Group Dynamics and its Effects
I was excited for being selected as a group leader. This is because I knew that my previous experience as a leader would help me to manage my group effectively. I know that a group leader has to be knowledgeable about team dynamics and also be team oriented. Communication is mandatory for the achievement of group effectives. The communication patterns in a group setting should be uniform and the leader should be able to communicate effectively to all team members (Levi, 2011).
I also know that the group leader should not only be capable of communicating but should also listen to the ideas given by the other members. Some of my group members made this hard by not opening up during the discussions. As a leader, I may have fallen short of some of the expectations of effective leadership such as ability to set and meet goals, and precision in giving directions and articulating objectives (Dennis et al., 2013). Even though I tried to do my best, the laying down of group objectives left out one of the members, which made her feel unappreciated in the group.
During the group meetings, the major challenge that was experienced was cultural difference. The difference in cultures resulted in communication failure, misinterpretation and conflicts in some instances. We had to find ways of understanding the cultural differences and using them to advance ideologies instead of as origin for conflicts. In addition to this, finding conflict resolution strategies was mandatory, especially when the conflicts could not be solved within the group.
The participative leadership approach that I undertook was different from the autocratic and laissez faire that had been previously used by other members. Despite the efforts to make the group collapse, the mistakes made initially were so deep that my actions were only delaying the inevitable collapse of the group. I am however sure that this was the only way to lead the group.
Although the class text offered guidance on the leader and subordinate roles in the group, communication fading led to less commitment to these roles and to the group goals. The goals existed only on paper. In terms of behavioral norms, the group failed to agree on the behavioral norms that would guide group activities from the start. This led t o the development of some undesirable norms such as resistance to communication among other members.
The role distribution was also un-uniform initially, until I complained about my exclusion from some group activities that we organized a face to face meeting for role assignment. During the group meetings, it was difficult to create an initial bonding due to the already present tension between a member and me. Similarly, the group disjointment made it impossible to evaluate aggregate performance. This was further enhanced by the lack of a measuring strategy as described by De Jong and Hartog (2010).
Despite the failure to achieve overall objectives, we did celebrate the individual milestones achieved. I personally believe that I achieved several milestones in the progress. I cannot say for sure how the other performed since peer rating is usually a daunting task. The failure to complete the overall task can be linked to failure during one of the group stages. The formation stage went relatively well since I got to bond with Jordan, even though Betsy appeared uninterested during the entire process.
The storming stage was the most difficult as everyone did not want to put the self interest aside as proposed by Thompson (2013). Our group did not reach the norming stage or the performing stage as it was prematurely adjourned. I believe that based on this group’s failure, I have learnt lessons that will help me achieve group goals in my next leadership roles. In intend to use these failures to jump to success as Lafley (2011) recommends.
De Jong, J. & Hartog, D. D. Measuring Innovative Work Behavior. Creativity and Innovation management, 19(1): 23-36.
Lafley, A.G. (2011). I Think of My Failures as a Gift. Boston: Harvard Business Review.
Levi, D. (2011). Group Dynamics for Teams. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc.
Thompson, L. (2013). A creative conspiracy for team success. Industrial Management, 55(1): p12.
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