Group Theory and Group Skills

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* Book: Joining Together: Group Theory and Group Skills, David W. and Frank P. Johnson.


David Eggleton:

"In Joining Together: Group Theory and Group Skills, David W. and Frank P. Johnson identified twenty functions of leadership, ten in each of two sets, that a group requires for effective operation. To the Johnsons, effective means

   * reaches goals
   * remains in good working order
   * adapts to changes in the environment

Because of the counter-productive nature of domination (a shortcut to nowhere), so prevalent throughout human history and so likely to show up in groups of the kind addressed here, it is best when all members, not just one or a few, perform many of the functions, in turn/as needed. Plus, it's a lot for one or a pair to respect, remember and juggle; more hearts, minds and hands make it thoroughly feasible. The first set includes task functions and the second set include maintenance functions. For now, I'll simply list them:

Task Functions >< Maintenance Functions

Information & Opinion Giver >< Encourager of Participation

Information & Opinion Seeker >< Harmonizer & Compromiser

Starter >< Tension Reliever

Direction Giver >< Communication Helper

Summarizer >< Evaluator of Emotional Climate

Coordinator >< Process Observer

Diagnoser >< Standard Setter

Energizer >< Active Listener

Reality Tester >< Trust Builder

Evaluator >< Interpersonal Problem Solver

The discipline of limiting and eliminating domination, overt and covert, from group effort is key to group effectiveness and requires firm intention and conscious effort. Training is an appropriate beginning for both existing groups and individuals who will join groups." (