Signs of Mature Group Process
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- This isn't a list you have to agree with! It's a check list to think about the features of an 'ideal' voluntary/political/community group; you may decide some of these qualities are unnecessary or irrelevant, or that others are more important.
- You can try to decide which of these qualities are essential in a group, and which are good but not essential.
- You can also think about the extent to which hierarchical situations (typically your daily work) should or does include these qualities
Signs Of Mature Group Process
Alternatively, you can work through the list initially to allow people to get to grips with it, and share from your own experience. You can also encourage group members to share from their experience. At the end of the list, and later. you can see if people want to add to, or substitute, others items to the list.
This exercise can come alive if you share anecdotes from your experience about where these qualities have been present in groups - and, perhaps even more interestingly, where they have been absent, and the resultant consequences. You don't have to – and generally should not - name names and places!
While people may agree that ‘Trust’ (or some other item) is essential, what do they mean by that? What limits are put on ‘trust’? The fact that people are agreed on a quality does not mean they are thinking of the same thing. So probing as to what people mean, or how they would define and measure a quality, may bring out differences of approach where initially it may seem that people are agreed.
Having worked through the list, and had some experiences shared, you can break into a one-to-one session for a few minutes each way, to allow each person share something of their experiences and relate the check-list to themselves. And/or you can get people to pick one quality which they personally identify with personally, and share why.
You can go on to look at those qualities which are essential for good group functioning. You can also distinguish between hierarchical and non-hierarchical groups and structures, and the differences between the features of each.
Obviously further work is possible in looking at how essential or desirable qualities can be fostered in a particular situation or kind of situation. If particular qualities are absent, or in short supply, how can they be engendered? That can from the basis of another brainstorm and practical planning.