Why worry about groups?
The human being is a social animal at the core. Being able to relate well in a group setting is a critical part of the lives of most human beings. And, in an organisational context, successful relations with others in a group setting are a key do-well in terms of completing tasks. So, knowledge and understanding of group process is something that both individuals and organisations need to be concerned about. And group facilitation is a helpful way of helping others to relate well in groups.
What is group facilitation?
“Group facilitation is a process in which a Group Facilitator – (i) whose selection is acceptable to all the members of the group, (ii) who is substantively neutral, and (iii) who has no substantive decision making authority – diagnoses and intervenes to help a group improve how it identifies and solves problems and makes decisions, to increase the group’s effectiveness.” (Roger Schwarz ‘The Skilled Facilitator’).
A group facilitator attends to the business of the meeting, and to its core tasks in particular, but also pays particular attention to the interpersonal relations between members of the group – also known as ‘group dynamics’. Group dynamics are the interactions that influence the attitudes and behaviour of people when they are grouped with others through either choice or accidental circumstances. Effective completion of the task of a group can be impacted by the interpersonal processes involved in the setting up and running of a group. So it’s important and critical for anybody who is interested in improving performance in the workplace to understand the dynamics involved in group interaction.
I provide group facilitation in a number of different group contexts:
Experiential Group Learning for Managers and Professionals
Staff Support Groups
Specific Issue Support Groups
Reflective Practice Groups
Facilitating Conferences and Away-Days
“For man does not, cannot, live alone. His freedom is a social, not biologically derived process….It is the intimacy and security of small groups that provide the psychological context of individuality and the reinforcement of personal integrity. And it is the diversity of such groups that creates the possibility of the numerous cultural alternatives in a society” (Robert Nisbet “The Quest for Community” (1953))