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Understanding Group Dynamics_Final

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>> Successful group coaching isn't just about using your skills, it also requires understanding and working with the dynamics of the group process and of individual members to keep your group on track and working harmoniously. There's a whole field of study out there dedicated to observing and understanding how groups operate and work best. In this lecture, I'll share with you the universal stages of groups. Then I'll go over six challenging personality dynamics found in groups and how to manage them. A man by the name of Bruce Tuckman created a theory back in the 1960s to explain the process. He observed groups of all kinds going through as they form, work together, and then part ways. This process is evident in all groups to some extent. There are five stages in Tuckman's model of group development, forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Let's take a look at each one. Forming, this is the stage when a group first comes together. During this time, group members are typically feeling anxious and uncertain about partaking in a new experience. They're self-conscious about how the other group members and the facilitator will view them, so they're on their best behavior. Group members will make an effort to get to know one another and are generally positive and polite during this phase. This can hinder the group from getting any real work done. But this okay because the purpose of this stage is to get to know one another and understand how the group will work. As a coach, it's beneficial to keep your expectations low in the first few sessions in terms of getting clients to go deep into the work. The next stage is called storming. This is when conflict and competition emerge. Now that tasks and expectations are understood and there is pressure for group members to do the work, people tend to feel more confident, and this is when personality start to emerge. Dominant members begin to over-exercise their power while quieter individuals continue to suppress their feelings but experience issues of their own. During the storming stage, group members may feel the need to ask questions and seek clarity. You may run into resistance during this phase. Offering extra support during this time while group members learn to navigate their roles within the group is critical to getting them to move into the next phase. Once group members find clarity, they enter the norming stage. This is when the group becomes a cohesive unit and morale is high. Now group members acknowledge each other, and they feel a sense of purpose and community. They respect the group leader and each other, and are able to work together towards their goals. At this stage, your primary job is to keep everyone on track and moving at a steady pace, hold your clients accountable, and to facilitate deeper emotional work. The group stays in the norming stage until they reach the performing stage. This is when progress is made and goals are achieved harmoniously. During this stage, you'll encourage clients to celebrate their wins, stay accountable, and keep moving forward. It can be helpful to clients at this stage to guide them to evaluate their performance and provide feedback to see what did and didn't work for them. The final stage is adjourning. This is when group members have achieved all of their goals and outcomes, and have agreed to disband or if there are a fixed amount of sessions, the group has reached to its end point. Members may feel accomplished and energized, but they may also feel sad about the group experience ending and uncertain about moving on on their own. At this stage in the process, it's beneficial to spend time processing what happened for your clients over the course of the group and how they plan to maintain their progress. Think back to a time when you either belonged to or facilitated a group and what the process of participating was like. Can you recall the group evolving through the stages of forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning? Can you relate to this process? Now think about the types of people who you've been in groups with. Did you find that there were certain characters or personality types that tend to emerge in any given group? I've mentioned to you that a group is like a microcosm of society. The same general personal dynamics tend to emerge, just like they do in real life. Some of them can be challenging to work with. So let's go over the six difficult personalities that show up in groups, and how you can work with them in a way that keeps everything running smoothly. The first is the chronic talker. These group members are easy to spot because given the chance, they'd likely be the one who's talking. New coaches tend to like the chronic talkers because they always have their hand up or have something to contribute, so they help you. As a coach, avoid uncomfortable lulls of non-participation. But chronic talkers take away the value of the group for other group members if left unchecked because they take away from other member's opportunities to share. There are three types of chronic talkers you may come across, the nervous talker, the rambler, and the show off. Nervous talkers keep speaking to hide their feelings of anxiety about the group. They're generally the first to share or volunteer. The rambler is someone who is generally talkative by nature. They're unaware that they ramble or how it affects the group. The show off is the person who always has an answer for everything and comes off as a know-it-all. To determine the type of talker a person is, stop and think about why they appear to be over talking. Ways to deal with chronic talkers include making limited eye contact, cutting off ramblers to prompt them to get to the point, and making gentle reminders to the group or to specific members to share the floor. You could redirect a rambler by saying, "Jason, if you don't mind, I'm going to stop you here so that we don't get too far off track. Can you tell me, in just a few words, what the key point is you're trying to get across?" You can appropriately handle a nervous talker or a show off by saying something like, "Vanessa, I love the insight and enthusiasm you bring to the group every week. It's great that you're doing the work and have so much to contribute, but I want everyone else to have a chance to think and respond as well. So I'd appreciate it if you'd help me make sure everyone gets a chance to share." The second group personality type is the dominator. Dominators try to exercise control over the group process. They can come off as bossy and can be intimidating to quieter types. One way to work with a dominator is to give them a role in the group such as the timekeeper for activities. You can choose to reinforce their positive contributions to the group while protecting members who are affected by their behavior. An example here might sound like, "Lisa, I'm going to ask you to pause here and let Janelle continue to explore this concept and come to her own conclusion. It's not within your role to answer for her." If these subtle methods don't work, you may need to pull the dominator aside after group or send them an email gently explaining the predicament. You can say, "Melissa, I'm so pleased that you actively participate in our group. But I'm concerned that your approach is coming off as intimidating to some members, and I'm wondering if you're aware of this. Could we explore this together?" Another personality is the distractor. These are clients who regularly seek attention or avoid doing work in the group, and this may or may not be intentional on their part. They may tap, whistle, make inappropriate statements or jokes, or take the group off topic. Distractors who use humor as their means of distraction can be looked as the joker. Distractors are often nervous or insecure, and are avoiding dealing with what's going on for them. You may want to try drawing distractors out in a way to encourage them to go deep and actually face their feelings. If this doesn't work, you may need to approach them about their behaviors. Do so with a tone of support and curiosity. For example, you could say, "Tim, I'm noticing that when it comes time to get serious and tap into our emotions, you go on a sidebar and crack jokes. This is disruptive to the group and furthermore, it's holding you back from your own growth. I'd like to help. What's going on?" The next group character we'll discuss is the rescuer. Rescuers are categorized by their frequent attempts to smooth over any negative feelings another client may have. You'll hear them say things like, "Don't worry, everything will be all right." Or "That's awful. I feel so sorry for you." This is detrimental because it can prevent group members from problem-solving for themselves. Also, it can place labels, beliefs, and expectations inappropriately on to another client's experience. You can redirect rescuers by reminding them not to give advice and to instead promote the sharing of their own experiences. An example of this might sound like, "Sarah, I see that you tried to express your support for Ramona with that statement. But instead of labeling her experience, she might be better served by you by asking her to identify what it was like or by sharing a similar experience with her. Let's try one of those approaches and see where it goes." Next is the negative member. This is your client who constantly complains or disagrees with group members. They're troublesome because their energy brings down the group's spirit. You want to try to explore what's going on for this person, and it may be useful to directly confront them about it, saying something like, "Rita, you don't have many positive things to say lately it seems. Is something going on that you'd be willing to share with the group?" If drawing their awareness to the problem and trying to draw them out around it doesn't prove to be successful, you may need to have a discussion outside of the group. Ask Rita, "I'd like to support you. Is this group not meeting your needs or expectations? I'd like you to continue, but on this current path, you're negativity is affecting the group morale. What can we do to make this experience better for you, and in turn, better for everyone else?" If this too fails, you don't want to outright ignore a negative member, but you want to stop drawing them out and immediately cut-off any complaining. The last personality type we'll discuss is the silent member. These are your quiet members who left to their own devices might never say a word during group. There are many reasons why a client might be silent as we previously discussed, and you'll need to assess why that is so you can most appropriately help them. Since many silent members don't participate due to anxiety or fear of judgment, you'll want to approach them privately, and say something like, "Maria, I noticed you keep pretty quiet during group. I just want to check in with you to see how your experience is going and if there's anything I can do to better support you." Ask them if it's okay to call on them during group to help draw them out. Linking can be a great way to get quiet members into the discussion, otherwise, you'll want to help get your silent members talking through rounds or paired shared activities. The next time you participate in or lead a coaching group, see if you can notice any of these personalities. Obviously, people don't fit neatly into moulds, and there will be all kinds of people in your group. But it's interesting to observe these dynamics and helpful to have a framework to help guide the flow and harmony of your discussions. What are your thoughts on group dynamics? Leave a comment in the Facebook page with your thoughts on this lecture, and tell us what you're going to do with this new info. Thanks for watching.

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Duration: 11 minutes and 2 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 5
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Jul 10, 2018

Understanding Group Dynamics_Final

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