5.3.8 Team Dynamics

Group DynamicsWhen observing a team there are two main areas to observe:  the content (what is being said) and the group dynamics (Schein, 1982).  Group dynamics refers to communication and behaviours that occur in the context of the group.  Group dynamics heavily influence goal achievement and member satisfaction (Arnold & Underman Boggs, 1999).

Understanding Group Dynamics

Personal communication and group level variables affect group dynamics.  This section provides information regarding these variables in an effort to make them explicit and, therefore, increase awareness of them.  Exercises are outlined to help interprofessional team members understand the effect of these variables and work to improve group dynamics.

Variables that Affect Group Dynamics

Member Communication Group
Motivation Clarify Purpose
Common ground Reflect Norms
Leadership style Link Role Functions
  Paraphrase Cohesiveness
  Summarize Decision-style

Adapted from:  Interpersonal relationships:  Professional communication skills for nurses (3rd ed.) by E. Arnold & K. Underman Boggs, 1999, Philadelphia:  W.B. Saunders Company, p.265.

icon Points to Remember to Guide Learning (PDF)
icon Learning Strategies (PDF)
icon Indicators of Success: Understanding Group Dynamics (PDF)

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