Group Dynamics and Teamwork
As hard as it can be to work with other people, it's a huge part of success. It's vital to reaching goals, whether you like it or not. Oftentimes, others can even strengthen the work that you're doing, and increase your effectiveness.
I had to come to this realization myself. I started a project called the PASSIONS Program that matched volunteers with schools in need of extracurricular classes and programs. The project worked well, and seven separate partnerships were made and thrived, but I feel I could have reached more people and helped create higher-quality classes if there were more people involved. For instance, I alone made classroom presentations, answered e-mails, interviewed participants, and visited schools. However, there were many presentations that I couldn't make, and many schools that I wasn't able to convince to join the program because I didn't have a strong connection to the school. If there were others with different schedules, they could have made presentations that I had to miss. With more people, the program could have allowed for better classes because more time could have been put into checking up on classes and ensuring that they went well.
It's important to recognize what people contribute to your work efforts. Just today, we ran a service day about animal care and cruelty for my middle school students. We visited an animal shelter and spent the day learning about issues related to animals, and then making toys for the dogs and cats. My program depends on donations from the community in order to run, and we needed a lot of yarn to make toys for the cats. A small but adorable knitting store donated $182 worth of yarn for our project, which was mind-blowing! The store's donation heartened my students' efforts and allowed for many shelter animals to have fun toys to play with. In thanks for the donation, we took many pictures of toys made with the yarn in order to send them to her, along with a card.
There are several practices of leadership: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, Encourage the Heart. Model the Way means practicing what you preach; encourage others to be excellent by doing so yourself. Inspire a Shared Vision includes discovering a common goal or value that everyone can work toward, which can mean increased productivity and workplace satisfaction. Enable Others to Act means not just empowering and encouraging them, but also to help by giving them what they need to succeed and contribute. Encourage the Heart means appreciating others for what they add to a project or workforce. As far as a practice that is an area of strength for me, Encourage the Heart is certainly an area of strength because my organization has really gotten me in the habit of doing so. We initially were required to write "appreciations," whether in e-mails, cards, or small bits of paper. We even made Appreciation Boxes in order to express thanks and recognition. It became a habit, and now I am appreciating people all the time. It's easy to do and it's a very positive thing. People have always said that I am a considerate person, anyway, so it's easy for me to recognize what people do for me and the things in which I believe.
- Group Dynamics Exercises Papers. Poems other resources for group facilitation, relationships and com
This page provides resources and group exercises for group dynamics, small groups and community building that enhance personal communications and personal relationships. This is an index of exercises and writings that can be used in a variety of grou
- Group Dynamics, Processes & Development
- Forsyth's Group Dynamics Resources Page
- Group Dynamics: Basic Nature of Groups and How They Develop