Saturday, July 25, 2015

Individual vs. Group Behaviour

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Groups affect individual conduct

Anybody who's seen a mob attack or a riot or spectators at a football or cricket match or a group of people in the street rushing to the aid of accident victims knows what I'm talking about here.

Groups encourage more risk-taking in individuals

It has been seen that when people are in groups they take risks they wouldn't normally be able to take individually. This is because the shared risk lessens the individual risk because of the diffusion of responsibility.

Groups help reinforce attitudes and positions held by individuals

In 1970, Myers and Bishop put highly prejudiced students together to discuss race relations. These students became even more prejudiced. On the other hand, when they put unprejudiced individuals together, they became even more unprejudiced.

The group is more than the sum of its individual members

Normally, the members of a group reach a common understanding of what they stand for, what they’re going to do and how they are going to do it. This may differ substantially from what they are, what they do and how they do it as individuals.

The author, Dr. Ranee Kaur Banerjee, is Managing Partner at Expressions@Worka training, consulting and mentoring studio for the development of communication and soft skills

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Groups and Teams

Groups Defined:
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group is formed when two or more people get together and interact with one another out of choice or necessity. These people accept certain rules or norms, rights and duties and give their consent to share responsibility in performing certain tasks or in assuming a common social identity.

Informal groups serve the purpose of satisfying emotional, social or psychological needs of their individual members. They give their members a sense of belonging, an identity, a shared self esteem, validation. The more a group satisfies its members’ needs, the more individual members are likely to let their behavior be controlled by the group.

Task oriented groups reduce stress because members can share a common fate in reaching a common goal. By self defining themselves as a group, members can get recognition by others. The group identity gives them the opportunity to become inter-dependent and join forces in decision-making.

Groups are dynamic. Their roles keep changing from situation to situation just like personalities
Depending on the task or topic, a natural leader may become a facilitator or a disinterested party


I reiterate the old acronym T.E.A.M = Together Each Achieves More

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A group can become an effective team when it has been given a raison d’ĂȘtre or a reason for being from a larger system.

This larger system must also direct the group to a defined path. Also, in order to become a team, a group’s members must have complementary skills and expertise. They must need each other to complete the goal that they have to achieve. Above this, if the group is to become a team, it’s members must actually believe that working together, they would reach the desired goal faster, more efficiently and effectively than they would if they were to work alone. Finally, in order to become a team, a group must have clear and measurable authority and accountability.

A team, then, is a small number of people with complementary skills, committed to a common purpose, a set of performance goals. It has a well-defined path to its desired goals and its members hold themselves jointly, individually and mutually responsible for reaching those goals.

A Group becomes a Team when...

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  • Every sub-task is clearly assigned
  • Final accountability is joint
  • Team member viewpoints are respected and considered
  • Regular meetings are held between team members and progress is monitored
  • All relevant information is passed around
  • A sense of ownership is inculcated in all members

The author, Dr. Ranee Kaur Banerjee, is Managing Partner at Expressions@Worka training, consulting and mentoring studio for the development of communication and soft skills