Laceweb - Healing Group Processes
Sociomedicine and Sociotherapy
Written 1997. Updated April 2014.
Organic Group Action and Process
Group Process - Acquiring group process micro-experiences
Group Process - Organic leadership competencies
Group Process - Refining specific micro-experiences
Group Process - Synergetic group behaviour
Group process - Types of dysfunctional behaviour
Group Process - Using structured experiences and games in group-building
ORGANIC GROUP ACTION AND PROCESS
The Laceweb is an informal network of indigenous and intercultural people who use self help action to heal aspects of their wellbeing. This informal network has been evolving throughout the SE Asia Pacific region since the mid 1940's. A background and historical timeline is contained in Communal Ways for Healing the World.
Typically, Laceweb action is voluntary. Organic group processes are used which differ in many respects from 'top-down' linear group action. With Laceweb action, individuals and small groups of people take action together and then review their outcomes - what is called, 'action research'. Often action remains exploratory and tentative for some time. Actions that work may be repeated. Laceweb action tends to be a very informal process. A person may take solitary action and mull over what happens. Others may be told and they also may try something similar and mull over their outcomes - refer An Example of Enabling Indigenous Wellbeing. The two may discuss and compare their outcomes. Others may be told and some of them may also 'have a go'. Then some of these separate 'energies' may join together on some action.
Different people may be engaged in differing action. It may remain uncoordinated and eclectic and only after a time gel into the synchronised and harmonious. It may never gel, and remain loose wellbeing actions.
Organic action operates without foundations. It is inherently unstable. It is chaotic with order emerging (*) naturally from chaos (*). Actions start because one or more act. It may continue while the energy is there for it.
No one is in charge, or more particularly, everyone involved plays a part. It may have little pre-planning and little prior organising. Often cultural contexts support this tentative organic process.
Often, for some Laceweb actions, no group decisions are ever made. This may appear weird to those who have viewed a 'group decision' as a necessary precondition for group action. In a Laceweb action, people may be thoroughly familiar with each other and their contexts. The unfolding action may be communally lived. It may be the stuff of storytelling, of campfire discussion, of 'walking the talk' and 'talking the walk'. 'The things to do' may just emerge from this communal process. The specific action may make sense because it has emerged sensibly - from the sharing of the senses of all immersed in the unfolding.
In group contexts someone may 'read' that a level of consensus exists and suggest that something happen at a certain time and place. If, when the time comes, a number of others are there ready at the designated place and willing to engage in some activity, then the person has read the group well. If this happens a number of times, then such initiators tend to play a useful role in the life of the group as a leader/orchestrator. Note that these people have no formal role or authority. Alternatively, if no one turns up, they have misread the group and they have a way to go in refining their group process micro-experiences.
Typically there may be no such thing as THE group. People may gather without any desire to form an ongoing group or a group in any formal sense. A subset of these may meet later. Others may join them. It may evolve into a continuing 'group'. If so, it may remain a very informal group. It may disband and possibly reform. People may be more 'part' of the group, rather than 'members' in any formal sense. Some groups tend to have a floating participation. Other small groups may remain active for years as a very strong mutual support network. Paradoxically, the shear tentativeness of Laceweb action is its strength.
The organic nature of Laceweb action may be kept in mind in exploring the following material. This next section outlines many micro-experiences for organic group processes. It may appear that these micro-experiences tend towards a top down, highly planned and organised process, with an almost relentless pursuit of pre-specified desired outcomes. This is just not the case. As people gain more of the micro-experiences, the process may become even more richly organic. Action typically does not revert to a top down process. If it does, it ceases to be Laceweb action. Laceweb action remains a lateral matrix or weblike process. It tends to remain eclectic with a pervasive wellbeing focus.
A brief set of notes about enabling learning in group contexts.
The term Enabling involves creating and/or fostering physical and psycho-social contexts and climates within the group and encouraging the sharing of healing ways. These actions may in turn foster and enhance group members' capacity for personal and group empowerment in extending abilities, in making effective responses and in taking effective action together to reach outcomes.
The term Event is used to denote either a prearranged or spontaneous gathering with a spontaneously unfolding healing wellbeing context.
The term Event Enabler (EE) is used to denote the group's primary Enabler. The EE may provide some structural process within the Event, particularly to activities having the primary focus of participant's learning by experiencing their own interaction with others. The following are examples of some Laceweb Events taken from the Laceweb Timeline in Communal Ways for Healing the World.
Refer the Laceweb Timeline for some details of the above Events in Communal Ways for Healing the World.
The EE/S may arrange that participants enter the Event knowing none, some or all of the following:
SETTING UP ANTICIPATION FOR THE EVENT
EE/S may set up the 'entry' phase; for example:
All the above may energise and build curiosity, anticipation and enthusiasm for the Event.
Event and group behavioural norms may be unobtrusively conveyed, modelled, monitored and upheld by the EE and co-EEs prior, during and after the Event. For example, refer helping, stimmung, sovereignty, frame, adaptive challenge, and context.
CONTENT AND META-CONTENT
Typically, what happens is in the participant's hands, not the enablers and particularly not the EE. Participants may have a sense of the kind of wellbeing things they want to embrace, explore and resolve during their time together. They may have this from the outset and/or as the Event unfolds.
The EE may have a host of experiences and processes that participants may want to try out. While the EE may have a vague structural process to possibly use at the start of the Event, typically the Event processes soon become spontaneous in their organic unfolding. This spontaneity is also discussed in the Cultural Healing Action page. For example, in the Pineapple Workshop mentioned above, only the first six minutes was structured by the EE. The next three hours evolved from the spontaneous unfolding of group creativity spark and verve. The EE added to this as one of the group rather than as 'EE'.
PROCESS AND META-PROCESS
Meta-processes are processes about or relating to or for monitoring other processes.
Typically the EE has an ever widening range of process options - aspects that have been passed on within the Laceweb as been helpful in evolving nurturing ways. As well, the EE's have meta-processes that the EE, other enablers and participants are using.
Initially, participants may have no awareness of the massive number of process options that the enablers are using.
EE's and other enablers may intentionally, or spontaneously/ intuitively use process options.
WHAT PARTICIPANTS DO AND ARE ABLE TO DO DURING AND AFTER THE EVENT
Typically, this is entirely in the hands of participants. The EE and any other enablers present are there as resource people.
EE'S PROCESS-MONITORING ROLE
EE's tend to be continually expanding and improving their process and meta-process micro-experiences.
EE's also tend towards developing their perceptual capacity to be able to continually monitor, during all aspects of the event, both the processes and meta-processes being used by all those participating, including the EE and other enablers.
What is this group's non verbal communication suggesting that we do next? For example:
What, if any, aspects (in sensory specific terms(*)) - will I be looking for, hearing and feeling:
For example, to see people increasing their recognition and pleasure (note VAK (*) that:
Are we achieving these outcomes?
Are we on target to achieve some more global outcomes?
What are the participants' verbal and non-verbal content and process behaviours (both conscious and unconscious) telling me to do or not to do next or in a short time?
ACTION RESEARCH MODE
EE(s) may monitor:
EE(s) may monitor the following outcomes:
Note that some outcomes may emerge out of the shared time together. The EE does not impose his or her outcomes. Rather, EE seeks the realising (making real) of the desires of the participants with attention to ecology (psycho-social wellbeing (*), Refer sovereignty (*).
FURTHER PROCESS AND METAPROCESS OPTIONS
EE's may use the following process options:
EE's may use the following process options:
(I'll stop you from time to time.......)
EE's may use the following process options:
STRUCTURING OF FEEDBACK AND DISCUSSION
The EE may structure a process for participants to internally reflect on their experience, discuss these experiences and insights and give feedback to others.
USE OF PROCESS OBSERVERS
The EE may suggest that some people may want to take on a process observer role and for this to be either a structured or unstructured role.
The EE may give suggestions as to when and how process observers may want to give helpful and ecological feedback to other participants.
Being Ecological means for feedback to be:
Ecological feedback excludes:
For example, a group of process observers may be set up who share their observations prior to providing feedback to the group. They may quietly swap observations during the group activity. Enablers and/or the EE may observe this sharing to ensure that 'feedback' is 'shaped' so that it is ecological before it is shared as feedback to relevant individuals and the group.
Often there are common learnings. Sometimes each participant is learning different things from the experiences - things that may have personal relevance and validity. Often they may have learnings that they do not immediately appreciate. They may have insights that come to them in the coming days and weeks; some insights may come to them in particular contexts that have similar aspects to segments of their experience during the Event.
The EE may set up activities and micro-experiences as isomorphic metaphors for some aspect of group or individual experience. An 'isomorphic metaphor' is an activity that closely mirrors the participants' behaviours, ideas and feelings present in some segment of group behaviour without being explicit about it. The metaphoric activity is set up whereby ecological and effective behaviours lead to the resolution of ineffective and dysfunctional behaviour. Laceweb experience shows that this is a powerful learning process that minimises critical and judgemental behaviour sabotaging the change. Isomorphs are things that closely resemble others. EEs can also use isomorphic storytelling to achieve similar aims
The EE can structure specific experiences so they are powerful metaphors (refer Healing Storytelling).
The EE can schedule the timing of process-feedback by observers. Process feedback can be aided by the EE.
Finesse in timing feedback allows participants the opportunity to flexibly move to ecological behaviour while the experience is still in progress so they experience success in achieving some desired outcomes rather than experience failure.
SEQUENCING OF EVENT
Activities may be linked.
The sequence of activities may be neither random or tightly structured. The group will 'tell' the EE in subtle ways what to do next. For example:
EE'S ROLE IN PACING THE EVENT
One of the EE ' s roles may be pacing. For example:
The EE may make on-the-spot judgements about:
(See 'Use of process observers)
SPECIFIC EE ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOURS
Verbal and nonverbal behaviours "says the same thing" (being congruent).
It's no good saying "You will find this interesting." with a doubtful, hesitant tone and a bored disinterested looking expression.
Every aspect of EE's behaviour assumes participants will follow suggestions. Examples:
'Okay, you'll enjoy the next thing.....
'Right, perhaps you may like to get into groups of four now and ....'
(Note the embedded command - in italics)
GROUP PROCESSES - ACQUIRING GROUP PROCESS MICRO-EXPERIENCES
GROUP PROCESS MICRO-EXPERIENCES
A process is 'how' something happens. A metaprocess is a process about processes.
Some groups with very poor and problematic processes achieve superb results. Other groups with highly refined and seemingly excellent processes may have totally insignificant results.
Process is only part of the dynamic. Tenacious determination and persistence - real 'fire in the belly' - seems to be an important element. Some action people appear very quiet and invisible - yet they get on with the job - often with very few experiential processes. Those few experiential processes they do have and use, work!
Given this, improving process experiences may contribute to action.
MICRO-EXPERIENCES FOR GROUP METAPROCESS TASK ROLES
(functions enabling the selecting and carrying out of group process task roles)
MICRO-EXPERIENCES FOR REFINING AND MAINTAINING GROUP PROCESS
MICRO-EXPERIENCES FOR GROUP PROCESS TASK ROLES
MICRO-EXPERIENCES FOR GROUP PROCESS ON TASK AS WELL AS MAINTAINING, BUILDING, STRENGTHENING AND REFINING GROUP LIFE AND OUTCOMES
MICRO-EXPERIENCES FOR GROUP METAPROCESS ON TASKS
People in natural rapport tend to start mirroring each other’s behaviour, e.g. they talk at the same speed and volume, they acknowledge each other. Refer rapport (*).
Having all senses focused on external experience and attending to the group's process and content. Refer uptime (*).
Silence: entering into internal activity to recall past experience, tapping creative resources, generating new ideas, contemplating possible futures and thinking through ideas. Refer downtime (*).
Having all members go silent for a time to enter into downtime; may be used for creative innovating, evaluating, synthesising, and interrupting dysfunctional behaviour.
Using uptime (see above), having all of one's senses on the other group member's verbal and non verbal behaviour (as opposed to being lost in thought or recalling past or possible future events).
Enabling (*) all group members, even the quiet ones, to effectively contribute to the discussing and bringing up of matters before the group. The discussion leader typically talks less than anyone else. The role is to foster other members talking, as well as others taking up all of the differing roles, including clarifying and summarising, explored in these notes. There may be more than one discussion leader.
Using new approaches and processes for resolving issues; getting action started; proposing and following through on new initiatives; suggesting and implementing action on new ideas and proposals based on new ways of seeing, feeling and thinking.
PRECISION INFORMATION GATHERING:
Note: These experiences are used sparingly with an 'outcome' focus, otherwise we may get redundant information; operating on a 'need to know' basis.
Using Metamodel (*):
Generalisation - 'Our people were upset.' Who specifically were upset?
Deletion - 'People were upset about who or what specifically?
Impossibility Distortion - 'We can't do it.' 'What prevents you?' 'What would happen if you did do it?'
Distortion - 'We have to do it.' 'What would happen if you did not do it?'
Universal distortion - All our people are up in arms about this! Everybody? Who are not so concerned?
VISIONING AND IMAGING:
Forming visual images in one's mind and entering into a full sensory experience of seeing, hearing and feeling what is happening in the image. Refer exploring possible futures (*).
Requesting other's point of view (thoughts, views and feelings about issues; clarifying values.
Stating a belief or opinion about a proposition, particularly about its comparative value rather than its factual basis.
Asking for the clarifying of ideas and suggestions; requesting additional information or facts.
Offering facts or generalisations from personal experience about an issue to illustrate and increase understanding of a point.
LEFT BRAIN/RIGHT BRAIN THINKING:
Left brain: Linear, logical, rational, analysing, sequential, vertical thinking, convergent thinking, '2+2=4' type knowing.
Right Brain: matrices, metaphor, synthesis, patterns, lateral thinking, divergent thinking, fluid knowing - as in 'knowing a person'.
ANALYSING AND SYNTHESING:
Analysing - breaking into small chunks and scrutinising. Synthesising - building a whole by combining and integrating. Refer chunking (*).
Giving more detail about an action or proposition; clarifying by expanded comment; giving examples; developing or extending meanings; setting out a vision about how a proposal might work out if adopted or how the action is actually working out.
Feeding back the essence of what another has said. Paraphrasing usually emphasises the cognitive or content part of the message. Paraphrasing may clarify confused content. It may tie a number of recent comments together and highlight issues by stating them more concisely. Sometimes members may paraphrase their own comments.
Using a few words to sum up the main ideas contained in a section of group discussion. Synthesising or pulling together related ideas or suggestions; re-stating suggestions, proposals and discussions after the group has finished discussing them. Summarising helps members make more sense out of discussion, particularly if there are a multiple points of view, diverging opinions and a lot of detail.
Rephrasing your own comments or those of another person in a way that enables members to more easily understand the ideas being presented; may extend the comments to explore the functional advantages of the comments and the actual or possible outcomes of the comments.
Actions that enable ideas and actions to be evaluated, for example, carrying out an action to check outcomes or seeking feedback on people's views, thoughts and feelings at a certain stage of the discussion to test where 'everyone is at' on a particular issue. Pilot action research; applying proposals in a small way in a pilot action in real situations to explore outcomes relating to the practicality and workability of ideas; enabling pre-evaluating of proposals and decisions.
Asking direct, directive and non-directive questions as appropriate to context.
Example: How many villages are in the valley?
Asks about a particular theme and leaves scope for response.
Example: Perhaps you can tell me about the villages.
Allows a person maximum scope as to what they talk about.
Example: Perhaps you can speak a little about what's been happening?
Some cautioning and observing on using questions:
A question based conversation may be very controlling - the questioner controlling the 'agenda'. Only the questioner's questions are introduced. Some very important matters may be excluded because 'that question was not asked'.
A string of questions may have the other feeling like they are being interrogated, especially a string of direct questions.
Using open ended questions early in a conversation may have the other floundering because they lack a context. It may help to get the words flowing if we specify a context and start with some direct questions.
Directive questions can allow a chunk of the conversation to be framed as being about say, 'healing action in the next valley'.
Open ended questions allow the other maximum scope as to context, frame and content. Encouraging a person to share what they want to explore without using any questions at all may allow even further scope for us to discover their experiencing of their world without intruding with our preconceptions. Little head nods and verbal acknowledgments (mm...right...huh huh....yes... and the like) can act as 'minimal encouragers' to keep them talking.
TASK STANDARD SETTING:
Specifying task output quality, quantity, cost, material specifications, timeframe and the like.
Ensuring that the ideas, comments, micro-actions, insights, cautions, failures, conclusions and other outputs are recorded and fed back to the group as appropriate to context.
To encourage the group to test for weaknesses in proposed ideas and actions. What have they overlooked? What could go wrong? What actions can the group take if things start to go wrong? Refer downside planning (*).
Downside planning explores everything that could 'go wrong' with a current action and the consequences of these things going wrong for all those involved and then uses these understandings to make changes to the current action.
SPECIFYING TASK DESIRED OUTCOME:
Detailing in sensory specific terms (what we can see, touch, hear, feel) our group task output (including standards) at specific future times.
MICRO-EXPERIENCES FOR GROUP PROCESS ON TASKS
Most groups involved in Laceweb action incorporate processes with the following elements. Each element has associated micro-experiences. People tend to be strong in some micro-experiences and less strong in others. This is not a linear step by step process. Because of the 'action research' and 'eclectic' nature of self help action, any of the steps may be happening at the same time.
Using a strong micro-experience effectively in an inappropriate context is may be a major cause of poor functioning. For example, promoting a personal idea during the innovating stage so that everyone else's creativity is stifled.
Gathering and sharing the available information.
Generating new ideas and new ways of doing things.
Exploring new ideas and promoting these ideas to others.
Assessing new ideas and developing them to work in practice.
Coordinating people and resources for action.
Acting and evolving/developing outputs (perhaps with some wellbeing standard as a guide for action)
How well did the group evolve its outputs: attention to detail, quality standards, time?
How well did the group maintain its standards? Support each other?
How well was the work of individuals integrated and coordinated to achieve group aspirations?
How well did the group create a context and climate maximising personal and group empowerment (extending abilities, in making effective responses, in taking effective action together in enriching wellbeing?
SPECIFYING DESIRED OUTCOMES
A time linked sensory specific (what we have; can see, hear, touch, feel and know) statement specifying standards (quantity, quality and cost) of group output.
What we do to achieve the desired outcome
How we do the task
The processes used to attend to and refine the group process
UP TIME FOCUS
All senses attending to both the group's content and process
The model used to specify and enrich Group Process
What were examples of effective and dysfunctional:
The processes used by the group to evolve and implement task process
GROUP PROCESS TASK ROLES PAIRS
ENABLER - LINKER
REPORTER - ADVISOR
CREATOR - INNOVATOR
EXPLORER - PROMOTER
ASSESSOR - DEVELOPER
ORCHESTRATOR - COORDINATOR
CONCLUDER - PRODUCER
MONITOR - INSPECTOR
UPHOLDER - MAINTAINER
PAIRS OF ACTIONS
ENABLING - TRANSDUCING
REPORTING - ADVISING
CREATING - INNOVATING
EXPLORING - PROMOTING
ASSESSING - DEVELOPING
ORCHESTRATING - COORDINATING
CONCLUDING - PRODUCING
CONTROLLING - INSPECTING
UPHOLDING - MAINTAINING
INTEGRATING - LINKING
REFINING TASK MICRO-EXPERIENCES
How well did the group gather and share the available information?
Evolving desired outcomes?
How good was the group at generating new ideas and new ways of doing things? Evolving desired outcomes? Using synergistic processes?
How well did the group explore new ideas? How well did individuals sell these ideas to others? Using synergistic process? Evolving desired outcomes?
How well did the group assess new ideas and develop them to work in practice? Using synergistic process? Specifying desired outcomes? Specifying task? Specifying task process?
How well did the group coordinate its people and resources to achieve its objectives?
Using synergistic process? Specifying desired outcomes? Specifying task? Specifying task process?
Did the group develop its outputs on time and to high standards of effectiveness
and efficiency? Using synergistic process? Specifying desired outcomes? Specifying task? Specifying task process?
How well did the group control its outputs: attention to detail, quality standards, time?
Using synergistic process? Specifying desired outcomes? Specifying task? Specifying task process?
How well did the group maintain its standards? Support each other? Using synergistic process? Specifying desired outcomes? Specifying task? Specifying task process?
How well was the work of individuals integrated and coordinated to achieve group goals? Using synergistic process? Specifying desired outcomes? Specifying task? Specifying task process?
How well did the group create a context and climate maximising personal and group empowerment (extending abilities, in making effective responses, in taking effective action together to reach mutually agreed outcomes? Using synergistic process? Specifying desired outcomes? Specifying task? Specifying task process?
GROUP PROCESS MICRO-EXPERIENCES THAT MAINTAIN, BUILD, STRENGTHEN AND REFINE GROUP LIFE AND OUTCOMES
SPECIFYING GROUP PROCESS DESIRED OUTCOMES:
Some groups may evolve a commitment to continual improvement. They may tend to specify desired outcomes relating to the group process they will use in the ensuing interaction. This may involve detailing in sensory specific terms (what we can see, touch, hear, feel) their group process output (including standards) during the interaction. Note that early in Laceweb action the focus is the content of the action. There may be little notice of process. Action may be neither 'issue based' nor 'desired outcome based'. Some groups may go for the above 'process refining' as a part of their action.
GROUP PROCESS STANDARD SETTING:
Again, some groups may move to setting some standards for various aspects of group process. Others are so totally immersed in their actions that they give little or no thought to 'navel gazing'.
Standard setting involves the group in choosing certain process standards against which to evaluating action. This may allow the group to refining it's processes in enabling and linking as well as the eight key aspects of group process namely, Advising, Innovating, Promoting, Developing, Organising, Producing, Inspecting and Maintaining
Shared and commonly known group process standards may act as a reminder for the group to maintain, monitor, evaluate and refine these group standards.
Being warm, friendly and responsive to others; supporting, recognising and praising others and their ideas; agreeing with and/or accepting the contributions of others.
EXPRESSING PERCEIVED GROUP FEELINGS:
Acting as a 'mood meter' in seeking and summarising what the group or sub-groups' feelings are sensed to be, describing reactions of the group or sub groups to issues, ideas, actions, solutions and the like.
Making it possible for another member to make a contribution to the group, for example, by saying, 'Notice that some have not spoken yet - anyone who has not spoken want to speak now?' Suggesting a limited talking time for a while so everyone who wants to have a say will have a chance to be heard.
Supporting the decisions or intentions of the group. If a member is not in favour of the decision or shared intention, to passively go along with accepting the ideas and if appropriate to act as a member of the monitoring, evaluation and review processes relating to that decision or intention. Also, serving as an audience during group discussions, decision-making and other processes.
MICRO-EXPERIENCES FOR BOTH GROUP PROCESS ON TASK AS WELL AS MAINTAINING, BUILDING, STRENGTHENING AND REFINING GROUP LIFE AND OUTCOMES
The following micro-experiences enable the strengthening and maintaining of group life and activities as well as enabling the group to complete tasks.
Creating a physical and psycho-social context and climate within the group that maximises the group members' capacity for personal and group empowerment in extending their abilities, in making effective responses, and in taking effective action together to reach mutually agreed outcomes.
Pacing others behaviour, eg the same speed and volume, acknowledge others; focusing all senses on the other group members verbal and non verbal behaviour; recognising when rapport is dropping or lost and taking active pacing steps to regain rapport.
Maintaining internal silence and attending to the verbal and non verbal aspects of another's behaviour. Good listening is evidenced by the ability to give 'straight' reporting of what another has said, that is not necessarily verbatim, but words carrying the same meaning.
ATTENDING TO AND MONITORING PROCESS AND CONTENT
Have all senses focused on both the process ('how'' the group is working) and the content ('what' the group is working on). Note that typically people are very poor at process attending and become locked in and engrossed on content or are at times dissociated from virtually everything that is happening and instead are 'lost' in thought. Good attending micro-experiences are typically accompanied by good monitoring and capacity to recall and give feedback as appropriate to context.
COORDINATING AND LINKING
Showing or setting up inter-relationships among various actions, ideas or suggestions; pulling ideas and suggestions together; assisting in drawing together activities of various sub-groups or members.
Finding out the sources of difficulties and blocks to progress; exploring appropriate 'next steps'.
Submitting group process, decisions, actions or accomplishments to comparison with group standards; evaluating action outcomes against desired outcomes.
Using verbal and non-verbal behaviours and processes that appropriately reduce the levels of aversive or negative feeling in the group. Examples:
Fully attending to, acknowledging and respecting other group members and their contributions; separating the person from their dysfunctional behaviour and valuing the person.
Processes that enable, foster, support and sustain members cooperating with each other in achieving synergistic outcomes (refer 'Seeking synergetic outcomes').
Processes that enable (refer 'Enabling'), foster, support and sustain moves towards and reaching mutual agreement on synergetic outcomes and actions (refer 'Seeking synergetic outcomes')
TESTING FOR CONSENSUS
Sending up 'trial balloons' to test group opinions; asking for the group's opinions in order to find out if the group is nearing consensus about a particular issue.
Asking a member in a functionally useful way to add further to the discussion or provide factual information, or examples to give weight to a particular proposition, or dispel doubt .
SEEKING SYNERGISTIC OUTCOMES
Having the group's outputs better than the best individual output (refer 'Seeking Synergetic outcomes').
MICRO-EXPERIENCES FOR BOTH GROUP PROCESS ON TASK AS WELL AS MAINTAINING, BUILDING, STRENGTHENING AND REFINING GROUP LIFE AND OUTCOMES (contd)
The following micro-experiences enable the strengthening and maintaining of group life and activities as well as enabling the group to complete tasks. (contd)
The following section is under preparation:
GROUP PROCESSES - ORGANIC LEADERSHIP COMPETENCIES
Any member of a group can enter into the leader role
Some sections of the following are under preparation:
Helping sustain a nurturing spirit in the group through providing ongoing positive feedback, recognition and appreciation.
Acting as an enabler, supporter, encourager and resource person for others in evolving their micro-experiences and in them joining with others in self help action addressing wellbeing needs.
LISTENING & ACTING
Truly hearing and understanding other group member's ideas and needs; acting truly in response to understandings shared with others.
Taking an orchestrating role and working with people in the group as if they are orchestra members, each of whom plays a part and contributes to the overall effectiveness of the group; melding performers together so they act in concert.
Sharing vision, values and actions with other group members and together shaping the group's strategies and actions around the group and local people's wellbeing needs and desires.
Helping group members obtain what they need to engage self help action
REFINING SPECIFIC MICRO-EXPERIENCES
Refining Group Member's Micro-experiences as Facilitators & Enablers:
GROUP PROCESSES - SYNERGETIC GROUP BEHAVIOUR
This segment explores the processes for obtaining an ideal - what is called 'synergetic outcomes'. Synergy can be defined as:
'to get a group result better than the best individual result'
The ideal is to work towards generating 'group ideas' that are better than those of an individual member or sub-group.
Early in Laceweb action people typically come together to do something and just get on with it. Perhaps some of the most valuable Laceweb action happens this way. Locals have a strong sense of what is needed and a fire in their bellies to do something now! Typically, there is little thought about building the group as a functioning unit.
The group rarely focuses on the process of how work gets done. Examples:
After a while, natural enablers and those with a feel or action research may begin noticing aspects of how they are doing things - what is called 'group process'. Some of these processes may be noted while reviewing outcomes.
There are many ways to enrich group process. Sometimes micro-experienced enablers may be available to 'fast-track' enrichment of process.
One idea that is often highly valued in group contexts, but to be questioned, is the idea of winning - of being number one - to beat someone else. Closely linked to the idea of winning is the idea of competing. This formal thinking results in highly competitive behaviour in group situations. There is a pre-supposition that competition gets best results or better results. However, competition often means creating not only winners, but powerful losers. The persuasive member that 'wins' in getting a poor idea accepted is detracting from group results. Another closely related idea is 'either/or' thinking; such that the world gets translated into 'win/lose'.
Competition is to be questioned - along with 'either/or' thinking.
Typically, we can get group results better than individual results when:
Some suggestions to achieve consensus on group ideas such that they are better than the best individual ideas:
GROUP PROCESS - TYPES OF DYSFUNCTIONAL BEHAVIOUR
Sometimes, group members behave in dysfunctional ways that are either not helpful or actually harmful.
Some examples of dysfunctional behaviour are described below.
Judging, blaming, and condemning are almost invariably destructive behaviours (unless used for demonstration).
'Dysfunctional' behaviour within a group may be viewed as an indicator that all is not well with the group's ability to satisfy individual and group needs through group-centred activity.
It is useful to recognise that any bit of behaviour may be interpreted differently and have different meaning for individual members. For example, what one person sees as 'Horsing around' another may perceive as 'Usefully relieving tension".
(refer 'Seeking synergetic outcomes')
Attempting to have group members sympathetic to one's position in order to gain competitive support for ones ideas, e.g. sympathetic to one’s personal misfortunes and problems (Refer 'Seeking synergetic outcomes').
RESPONDING IN THE PRESENCE OF DYSFUNCTIONAL BEHAVIOUR
For any of the above behaviours use interrupt patterns (Refer Coming to One’s Sense – By the Way for Interrupt patterns. Immediately redirect group focus to any behaviours present in the Group that are Functional in Context. Refer, Dr Neville Yeomans’ Group Process in Cultural Keyline – the Life Work of Dr Neville Yeomans.
GROUP PROCESSES - USING STRUCTURED EXPERIENCES AND GAMES IN GROUP-BUILDING
Another paper on Laceweb Sociomedicine and Sociotherapy:
Wounded Healer - Wounded Group