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Groups & Teams: introduction

 

I've been working with groups and teams for many years, and I have found that there are some things in common for all of them, even though the agenda and tasks may be different.

 

In helping work or learning groups, it's essential to explore and develop a clear sense of what the team or group is contracted to achieve - why are they there,  what are the criteria for success, what is their communication like, how do they grow and learn from the inclusion of new members?

 

Irving Yalom's model of human needs has served me well. He states that our key needs are for Attention, Recognition, Acceptance and Value  in that order. In a group setting I see that as meaning that each person wants to feel accepted by the groups and the facilitator, recognised as an individual with their own style, learning preferences and basic assumptions, accepted for being the person who they are are, and valued for their own experience and what they can contribute to the group.

 

Sometimes these needs can be expressed in unattractive ways, I know, and in a working group that needs to be dealt with: if behaviour is responded to with those four needs in mind, most people settle in to working effectively with their peers.

 

Some hopes and expectations may be unrealistic, and that too needs to be discussed.

 

 

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© Joanna Howard 2006 | disclaimer | site by Agent8 Design Ltd