Red Rose Coaches: Part Three Group Dynamics

Chris Grant introduced the next Red Rose Coach session with links to the scientific literature in group dynamics. He noted that informed insight and skill enable sharp interventions in team contexts.

Wilfred Bion‘s work in group dynamics was discussed. Bion noted that groups undertake Work Activity where the group is working towards its legitimate tasks. A second characteristic of the group is Security Activity. In this mode the group is engaged in defending itself against anxiety. (Note links to ‘forming’ and managing anxiety.) A group is either engaged in work or security. Some groups never get to their work beyond their anxiety.

Anxiety groups look for a saviour, for pairing (powerful people come together within the team) and decide whether to fight or flee (including avoiding issues).

Chris noted the cycle of Work and Security in groups. He discussed the importance of values and behaviors in absorbing new members to a group.

Chris spent some time discussing player leadership groups and accelerating group dynamics. Noted addressing issues that are difficult to speak about and the process of bringing issues into the open. Chris developed these themes with a discussion of pairing. Discussed addressing explicitly the most senior person in the senior pair. Discussed political awareness and realities too.

The morning’s discussion was concluded with an exercise to identify four characteristics of successful teams. Agreed that over lunch to work on what you would do to develop one of the characteristics. Each member of the group to have a commitment to develop at least one of the characteristics

Photo Credits

Surfside Lifesaving Station

Balancing on the Invisible

Goat

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