Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
COMPANY CULTURE / SEP. 28, 2014
version 2, draft 2

How to Enhance Group Dynamics in the Workplace

Group dynamics is a term coined by Kurt Lewin, a social psychologist. He observed that people who work in groups usually adopt certain behaviours and roles. Group dynamics refers to the impact those behaviors and roles have on other group members, as well as the group as a whole. Groups with good dynamics have several characteristics. The members trust each other, hold each other accountable and find it easy to reach a collective decision. However, a group with poor dynamics experiences disruption in their work and find decision making difficult.

So, what are the main causes of poor group dynamics?

  • Weak leadership – If the leader of a team is weak, someone else in the group is likely to take charge of affairs. This is likely to result in loss of focus as well as infighting
  • Free riding – This is where some group members relax and leave all the work to their workmates.
  • Groupthink – Here, people are not willing to take time exploring different options before reaching a decision. Instead, decisions are simply made based on group consensus
  • Evaluation apprehension – This happens when individuals perceive that other group members are judging them harshly. As a result, they choose to hold back their contribution
  • Blocking – This is where group members assume roles that end up disrupting the flow of information. Some of these roles include:
  • The negator – This person usually criticizes others’ ideas
  • The aggressor – One who is usually in disagreement with others
  • The attention seeker – This group member has a tendency to dominate discussions
  • The withdrawer – This individual doesn’t get involved in discussions
  • The joker – This group member has a tendency of injecting humour at the wrong time

Here are some suggestions for improving group dynamics:

1. Know your team

Every team goes through several stages before it becomes a strong group. Here are the group formation stages according to psychologist Bruce Tuckman:

  • Forming – This is the stage where groups have just been formed and members are getting to know each other. At this point, people are still not sure of their roles
  • Storming – This phase is characterized by conflicts as different personalities and working styles clash. Team members might also begin challenging the leadership and questioning the team’s objectives
  • Norming – This is where team members begin appreciating their diversity and respecting their leaders. There is a stronger commitment to the group’s objective
  • Performing – Here, the hard work of team members results in attainment of the group’s goal. Conflicts are minimal and the group’s processes and structures are established    

2. Define roles and responsibilities

When people don’t understand their role in the team, the group will end up developing poor dynamics. To alleviate this, you need to ensure that team members first understand the group’s mission and objectives. In addition, the specific responsibilities of every individual should be clearly outlined

3. Break down barriers

One of the best ways of breaking down barriers is through team building exercises. Such activities allow group members to know each other better, thus enhancing relationships. Team building is especially important when new members have joined the team.

4. Emphasize communication

Clear communication is very important for good group dynamics. Encourage members to use all forms of communication including emails, social media and shared documents. This will help reduce ambiguity among the team. Any updates should be shared as soon as possible with all the team members.

As a leader in the workplace, take time to observe how your team members interact. Look out for signs of poor dynamics and deal with them early to alleviate further problems.

Image: flickr, Victor1558

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'

LEAVE A COMMENT

0 comments

 

RELATED ARTICLES

How to Enhance Job Satisfaction Through Job Enrichment
COMPANY CULTURE / OCT 09, 2014

Job dissatisfaction is a common problem among many employees. In many cases, this is due to monotonous and boring jobs. Therefore, to avoid poor productivity and staff...

How Workplace
COMPANY CULTURE / MAY 06, 2015

Summer is fast approaching, and with it (hopefully) a rise in temperature. While we generally think of warmer days (and longer evenings) as an overwhelmingly positive...

How to Build Rapport in the Workplace
COMPANY CULTURE / NOV 17, 2014

Building rapport is a skill that everyone needs to learn, regardless of their position or industry. When you have good rapport with a person, it means that your...

How to Instill Tolerance in the Workplace
COMPANY CULTURE / NOV 17, 2014

Nowadays, workplaces all over the world are made up of individuals from different backgrounds, viewpoints, races, ages, religions and sexual orientation. Therefore, to...

How to Capitalize on Workplace Relationships
COMPANY CULTURE / OCT 19, 2014

Everyone has an array of experiences when it comes to relationships with their workplace colleagues. Workers have dealt with manipulative, rude and vicious colleagues...

recycle company meeting
COMPANY CULTURE / OCT 01, 2014

Recycling is a necessary part of public life in today’s world. We are all aware of the damages non-recycling does to the environment in which we live; so why do all...

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'
G up arrow