Group Leadership Skills

By Carolyn Chambers Clark | Go to book overview

1
Introduction to Group Work

GROUPS ARE IMPORTANT

Groups are important to people from the moment they are born until their lives end. Socialization first takes place in the group called the family. Later, peer groups, social groups, religious groups, work groups, and political groups become important vehicles for learning and obtaining satisfaction.

The quality of peoples' lives often depends on their ability to perform effectively in the groups to which they belong. You, as a social being, also belong to many groups. Your effectiveness in these groups depends on your ability to assess and intervene in the ebb and flow of processes that affect the internal workings of each group.

Group skills are important for at least two reasons. First, many tasks, such as planning, cannot be accomplished without the cooperation and collaboration of group members. You must learn to work effectively with your colleagues and with other personnel. Group skills in this kind of cooperation and collaboration are especially important now if you are striving to be recognized as a peer by others. Effective group skills can assist you to be clear and assertive when working with various groups of personnel without resorting to aggressive or helpless behavior, withdrawal, or apathy.

Second, work functions include teaching and supportive assistance to supervisees and clients—two functions that can often best be provided within a group format. Such a format affords a number of experiences that the one-to-one relationship cannot provide. Group experiences can also supply a more intense and different type of support; assistance in observing a wide range of responses; positive and negative feedback in a supportive way; pooling of resources and solutions to problems; knowledge that others share the same difficulty, fear, or anxi

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