Practices and dynamics of groups and teamwork
(techniques – games, experiences, diagrams, methods)
1. GROUP INTEGRATION
Begin the integration of the group, starting from something fundamental: knowing each other, initiating the interpersonal relationship.
Break the ice from the beginning and reduce tensions
Show that no member of the group can go unnoticed.
Give a first idea of the personal values of the participants
Participants: from twenty-five to thirty people.
Time: forty-five minutes, approximately.
Place: A fairly large room with chairs to accommodate everyone.
The animator begins by explaining that the work they are going to do requires everyone to feel at ease. This requires everyone to know who is who. Group knowledge will not be reached if individuals do not know each other. This can be achieved in several ways. In this exercise we will start with the presentation by binas:
The animator asks that all participants form subgroups of two, preferably among unknown persons.
For about six or seven minutes, every two people interview each other.
Returned then to the unique group, each person will make the presentation of the companion to whom he has interviewed.
No one can make their own presentation.
Each person must be attentive and verify if the presentation that his partner has made of him is correct and if it corresponds to the data that he has provided.
Next, the animator asks the participants to express their opinion about the presentation made by their partner and about the value that this exercise has had for them.
2. FEARS AND HOPES
Objective: To make the group aware, at the beginning of the course, about their motivations, desires and hopes, their anxieties and fears
Participants: from twenty-five to thirty people.
Time: approximately thirty minutes.
Material: a blank sheet and ballpoint pen.
A large room for everyone, with desks.
The animator begins by saying that surely at the beginning of the Course everyone will harbor fears and hopes. In the exercise they are going to do, everyone can express those fears and hopes. For it:
Subgroups of five to seven people are formed.
Each subgroup is given a blank sheet; A secretary is appointed who will take note of the fears and hopes of each subgroup.
Next, the animator asks that in each group subgroup the fears and hopes be expressed in the new course and write it down in the sheet they have received. They will have about seven minutes for this.
After that time, the large group is formed again so that each subgroup can relate what they have written down.
The animator makes a summary on the board or on the large poster board and will observe that the fears and hopes of the subgroups are probably coincident or reducible to three.
The exercise can continue as follows: The animator asks that the subgroups be formed again and each of them will study more deeply one of the fears or hopes of the group, its characteristics, its manifestations, etc. when they do it Once the large group has been recomposed, one of the members of each subgroup must personalize the fear or hope that they have studied in their subgroup; must experience before others, and make them feel, that fear or hope.
3. ENCOUNTER BETWEEN TWO GROUPS
a) Improve relations between two different groups
b) Explore the integration of groups
Participants: two groups formed by no more than fifteen people.
Time: approximately two hours
Material: large sheets of cardboard or a blackboard.
Place: a room wide enough to be able to place the two groups separately.
The exercise begins with a general meeting in which the animator explains the objectives and the functioning of the work.
The two groups are formed. Each one of them will have to respond on a cardboard to the following questions:
How does your group see the other group?
How does our group think that the other group sees him? This will take approximately one hour.
They all meet again in assembly and a representative of each group Reads and explains to everyone the contents of the paper of their group. The animator will try to maintain the discipline of the meeting, not allowing explanations or defenses by the other group.
The two groups meet again separately to plan their response to the observations made in the previous exhibition. This work will easily take half an hour.
In general assembly the reactions of the groups are exposed, and appropriate comments are made to what has been experienced in the exercise.
4. CONCENTRIC CIRCLES
Objectives: To observe carefully the group behavior of a participant, for later observations.
Participants: approximately thirty people.
Time: Thirty minutes
Material: paper and ballpoint pen to take notes
Place: a room with desks.
The animator divides the group so that one half is an action group and the other half an observation group.
The action group sits in an inner circle and the observer group forms another concentric circle external to it.
The action group initiates a debate on a subject of free choice.
The animator will guide the group of observers about what they should observe in the members of the action group. For example, an observer will note who does not participate; another, who monopolizes; another, who wants to participate and has no opportunity to do so, etcetera.
After 10 minutes of debate, the group of observers will present their observations.
We continue, then, changing the roles of the participants: those who were before the action group will go to the observation, and vice versa, and do the same as before.
5. GAME OF THE TRUTH
a) Mutual knowledge.
b) Liberation of the personality.
c) Unlock or disinhibition
Participants: Some twenty-five people.
Time: It depends on the number of people who will be questioned in each exercise, as well as the number of questions that will be asked.
Material: a list of questions to be formulated, or a previously organized draw of questions.
Place: a large room to form a circle with chairs, and with a chair in the center of the circle
At the beginning, the animator will give some guidance on the purpose of the exercise, making it clear, at the same time, that both the questioner and the respondent must put common sense and good will in the game so that the work goes well.
At the request of the animator, a volunteer member of the group occupies the chair at the center of the circle to undergo interrogation.
The person occupying the center chair promises the group to say “only the truth” to any questions asked.
The questions are formulated by the coordinator or another member of the group, using the previously organized list or a draw of questions that must also have been prepared before if that form is followed.
After a few minutes, he switches interrogated, and so on.
At the end, there is a turn of testimonies and comments about the experience.
6. EXPLOSION OF THE ANIMATOR
Objective: to create an impact on the participants through an exaggerated dramatization, so that they can better perceive the reactions of the individuals.
Participants: Approximately thirty people.
Time: maximum 10 minutes.
Place: a room with chairs.
The animator takes advantage of the discussion or debate that is taking place, stops, and suddenly expresses himself energetically: “you are not putting enough interest. I am hurt, bored and tired of checking both disinterest and group misbehavior. If you do not take it more seriously, we cut right now and I’m gone. “
The group, so suddenly bewildered, will express reactions that can be of approval and, above all, of disapproval of that violent attitude of the animator.
At that moment, the animator, calm and calm, will say that he was dramatizing to verify the reactions of the individuals in the group.
Next, ask the participants to express the reactions of fear, guilt, innocence, etc., that they have had before the explosion of the animator.
It should be noted that the application of this exercise requires some maturity and preparation in the group.
a) Improve our communication possibilities, whether in a group or between individuals
b) characterize the three elements of the conversation: intervention, interjection and interruption.
Participants: any number of subgroups formed by about six to eight people.
Time: approximately thirty minutes.
Material. A blank sheet and pen.
Place: a large room with desks.
The animator makes the presentation by focusing attention specifically on the three elements of communication: intervention, interjection and interruption. For this you can use the text that appears at the end of the exercise as an annex.
An issue is presented, chosen either by the animator or by the group.
The group is subdivided into two subgroups, one of action and the other of observation.
The animator chooses within the action group, those who will make the intervention, those who will interject the interjection, and those who will interrupt.
To achieve greater success in the exercise, the animator will call those who are going to perform these functions aside and give them the following instructions:
To those who intervene: your role will be to seek dialogue among the members of the action group. That means that they must pay close attention and intervene as soon as they do not understand something. Try to bring quality and conciseness to the message of those who speak. You are here to confirm that the message you say is successful, that it is understood by everyone. Your interventions will only be directed at others see that you understand; and all they can do is ask enlightening questions.
To those who interrupt: your role will be to run over the communication effort of the other members of the action group that you are going to want to communicate; introducing new ideas, refuting others, introducing outlets inappropriate humor have crazy outlets. But you have to perform your role with discretion so as not to sink the debate; it’s just trying to make it difficult. Make a few interruptions, enough to be well characterized and outlined your role, but being careful not to destroy the communication process of the group.
To those who exclaim: Your role will be of support and construction, which you can do simply with head movements, with a smile, with any gesture of the hand, of the body, etc. You can also be confused, interjecting with short exclamations: “what?”, “I do not understand”, “I do not know”, “I do not clarify”, “do you want to repeat?”.
8. EXERCISE OF TRUST
a) Accelerate the process of mutual knowledge in the group.
b) Study the experiences of the discovery itself.
c) Develop authenticity in the group.
d) Give everyone the opportunity to talk and listen.
Participants: From twenty-five to thirty people.
Time: Approximately thirty minutes.
Material: A sufficient number of ballots with a question that will be answered in public by each participant.
Place: A room with desks.
The animator makes a brief introduction talking about personal discovery and the importance of this exercise for it.
Distribute a ballot to each participant. One by one, everyone read the question on their ballot and they answer it with all sincerity.
When finished doing so, there is an open debate about the exercise carried out.
Possible questions for this exercise
What is your favorite “hobby”? How do you use your free time?
How important is religion in your life?
What do you dislike the most?
What do you think of the divorce?
What emotion do you have the most difficulty controlling?
Which person in the group is more attractive to you?
Which food do you like the least?
What trait of your personality best defines you?
What is your biggest problem now?
In your childhood, what were the greatest punishments or criticisms you received?
When you were a student, in what activities did you participate?
What are your biggest misgivings about this group?
What complaint do you have regarding your group experience?
You like your name?
Who in the group do you choose as a leader?
Who do you choose to go with him on vacation?
Do you prefer to live in a flat or in a country house?
Which country would you like to visit especially?
What are some causes of lack of relationship between some parents and children?
If you were President of the Government, what would be your priority goal?
To develop in the participants the capacity of improvisation, synthesis, clarity and valorization.
Participants: From twenty-five to thirty people.
Time: About thirty-five minutes.
Material: Prepare as many subjects as participants.
Place: A large room to form a circle with chairs for each participant.
This mini-class is done when a group has difficulties of expression, is inhibited or is diffuse in its formulations and expressions.
The animator gives each one a topic on which they must present their own ideas for two or three minutes.
The previous or subsequent person will give a note to the exhibitor, even if he is not informed until the end of the whole exercise.
The mini-class supports various variations such as:
a) Instead of giving a theme to each participant, some thoughts are given, so that the speaker can comment on them by commenting on them.
b) a blank ballot can be given so that each participant can propose in it at least two current issues or recent news from newspapers. The topics are collected and distributed as they go out for each participant to give their mini-class choosing one of the topics that appear on their ballot.
In the end they all expose their testimonies about the lived experience.
a) Raise awareness among group members so that they know how to observe the good qualities of other people.
b) That people discover qualities hitherto ignored by themselves.
Participants: From twenty-five to thirty people.
Time: Forty-five minutes approximately.
Material: Ballpoint pen and ballots.
Place: A sufficiently large room to place everyone in a circle, each one in a desk.
The animator will begin by saying that, in everyday life, most of the time people observe more defects than the qualities of others. Now everyone will have the opportunity to enhance a quality of the companions.
The animator distributes a ballot to each one. And each one writes in it the quality that, in his opinion, best characterizes his partner on the right.
The ballot must be completely anonymous, without any identification. Therefore, the name of the person on the right should not be included, nor should it be signed.
Then, the animator asks everyone to double the ballot; they are collected and redistributed.
Once the redistribution has been made, starting from the right of the animator, one by one they will all read aloud the quality that appears on the ballot, and the anger assigning, the one who reads it, to the person of the group to whom, in his / her understanding , that quality is better adjusted. You can only assign it to one person. And I will have to state very briefly why he sees that that quality characterizes that person.
It may happen that the same person in the group is indicated more than once as a carrier of qualities; for that reason, in the end, each one will publicly say the quality that he assigns to the person of his right.
In the end, the animator asks the participants to give their testimonies about what they have experienced throughout the exercise.
11. DELPHI METHOD
The Delphi method is a special analysis and problem solving strategy involving several people who, however, do not constitute a group as such. The participants, usually experts in one or several specific fields, never get to meet; It is not necessary either to know each other.
The coordination is done through a person who is responsible for organizing and centralizing the work of the experts. This person communicates with them, synthesizes the answers that each one contributes, groups them by categories, and sends them to others to contribute their criticisms, suggestions and ideas.
The experts are the people in charge of responding to the problem. Participate voluntarily, know and accept the rules and work procedure. These are people who must know well the problem that is proposed and, if possible, proceed from different fields, which provides a more complete view of the problem.
The stages of Delphi method are the following:
1. The coordinator exposes the problem to the experts.
2. Each expert sends the first solutions to the coordinator.
3. The coordinator receives them and forwards them, anonymously, to the other experts.
4. Each expert provides new answers to the solutions he receives from the coordinator.
5. The coordinator closes the problem after crossing the different answers that he has obtained.
By not knowing the origin of the ideas, the method allows the elimination of possible biases or prejudices that could arise from the knowledge of the person who proposed them. Ideas are analyzed and valued in themselves, regardless of the source.
12. SIX HATS TO THINK
The creator of this interesting technique is Edward de Bono, an expert in the field of creativity. This group technique facilitates the analysis and resolution of problems from different perspectives and different points of view. It is a communication tool that offers the possibility of developing a parallel, broader and more effective thinking.
The technique is based on the idea of working with six imaginary hats, each with a different color, representing six different ways of thinking. Hats should be considered as directions of thought that we can use when dealing with a problem. Each of the participants can put on and take off a particular hat to indicate the type of thinking they are using. All participants can use the same hat at the same time.
The hats can be used in any order. The six styles of thought represented by each of them are:
White: making use of this hat we must focus in the available data we see and analyze the information we have and learn from it.
Red: with him we observe problems using intuition, sensations and emotions; Feelings can be exposed without needing to justify them
Black: with him The thought of judgment and caution is put into operation; allows to highlight the disadvantages and negative aspects of the treated fear
Yellow: with this hat the thought is directed towards the positive; it helps us see the advantages, the benefits, what is going to work properly.
Green: Hats of creativity, with it we can apply a fluid thought in terms of number of ideas, while flexible and original.
Blue: it is the hat of management and control of the thought process; It allows to gather and synthesize the different contributions and draw the conclusions.
13. THE CASE METHOD
Through this method, the group as a whole analyzes, studies, deepens and assesses a specific problem or situation, which may be real or hypothetical. the case that is used in the exercise can be prepared previously, or designed on the fly. It is also compatible with many of the discussion methods mentioned above.
The case method provides a collective vision that allows to analyze in detail a specific case, collect and contrast different points of view, evaluate different possibilities and find optimal solutions.
You can analyze a case that represents a real problem that affects the members of the group. These can be making their contributions in this regard while the person responsible for coordinating the activity takes notes to write the case later in writing. This information is then offered to the group so that they can analyze it, prosecute it and make proposals for its resolution.