Improving Group Dynamics – How to Do It?

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When a group is made of the brightest people in the world, the manager hopes that about the performance of the team. However, if the team does not perform and is not able to make decisions, it becomes frustrating for the manager. There are many factors that are responsible for the lack of performance and incapability to make decisions. In this article, we will discuss about improving group dynamics and team management. It is a study in team building and dynamics.

An Idea

If one person does not like the performance and opinions of others, the manager realizes that her attitude discourages the performance of other team members. Team members might be cowered by the dominance of the critic and may not come up with her own opinions.

Group Dynamics

The term “group dynamics” was coined by a change management connoisseur and social psychologist Kurt Lewin in the early 1940s. He stated that when people work in a team they take up distinct mannerisms. The study of group dynamics is about the influence of these mannerisms on other people in the group.

There have been more studies based on Lewin’s research. A team which has positive group dynamic is built on trust, hold each other responsible for the decisions made and work collectively. Research has proved that when a team has positive minded people it is very creative. A team with negative group dynamic has poor performing members because they are discouraged to make decisions.

Reasons of Poor Group Dynamics

There are certain kinds of mannerisms that check the development of a group and it cannot reach its goals. Both team members and manners are responsible for negative group dynamic. Mentioned below are some of the issues that give rise to group dynamic.

# Excessive regard for authority

This occurs when team members are too eager to be noticed as people who agree with their leader. This way, they do not express their views.

# Leadership is not strong

This takes place when the leader in the team is not strong enough and one of the dominant team members takes over. As a result, power struggle, infighting, directional challenge in the activities of the team and emphasis on all the wrong activities takes place.

# Blocking

This behavior entails hampering of flow of information in a team. The various blocking roles are as follows.

  • Negator - This member has negative thoughts and blocks the appearance of others’ opinions.
  • Aggressor - This member has a habit of disagreeing with each other and is unnecessarily outspoken.
  • One who seeks recognition - This member dominates meetings because she is boastful and is always looking for opportunity.
  • Joker - This team member has a tendency to crack jokes at odd times.
  • One who withdraws - This member does not take part in discussions.

# Ride free

This situation is created when some group members leave their tasks to be completed by others. Free riders are people who are hard working when they do anything independently, but when they have to perform in a team, they do not show their mettle.

# Groupthink

This takes place when team members want to achieve consensus and give it more importance than their desire to meet the correct decision. As a result, team members cannot reach other solutions.

# Apprehension of Being Evaluated

The perceptions of team members also bring about a negative group dynamic. Fear of evaluation occurs when team members feel that they are being judged unnecessarily by their fellow teammates. This results in holing back of views which might have worked well for the organization.

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Phases of Team Dynamics

There are five phases of improving team dynamics. They are as follows.

# Forming

Forming is the phase when the team comes together to realize the objectives it has to meet and how they can be met. Team members at this initial stage are formal and polite to each other. Everyone tries to assess the role she has.

# Storming

This is the phase where the ideas of team members are challenged and the leadership norms are brought under scrutiny. This is a difficult situation as team members start feeling, that they are not a part of the team. They may give up on the idea of reaching the objective. Some team members might not even want to do what is expected of them.

# Norming

This is the stage where the team begins to create a single plan for meeting a common objective. Team members often sacrifice their own opinions for the development of the group and each member understands the other better than earlier.

# Performing

This is the phase where the team members can work to achieve the common objective with minimum assistance from external sources. The team members realize the needs of each other and understand the ways to work effectively in order to achieve the objective.

# Adjourning

This is the stage where the group is dissolved and the team members think whether the work they did was successful or unsuccessful. They also assess if the outcomes received from the other tasks can help to perform in future.

How to Improve Team Dynamics?

The following steps are used to improve the dynamics of a team.

# Leader has to know her team properly

A leader has to understand the stages through which her team goes. This way, she will be in a stronger position to deal with negative group dynamics.

# Handle issues as fast as possible

The manager should challenge disruptive behavior of one of her team members as quickly as possible. She should provide feedback to the disruptive member, so that she realizes the negative influence of her actions.

# State responsibilities

Hen team members do no understand their individual roles and responsibilities, they tend to lose direction.

# Communication

The team leader should emphasize on communicating with her team members. This leads to proper conveying of messages.

To Wrap Up

From this article, it can be deduced that improving team dynamics helps in making a team more efficient than it was before the manager introduced team dynamics techniques.

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