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Group Skills A one-day primer by Steve Cottrell & Bob Neale October 2010 Updated 07-06-13.

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Presentation on theme: "Group Skills A one-day primer by Steve Cottrell & Bob Neale October 2010 Updated 07-06-13."— Presentation transcript:

1 Group Skills A one-day primer by Steve Cottrell & Bob Neale October 2010 Updated 07-06-13

2 SERENE.ME.UK/HELPERS/ #SERENITYPROGRAM FACEBOOK.COM/SERENITY.PROGRAMME 2 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License SERENE.ME.UK/HELPERS #SERENITYPROGRAM SERENITY.PROGRAMMEContacts

3 Aims & Objectives Aims To enhance the skills & knowledge of participants relevant to group leadership Objectives – for participants: To review their skills & knowledge relating to group leadership To describe a classification of different types of groups To develop an understanding of models of group development To develop an understanding of constructive leadership behaviours 3

4 Introductions Introductions Who am I? What’s my experience of running groups What I’d like to get from today 4

5 Why might we run groups? Advantages of groups Disadvantages of groups Why do we often choose individual work by default? 5

6 What’s Needed for a Successful Group? [1 of 3] Types of groups Optimal group size Composition Preparation – and what the leader needs for their well-being Level of functioning Recruitment criteria (inclusion and exclusion) Pre-group assessment Environment Times Optimal length of sessions and number of sessions 6

7 Types of groups –open / closed / slow – open –led / leaderless –structured / unstructured Optimal group size –managing the periphery / managing intensity / managing difference Composition –heterogeneous / homogeneous –gender / race / age distribution 7 What’s Needed for a Successful Group? [2 of 3]

8 What’s Needed for a Successful Group? [3 of 3] Preparation – and what the leader needs for their well-being Level of functioning Recruitment criteria (inclusion and exclusion) Pre-group assessment Environment Times Optimal length of sessions and number of sessions 8

9 Individuals and the Group Helping people learn in groups Group members and their roles Learning styles – Honey & Mumford 9

10 Three Functions … (Benne and Sheats) Group members behaviour can be understood in three ways – 1.Maintenance roles – group building roles concerned with group processes and functions 2.Task roles – concerned with completing the group task 3.Individual roles – not related to the above (may be self-interested and possibly distracting from work group tasks) 10

11 Maintenance Roles Encourager – positive influence on group Harmoniser – make or keep peace Compromiser – minimises conflict Gatekeeper – determines level of acceptance of difference Follower – audience Rule maker – sets standards for what's acceptable Problem solver – allows group to address problems and move on 11

12 Task Roles Leader – sets direction / emotional climate Questioner – to clarify issues Facilitator – to keep focus Summariser – to ‘take stock’ Evaluator – to assess progress and performance Initiator – to begin / change direction Benne, KD & Sheats, PJ (1948) Functional roles and group members (J. Soc. Issue 4) 12

13 Individual Roles Victim – To deflect responsibility form self Monopoliser – To actively seek control by incessant talking Seducer – to maintain distance and gain attention Mute – To passively seek control through silence Complainer – to ventilate anger and discourage positive work Truant / latecomer – to invalidate significance of group Moralist - to serve as judge of right and wrong Note negative emphasis – an opportunity for reframing! 13

14 Role are not Fixed Roles are not fixed, though people tend to have a preferred role The group may influence people to adopt roles different from their usual preferred choice (‘role suction’) 14

15 Learning Styles Peter Honey and Alan Mumford developed their ‘learning styles’ system as a variation on the ‘Kolb model’ while working on a project for the Chloride Corporation in the 1970's. Over the years we develop learning ‘habits’ that help us benefit more from some experiences than from others Since we’re probably unaware of our preferred learning style, this questionnaire will help you pinpoint your learning preferences so that you’re in a better position to select learning experiences that suit your style, and design learning experiences for a wider range of people. Note though widely used, there’s not a great deal of empirical evidence for this approach! 15

16 Learning Style Questionnaire There is no time limit to this questionnaire, It will probably take you about 15 minutes. There are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers. If you agree more than you disagree with a statement, put a tick by it. If you disagree more than you agree with a statement, put a cross by it. Be sure to mark each item with either a tick or a cross Based on the work of Honey, P. and Mumford, A. ‘Using your learning styles’ 1986 16

17 Activists Are ‘here and now', gregarious, seek challenge and immediate experience, are open-minded, can become bored with lengthy implementation. Activists like to be involved in new experiences and are enthusiastic about new ideas. Activists enjoy doing things and might act first and consider the implications afterwards. They are unlikely to prepare much for a learning experience or to review their learning much afterwards. 17

18 Reflectors Reflectors ‘stand back', gather data, ponder and analyse, they delay reaching conclusions, listen before speaking, and are thoughtful. Reflectors like to view a situation from different perspectives. They like to collect data, review and think carefully before coming to any conclusions. Reflectors enjoy observing others and will often listen to others views before offering their own. 18

19 Theorists Theorists ‘think things through’ in logical steps; they assimilate disparate facts into coherent theories, are rationally objective and reject subjectivity and flippancy. Theorists like to adapt and integrate observations into complex and logically sound theories. They think problems through step-by-step. They tend to be perfectionists who like to fit things into a rational scheme. 19

20 Pragmatists Pragmatists seek and try out new ideas, are practical, enjoy problem solving and decision-making. Pragmatists are eager to try things out in practice. They like concepts that can be applied to their job. They tend to be impatient with lengthy discussions and are practical and down to earth. 20

21 LSQ 21

22 Contents Group decision making - polarization Obedience and conformity Bystander apathy Groupthink Social conformity Social facilitation and social loafing Models of group development – Tuckman Constructive and destructive leadership behaviours 22

23 Group Polarization The ‘risky shift’ is the tendency for decisions taken by a group after discussion to display more experimentation, be less conservative and be more risky than those made by individuals acting alone prior to any discussion In 1970, Myers and Bishop demonstrated this effect by arranging students into groups to discuss issues of race. Groups of prejudiced students were found to be become even more prejudiced, while unprejudiced students became even less prejudiced Thus, before we can predict how the discussion will polarize the group, we must know the initial opinions of the members! Discussion effects on racial attitudes. Myers, D. G., & Bishop, G. D. (1970). Science, 169, 778-779. 23

24 Social Influence: –How individual behavior is influenced by other people and groups Conformity: –Tendency to change our behaviour / beliefs / perceptions in ways that are consistent with group norms Norms: –Accepted ways of thinking, feeling, behaving Social Influence and Conformity 24

25 Obedience and Conformity Harvard psychologist Herbert Kelman (1958) identified three major types of social influence: 1. Compliance - public conformity, while keeping one's own beliefs private 2. Identification - conforming to someone who is liked and respected, such as a celebrity or a favoured relative 3. Internalization - acceptance of the belief or behaviour and conforming both publicly and privately Kelman, H. (1958). Compliance, identification, and internalization: three processes of attitude change. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 1, 51-60. 25

26 Solomon Asch & Conformity [1 of 4] The Asch conformity experiments, published in the 1950's, demonstrated the power of conformity in groups Students were asked to participate in a ‘vision test’, all but one of the participants were confederates - the study was really about how the remaining student would react to the confederates' behaviour 26

27 Solomon Asch & Conformity [2 of 4] In a control group, with no pressure to conform, only 1 subject out of 35 ever gave an incorrect answer. However, when surrounded by individuals all voicing an incorrect answer, participants provided incorrect responses on a high proportion of the questions (37%), while 75% of the participants gave an incorrect answer to at least one question — 75% of participants conformed to the erroneous majority view at least once 27

28 Solomon Asch & Conformity [3 of 4] One confederate has virtually no influence, two confederates have only a small influence. When three or more confederates are present, the tendency to conform is relatively stable 28

29 Solomon Asch & Conformity [4 of 4] When confederates were not unanimous, even if only 1 voiced a different opinion, participants were much more likely to resist the urge to conform than when the confederates all agreed. This finding holds whether or not the dissenting confederate gives the correct answer. As long as the dissenting confederate gives an answer that is different from the majority, participants are more likely to give the correct answer The subjects of these studies attributed their performance to their own misjudgement and ‘poor eyesight’ – they remained unaware of the influence of the majority, supporting the notion that we may have little insight into the true influences on our behaviour, with our explanations sometimes being ‘post-hoc’ rationalisations 29

30 Milgram & Obedience Stanley Milgram (1933 – 1984) - 65% of participants gave the final 450-volt shock, no participant refused to administer shocks before the 300-volt level In Milgram's ‘Experiment 18: A Peer Administers Shocks’, 37 out of 40 participants administered the full range of shocks up to 450 volts, the highest obedience rate. In this variation, the actual subject didn’t pull the shock lever; 30 instead he merely conveyed information to the peer (a confederate) who pulled the lever. Thomas Blass examined Milgram studies and replications during a 25-year period …

31 Do Milgram’s findings apply today? Thomas Blass examined Milgram studies and replications during a 25-year period from 1961 to 1985 – he correlated year of publication with the amount of obedience - no significant correlation found Who are more obedient - men or women? Milgram found an identical rate of obedience in both groups - 65% - although obedient women consistently reported more stress than men. There are about a dozen replications of the obedience experiment world-wide which had male and female subjects. All of them, with one exception found no sex differences 31

32 Bystanding The bystander effect (also known as bystander apathy) is a psychological phenomenon in which someone is less likely to intervene in a situation when other people are present and able to help than when he or she is alone Kitty Genovese was a New York City woman who, in 1964, was stabbed to death near her home in Queens, New York 32

33 Kitty Genovese Genovese parked 100 feet from her apartment's door, she was approached by Winston Moseley who stabbed her twice in the back. She screamed "Oh my god he stabbed me! Help me!" she was heard by several neighbours; Moseley stabbed her several more times. While she lay dying, he sexually assaulted her He stole about $49 from her. The attack lasted about 30 minutes. During his final attack a neighbour opened the door and watched the attack without doing anything to intervene A few minutes after the final attack, a witness, Karl Ross, called the police. Genovese died on her way to hospital. Later investigation revealed that approximately a dozen individuals nearby had heard or seen portions of the attack 33

34 Groupthink Groupthink – occurs more often when groups are under pressure to make decisions, where need for unanimity supersedes rational, individual thought Social psychologist Clark McCauley identified three conditions under which groupthink occurs: 1. Directive leadership 2. Homogeneity of members' social background and ideology 3. Isolation of the group from outside sources of information and analysis 34

35 Irving Janis’ 8 ‘symptoms’ of groupthink Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking Rationalising warnings that might challenge the group's assumptions Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions Stereotyping those who are oppose the group as weak, evil or stupid Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of ‘disloyalty’ Self censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement Mindguards — self-appointed members who shield the group from opposing information 35

36 Helping to prevent groupthink Leaders should assign each member the role of ‘critical evaluator’ - this allows each member to freely air objections and doubts ‘Higher-ups’ should not express an opinion when assigning a task to a group The organisation should set up several independent groups, working on the same problem All effective alternatives should be examined Each member should discuss the group's ideas with trusted people outside of the group The group should invite outside experts into meetings - group members should be allowed to discuss with and question the outside experts At least one group member should be assigned the role of ‘Devil's advocate’ - this should be a different person for each meeting 36

37 Social Facilitation Triplett (1898) –Noticed cyclists performed better when riding with others –Study with children performing simple task either alone or with others –Results: Children performed better when in the presence of others compared to when alone 37

38 Social Facilitation after Zajonc Dominant response: –Well-learned or instinctive behaviors that the organism has practiced and is primed to perform Non-dominant response: –Novel, complicated, or untried behaviors that the organism has never performed (or performed infrequently) The presence of others increases our tendency to perform dominant responses 38 ‘Zajonc’ is pronounced ‘ZI-yence’

39 Research Examples Cockroach study (Zajonc et al. 1969) : –Not limited to humans! –Cockroaches performed simple or difficult task –[Runway or maze] –Measured speed when alone or with fellow roaches present –Presence of other roaches facilitated performance on easy task and hampered it on difficult task 39

40 ‘Cockroach’ Study Seconds 40

41 Perform task in presence of audience Do not know the task well Know the task well Performance Improves Performance Improves Performance Declines Social Facilitation Effect 41

42 Social Loafing Maximilien Ringelmann (1861-1931) - people alone and in groups pull on a rope, the sum of the individual pulls did not equal the total of the group pulls. Three people pulled at only 2.5 times the average individual performance, and 8 pulled at less than a fourfold performance. The group result was much less than the sum of individual efforts. Social loafing –Members work below their potential when in a group –Ingham, A.G., Levinger, G., Graves, J. and Peckham, V. (1974). The Ringelmann Effect: Studies of group size and group performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 10, 371-84 42

43 Research Example Shouting experiment [1] –People separated into rooms with headphones –Led to believe they were shouting alone or with others –Results: Groups of 2 shouted at 66% capacity Groups of 6 at 36% capacity People exhibit a sizable decrease in individual effort when performing in groups [1] Latane, B., Williams, K., & Harkins, S. (1979). Many hands make light the work: The causes and consequences of social loafing. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 37(6), 822-832 pared to alone 43

44 Summary Groups may influence people: To make more extreme decisions - ‘risky’ or ‘cautious’ shift To find it difficult to disagree with the majority and doubt oneself - Asch To ‘deindividuate’ (to all think alike) – groupthink To become passive – bystanding To become obedient / conform – Milgram, Zimbardo To diffuse responsibility – someone else will wash the cups! To contribute less in groups – social loafing To perform better / worse on familiar / unfamiliar tasks – audience effects 44

45 Models of Group Development ‘Stages’ are not discrete or distinctly separate phases, and are often most recognisable in closed task groups Groups ‘regress’ when new members introduced – need to re-work identity, rules and values 45

46 Tuckman Dr Bruce Tuckman published his ‘Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing’ model in 1965 He refined his theory around 1975 and added a fifth stage to the model - he called it ‘Adjourning’, also referred to as ‘Deforming’ and ‘Mourning’ 46

47 FormingStormingNormingPerforming “How do I fit in?” “What’s my role here?” “What do the others expect me to do?” “How can I best perform my role?” “Why are we here?” “Why are we fighting over who’s in charge and who does what?” “Can we agree on roles and work as a team?” “Can we do the job properly?” Individual Issues Group Issues Individual and Group Issues 47

48 Concerns at this Stage - Forming Time structuring through rituals and pastimes Fantasies about ground rules, expectations about behaviour based on past experience Preoccupation and dependence on leader Orientation, through testing and dependence (Tuckman) 48

49 Leadership Tasks - Forming Physical and psychological boundaries which are secure and stable – creating of an ‘epistemic space’, an ‘alchemical container’ External boundary is a function of the internal boundary, which in turn is a function of leadership potency Clarify ‘who’s in, who’s out, and who’s in charge’ Clarify which decisions are members to make, and which are leaders alone ‘In groups with a weak internal boundary, the external boundary is seen as a fence containing members in an unsafe space’ Gurowitz, 1975, p.184 49

50 Destructive Behaviour - Forming Tyranny of structurelessness Excessive anxiety Hidden sadism Role confusion Not managing nurturing, control, seduction, aggression Overly task-oriented Abdication of leadership role Focus on few, neglecting the majority 50

51 Clear time structure and boundaries Clarity and potency Optimal anxiety, not incapacitation Clear assumption of leadership Clarity of group task Allowing ‘getting to know’ process Practical information – toilets, breaks etc. Foster participation and collaboration Constructive Behaviour - Forming 51

52 Tuckman’s ‘Storming’ Stage “The second point in the sequence is characterised by conflict and polarisation around interpersonal issues with concomitant emotional responding in the task sphere. These behaviours serve as resistance to group influence and task requirements, and may be labelled as storming” Tuckman, 1965, p 396 52

53 Concerns at this Stage - Storming The emotional response to task demands Conflict with / rebellion against leader Testing leaders effectiveness Conflict between members may mask unsatisfactory management of storming 53

54 Constructive Leadership - Storming Surviving verbal attack – without punishing, withdrawing, collapsing or becoming apologetic Not seeking support from group - seeking support elsewhere Giving self ‘benefit of doubt’ Not too frightening, not too fragile Listening to feedback Not giving in to threats / emotional blackmail Validating feelings without necessarily agreeing Transparency around decision making 54

55 Destructive Leadership - Storming Deflects or denies aggression – smoothes over conflict Interprets anger as pathology to invalidate / patronise members Appearing fragile, going ‘off sick’, appearing hurt Avoids sanctions or uses unfair sanctions 55

56 Norming “Resistance is overcome in the third stage in which in-group feelings and cohesiveness develop, new standards evolve and new roles are adopted. In the task realm, intimate personal opinions are expressed, thus we have the stage of Norming.” (Tuckman, 1965 p 396) 56

57 Concerns at this Stage - Norming Value–congruent psychological communication Importance of ‘throw-away’ lines and management of the periphery Resisting premature norming to maintain flexibility rather than the ‘oppression of certainty’ 57

58 Destructive Leadership - Norming Reinforcing rigidity Setting rules instead of norms Discounting group personality and culture Failing to manage ‘rogue elephants’ 58

59 Constructive Leadership - Norming Encouraging discussion of norms Not accepting there is only ‘one right way’ Allowing groups personality to develop Focus on culture building rather than adoption of unconsidered ‘rules’ Transparency around leaders values and ethics 59

60 Performing “Roles become flexible and functional and group energy is channelled into the task. Structural issues have been resolved, and structure can now become supportive of task performance. This stage can be labelled as performing.” (Tuckman, 1965 p 396) 60

61 Concerns at this Stage - Performing Individuals relinquish own needs in support of cohesion and task performance The ‘leader is surrounded by leaders’ Not always happy, but learning! Leader enjoyment Focus on fun, work, validating spontaneity, autonomy, immediacy, authenticity, feelings, skills, knowledge and expertise 61

62 Destructive Leadership - Performing ‘I know better’ stance Hogs credit Clings to leadership Over-focus on task 62

63 Constructive Leadership - Performing Sits back and relaxes Allows others to lead Becomes mutual participant Emphasises own learning Keen to experiment Focus on group pleasure as well as task Permission to work and have fun Listens and validates 63

64 Adjourning Four important tasks: To accept the reality of the loss To experience the pain of grief To adjust to a changed environment To withdraw emotional energy and re-invest in another relationship (Worden, 1983) 64

65 Destructive Leadership - Adjourning Being prescriptive about mourning Colluding with group denial ‘Cats goodbyes’ Sickly prescription ‘let’s all hug’ Behaving defensively Foreshortening reminiscing Not allowing afterglow of satisfaction 65

66 Constructive Leadership - Adjourning Many ways to grieve – permission giving Predicting difference Protecting time for grief Honesty and non-defensiveness Definite time for ending Allowing a ritual Allowing reminiscence Gracious acceptance of recognition and appreciation Allowing this ending to be used as a learning experience for future endings 66

67 Returning to ‘Why Groups?’ [1 of 2] Irvin D. Yalom’s ‘Curative Factors’ Instillation of Hope - faith that the treatment mode can and will be effective Universality - demonstration that we are not alone in our misery Imparting of information - didactic instruction about mental health Altruism - opportunity to rise out of oneself and help somebody else Corrective recapitulation of primary family group - experiencing transference relationships growing out of primary family experiences providing the opportunity to relearn and clarify distortions 67

68 Returning to ‘Why Groups?’ [2 of 2] Development of socializing techniques - social learning or development of interpersonal skills Imitative behavior - taking on the manner of group members who function more adequately Catharsis - opportunity for expression of strong affect Existential factors - recognition of the basic features of existence through sharing with others (e.g. ultimate aloneness, ultimate death, ultimate responsibility for our own actions) Direct Advice - receiving and giving suggestions for strategies for handling problems Interpersonal learning - receiving feedback from others and experimenting with new ways of relating 68

69 Conclusion Small group feedback What has been important / useful / interesting What will you take away from today? 69

70 References Berne, E., (1975) The structure and dynamics of organisations and groups. New York: Grove Press Clarkson, P (1988) Group Imago and the Stages of Group Development: A Comparative Analysis of the Stages of the Group Process. ITA News (1988, Spring) 20 pp. 4-16. Foulkes, S. H. (1951). Concerning leadership in group-analytic psychotherapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, l, 319-329. Gurowitz, E. (1975) Group boundaries and leadership potency. Transactional Analysis Journal, 5 (2) p 183 - 185 Lacoursiere, R. (1980) Life cycle of groups. New York: Human sciences press The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, 4th Edition, Basic Books, 1995 Tuckman, B. W. (1965). Developmental sequences in small groups. Psychological Bulletin, 63, 384-399 Tuckman, B. W., & Jensen, M. A. C. (1977). Stages of small group development revisited. Group and Organizational Studies, 2, 419- 427 Worden, J. W. Grief Counselling and grief therapy. London: Tavistock Publications 70


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