With all different personalities, working together as a team can be difficult. If group members clash, it affects the entire team mentally, socially and emotionally. A successful group is comfortable together, respects and trusts each other and problem solves together. What can you do to help move groups toward cohesion, production and positive relationships?
Follow these tips to develop cooperation and build a happy, successful group.
Get talking. In order to have great group dynamics, your team members must feel comfortable with each other. Give everyone time to get to know each other. Organize an informal meal to share stories in a low pressure situation. Kick off an event with a game of Move If so people can find what they have in common. Or play If You Really Knew Me so people can learn interesting new details about each other all while practicing listening and speaking skills.
Break up cliques. Friends are great, but growth comes from diverse connections. Encourage groups members to partner with new people to enrich their experience. One way to mix things up is through playful grouping techniques, such as Shipwreck. Play multiple rounds of Find Somebody Who quickly to leave less time to think about who will be their partner. Or assign small groups of people who you know don’t work together as often.
Be silly. Nothing lowers walls faster than laughter. Use silly icebreakers and humorous games to make everyone comfortable. Begin by making your space safe and free of teasing or making fun of others. Also getting others laughing starts with modeling silliness yourself. Movement Name Game is a great activity to learn (or practice) group members’ names and break the ice for more fun and laughter.
Give your group a common goal. Sometimes the key to great group dynamics is finding solutions together! Give your group a problem with an attainable fix so that they can work together to overcome the challenge. This problem could be something small that your group is formed for or you can start with a game. One Fish, Two Fish is a fun game that challenges a group to beat the leader.
Debrief challenges. Whether playing a game or working toward a common group goal, it’s important to talk about what is working and not working along the way. One technique called ORID can help you guide your group through their debrief. Begin by taking a step back and asking everyone to observe what they see and hear and then to reflect on how they have been feeling during the process. Then ask members to share what these observations mean for the group and their common goals. And finally, ask the group to decide what they will do next to get to a solution.
Cheer together. Give your group something to cheer for or against together. In meetings or on a nearby bulletin board, celebrate successes by making them seen and heard by all. Play a team sport together, such as a Corporate Kickball event in your area or students versus teachers kickball.
How do you develop positive group dynamics?