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The Tortal Secret

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Why Good Trainers Should Analyze Group Dynamics

If you have supervised groups of people at work, you have noticed that groups of people are different. They can fall into the following categories:

  • Conflict-addicted groups are full of people who seem to think that progress can only happen when people argue and disagree.
  • Agreement-addicted groups are the opposite. Their members seem to think that progress can only happen when everyone agrees and remains cordial. Curiously, that kind of overly friendly dynamic can kill progress just as effectively as conflict can.
  • Hierarchical groups automatically break down into leaders and followers. In this kind of group, resentments can simmer among the “followers” until they suddenly flare up.
  • Negative groups have developed destructive attitudes about your company, products, or leaders. Sometimes that happens because one negative person has infected the entire group with bad beliefs and attitudes.

And those are only a handful of the many different kinds of groups that can form at work. And . . . what can you do if your job is to train them?

How Different Group Dynamics Can Affect Training

A trainer we know recently said to us, “When I deliver the same training program to different groups, the results can vary dramatically. And if I fail to analyze those group dynamics and adjust my training approach accordingly, my training can fail to reach its objectives.”

One important first step to providing better training is to take the time to analyze the internal dynamics of each training group you lead. Is there a dominant member who does most of the talking, for example? Are there passive members who simply do not take part? Does the entire group give off positive or negative energy, and can you determine why?

The bottom line is, be a keen observer and then adapt your live training to the way your trainee group works. The result? Better training that is more likely to reach the goals you set out for it.


Stepping up to Greatness with Michael Strasner

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