Jordan

Steve

A very good blog! This is something that is so often overlooked by managers and leaders.

I certainly agree that it is something that should be done EVERY time there is a change in the team. However, it doesn't always take a person leaving or a new one coming in to change the team dynamic. Personal situations at home, flare-ups at work, subtle changes in demands, economic pressures, etc are all other things that can change the way people interact and, thus how the team works. Audits are carried out every year to assess financial and procedural performance but this aspect is never considered. There has to be some mechanism to identify and redress these as well.

Bay

Chris Witt

Steve,

Many groups seem to think that when a new person joins, it's that person's responsibility 1)to know (without being told) the group's rules and to adapt to them, and 2) to understand the roles of each person in the group (again, without being told) and to establish his/her own role.

But when any person enters or leaves a group -- as you point out -- the dynamics change. In effect, the group changes. It becomes a new group, which requires a new understanding of why and how it operates. That's why your rules/guidelines are so helpful. Thanks for sharing them.

Chris

peter vajda

So, how was Thanksgiving? Bear with me…or not.

What was it like to be around family during Thanksgiving? Any new members? What was that like? What were the conversations like? eye-to-eye and heart-felt, true communing, bolstered by alcohol or drugs (so I can "be authentic and me!"), wrapped in loving humor and lightness, tinged with (defensive)veiled humor (sarcasm, put-down humor…), one-upping, defensiveness, calculated silence, a tuggle between my "public" voice and my "private" voice, acceptance and allowing of others, judging and critiquing others, feeling vulnerable or shut down, folks who are experiencing hardship and others experiencing abdundance, those truly happy and those feigning the appearance of happiness, wanting to stay forever, couldn't wait to get out of there, enjoying the feeling of again being "mommied and daddied," staying at arm's length from parents or siblings…?

Such are some of the dynamics of family interactions.

And, like it or not, believe it or not, we bring our very biology and biography to work, i.e., we bring our "family" to work. It's a fact of (psychological) life at work.

So, underneath all the "technical" aspects of group dynamics – group stages, decision making, collaboration or competition, etc., there are the deeper psychodynamics playing out, most often unconsciously - our group members who remind us of our family – emotionally and psychologically.

Margaret Bau's quote says it all. It's the underlying dynamics that support group process or tear it apart. So, as we fast-forward to adult life at work, we bring many of our childhood family dynamics with us. In fact, at work, much of our behavior is that of our 3-4-5-year-old emotional selves in adult clothes and adult bodies — especially those who insist, "Hey, not me! I am adult; I am mature, I am! Iam ! Iam!

I think Jay Halverson, above, make a great point - that trust happens when we allow ourselves to self-disclose. One of the foundations of a healthy, conscious group is allowing one's self to be vulnerable, to be open and honest with who one is and how one is, right here, right now.

When we play at engaging with a group from a consious or unconscious place of negativity or defensiveness (such as when we wear masks, veils, and put on false personalities to cover up the "I'm deficient" or "I'm not good enough" or "I need to make people like me" beliefs and self-images) then folks are less able to mold into an group where trust, openness, truth-telling and vulnerability are hallmark.

Often some groups become dysfunctional and seem to constantly move back and forth between the four stages b/c of folks' inability or unwillingness to be themeselves, their True and Real Selves.

Audits, technologies, assessments and other otherwise pulse-taking measures are like using a ruler to measure the depth of an ocean and often fail because they don't go deeper into exploring the underlying currents of team functioning – the deeper human/people dynamics.

Not unlike folks returning saying Thanksgiving was "great" when in fact, if truth be told, it was a true emotional and psychological unpleasantness.

Steve Roesler

Bay,

Good to see you!

You know, I was totally focused on the "membership" changes and hadn't thought about the importance of those you offer. In addition to paying attention to the shift in numbers of people, those issues that you raise lead to a good process question:

"What is happening in your specific situation that's a new challenge or change?" Sort of like "New Business" at the Rotary Club meeting.

Often, this kind of important information isn't automatically offered up, yet its silent existence is impact the group dynamic.

Steve Roesler

Chris,

I was thinking about the importance of this dynamic to presenters--whether it's in a small group setting or a larger audience. Who "comes and goes"--and is seen doing so--can be of significant importance to the speaker.

Thoughts or experiences with that one?

Steve Roesler

Peter,

Thanks for the in-depth examination of what we often try to turn into a linear process.

Your analysis is no turkey:-)

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