Group Dynamics and Leaderships Essay (Critical Writing)
This essay explores the experience that I had in a group that I lead in the past. The nature of the population in the group has been described in addition to the reflection on the possible challenges that triggered the formation of the group. Besides, purposeful goals that were achieved in the group have been outlined. That notwithstanding, the paper has also discussed the performance of the group and leadership experiences. In this case, a lot of attention has been laid on the roles that I assumed as the group leader and the challenges that were faced during the operations.
Description of the group
I once co-led a group of ten members composed of both males and females. It was group training on how to perform community and social services. The population comprised of volunteers who were willing to take part in community services. Needless to say, some numerous challenges and problems were to be addressed by the agency. It was noted that there was inadequate, qualified, and trained personnel to carry out social activities in the community.
In this case, the agency saw the need to raise potential individuals who would be able to execute beneficial activities and participate in community services. The core goal of the agency was to impact the members with skills and experiences on how best to provide ample social services. Moreover, the agency focuses on inculcating the altitude of team building among members. The reason behind this was the realization that working as a group often contributed immensely towards success as opposed to working in isolation.
The attendance was quite promising since all the volunteers could avail themselves any time we had a session. This reminds me of what I learned about crucial factors to consider while determining the size of a group. It is imperative to note that a small group is easy to manage and foster cohesiveness (Kotlyar, Karakowsky & Ng, 2011). Contrastingly, large groups are often hard to manage and certain members take advantage of others by giving excuses for their absenteeism.
Planning for the group
To select a purposeful program activity, a survey was previously conducted to establish the specific areas on social work that required urgent attention. We realized that issues such as environmental hygiene and community health needed greater attention. To eradicate the noted challenges, the agency decided to recruit a team of ten members to be trained. Hence, the selected program activities were based on the needs of the community and the interests of team members.
It is imperative to note that there was a need to recruit people for the session. This is because the agency wanted volunteers who will participate actively and positively in the program. Moreover, we saw the need to evaluate whether interested members had the free will to become part of the team to creatively bring a solution to problems within the community. We were also able to identify individuals who were qualified for the training. This demanded space since the members needed to have somewhere to get settled for training. Moreover, there was a need to organize how to get time for the extracurricular program.
Group performance and leadership
After forming the team, the agency obtained a trainer to train members on the basic issues that will help them to work effectively. During the first week, the members assembled in a vacant room where the trainer began the training sessions. Most of the time, the training involved open discussions on how best to perform social services especially while handling public resources. Within the second week, the team was issued with short modules that they could refer to during practical training. The trainer demonstrated numerous practices in environmental and health management. Trainees devoted much of their time to the training and eventually, they were able to respond positively and actively to the program. They had ample time to discuss practice, reflect, and learn more about social services.
I felt great pleasure to lead the group. The approach I used in the group leadership was that of transformational leadership where I opted for collective participation within the group. For instance, I ensured that I attend to important tasks such as coordinating the activities and supervising how the members performed their roles in the group. I also attended to maintenance tasks especially by fostering cooperation among the members.
By so doing, I was able to maintain their quest to learn. As a leader, there were numerous roles that I played. For instance, I assumed the role of decision-making, resource allocation, and supervising the activities that took place during the training.
Needless to say, I did not encounter disruptive behaviors among the team members apart from a few disagreements on issues to do with decisions made. There were no conflicts that rose since the group adhered to the norms such as hard work, cooperation, and commitment within the team.
Strengths and weaknesses identified in the performance
The strength I identified in the group was that the team was very cooperative and committed to the main goal. On the other hand, there was a weakness in coping with individual differences especially on matters related to decision making. Therefore, given a chance during the next session, I will embark on how to handle issues related to individual differences to enhance better performance of the group.
Kotlyar, I., Karakowsky, L., & Ng, P. (2011). Leader behaviors, conflict and member commitment to team-generated decisions. Leadership Quarterly, 22(4): 666-669.