Compiled by Richard Loveless and Mel Roman



An Overview


 Characteristics of Group Mind



      multiple forms of intelligence/ visual, oral, spatial, linguistic, kinesthetic, etc.



      innovation, imagination, risk taking, tolerance for ambiguity, tolerance for




      multiple personalities that contribute to group personality


The Group as Emergent


---the image of a garden with individual seeds, each genetically altered by different origins, each with a root that grows away from the light, attached to a stem with leaves and flowers that grows toward the light; a single cell becomes the “crossing point,” where the opposite qualities and characteristics become one. (image from M.C. Richards, “The Crossing Point.”

---so to in the group emergent individuals, each with distinct origins take root in the group, with root experiences that are encoded in their unique life experience, collide with the other members in the process of becoming one (group mind)…How do we find the “crossing point” where individual minds become group mind?


Phases of Development


---choosing the right people

---tolerance for diversity of intelligence’s, personalities, process styles, values

---defining responsibility based on openness to one’s ability to respond

---evaluating progress





---when is conflict useful? Relationship of chaos to conflict

---when is conflict counter-productive?




Problem Resolution Teams

(Executive Management Teams)


---focus on getting things done

---conceptual—looking for relationships—human (baggage) associated fears and/or fantasies

---analytical-variables in process options to get to an acceptable solution

---issues of primary import—real issues versus secondary issues



Creative Teams

(Arts and Sciences)


---like management but are more independent and creative

---conflict is ok, chaos is natural aspect of dreaming, envisioning, and risk taking

---long term vision—less concerned with the immediate details, more for the long term big picture

---value exploration of options, flexible processes, no rush to consensus

---flexible roles—multiple tasks are normal, less need for linear progression of tasks to closure


Tactical Teams

(Surgical Teams/Sports Teams-Military Teams)


---highly structured—comfortable with details, strategic plans, procedures and defined outcomes

---directed—specificity is important to staying on the prescribed course

---clear goals—low tolerance for confusion or ambiguity, where we do we want to be?

---roles well defined—what do you want me to do to get where we want to go?

---familiar process—comfortable with repetition, knowing requirements and expectations for success

---standards of operation—wants to see measurable outcomes based on standards that have been set and agreed upon for successful achievement







---composition—choosing the right mix of individual talents and skills


---who is in, who is out—perceptions of inclusiveness or exclusion based on historical patterns of decision making balanced with individual goals and expectations


---boundaries—what are the group parameters? How far can we go? What are the limits? When is it best to define limits?




---focus—how is the focus determined? What is the role of the group in determining a shared focus versus the vision of the team leader?


---roles—choosing roles, and act of faith, a group process, or a act of self-determinacy


---trust—psychological safety, what are the risks and what are the potential consequences?




---power—real or imagined, individual or cliques, overt or quietly manipulative, how is power distributed to create a feeling of empowerment?


---up/down—the roots of power, who is up and who is down is normative or contextual at best based on each group participants need or disdain for dependency


---conflict—how to spot them, how to respond with sensitivity and courage




---cohesiveness—moving toward group mind, healthy dependency based on mutual respect and trust


---near/far—clarity of immediate goals and responsibilities are they relate to the long term





Stage 1: Inclusion/Orientation/Dependency


What is the mission?(static versus dynamic vision)

Who’s in and who’s out? (relatively based on what aspect of performance is required)

Where do I fit in? (to the whole, to smaller parts, to the short term, to the long term

 What is expected of me? (depending on roles…planning, managing, executing)

High dependency on leader for focus and structure (is this real or perceived)

Loosely organized psychological group (intentional or just poor leadership)


Stage 2: Control


Experiencing polarities of dependency and counter-dependency (tendencies allow for inclusion and/or execution)


Competition for power and attention (how to establish sense of ownership without total control)

Formation of subgroups (when is it an asset, when a liability)

Feeling frustrated and dissatisfied (root of feeling, dealing with associated anger, solutions)


Stage 3: Resolution


Resolution of major conflicts (who is responsible and what are the likely consequences?)

Consensus of roles and expectations (agreement that nourishes expectations and participation)

Team language develops (cohesiveness is expressed in common linguistic environment)

Environment of cohesion and trust grows (vulnerability is a privilege, not a weakness)


Stage 4: Cohesion/Production


High morale and enthusiasm (the sense of the team is empowering the individual)

Collaboration flowing in whole group and subgroups (sub-groups are extensions not aberrations of the whole group—all in a condition of “flow”

Sharing leadership (leadership is diversified among tasks not autocratic and centralized)

Positive feeling about team and effectiveness (a feeling that in success everyone wins-winning is not predicated on someone’s failure, particularly the competition)




---leaders and managers

      distinctions in planning, managing and being a creative leader


---leaders and leadership

      multiple roles for leadership in a multi-faceted organization


---small group vs. large group

      similarities and differences in developing group effectiveness based on group scale




---Management of Attention


      personal attention vs. professional attention

      attending to priorities

      orchestrating the poetry of variables in the individuals you manage


---Management of Meaning


      identifying and nurturing personal meaning in self and others

      management vs. participation in processes that demonstrate standards of


      recognition of multiple meanings as useful in achieving group meaning


---Management of Trust


---the role of motivation and leadership in moving potential resources to actual

---The invention of a group mind that sees beyond consensus to reveal multiple potentials

---developing a diversity of options to make possible multiple outcomes (actual’s)


The degree to which the team facilitates the growth and development of its members


---mutual reinforcement and support for  risk taking, chance, not knowing, the absence of the right answer, a tolerance for vulnerability, recognition and praise


The degree to which the team grow over time


---individual growth and its relationship to team maturity

---changing chemistry effected by the introduction of new members, the loss of others

---the assets and liabilities of term continuity—maintaining trust through changing dynamics within the group





Assess actual vs. potential


---sometimes models of process yield something other than the desired product

--outcome may confirm the quality of the process, or may suggest discrepancies


Understand basis for discrepancy


---the presence or discrepancy may be turned into an advantage when viewed with fresh eyes

---discrete solutions may be a by-product of a high tolerance for ambiguity

---multiple indiscretions need not lead to paralysis, they could create a new paradigm





---modeling your actions to instill trust through consistent forms of action

---fashioning personal and professional relationships that depend on mutual trust with a healthy respect of differences


---Management of Self


---managing time effectively to make decisive yet quality-based decisions, with particular attention to those who are impacted by those decisions and how you would like to be treated if you were on the other end

---have clear separation between making a living and making a life…they may be connected but one not need to be sacrificed for the other







Qualities and innovation in realizing the product


---relationship of process to the quality of the product

---summoning innovative solutions as a group process to facilitate quality of product


Does it work?


---what are some summative criteria for assessing whether something works or not?

---qualitative vs. quantitative criteria for assessing the product

---variables in anticipated outcomes that are co-dependent to assure quality of outcomes


How well:


---who is the audience…who determines the outcome the producers or the consumers of the product, whether it be a new toy, a new tool or a new play?


---what measures constitute how well something works…reliability, efficiency, it lasts, it satisfies the users expectations, it has a successful marketing history, everyone makes a profit etc.




The degree to which a team utilizes it’s inherent resources


---characteristics of leaders who are capable of mining the inherent resources of individuals for the benefit of the group


---bridging individual mind with group mentality…to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts…to invent heretofore unimagined resources that result from their coming together as one


Actual vs. potential


Competence/interpersonal as well as participatory skills













---members can describe and are committed to a common purpose


---goals and roles are clear




---members feel a personal and collective sense of competence and power


---members have access to needed skills and resources


---policies and practices support team objectives




---members respect and trust each other


---members express themselves openly and honestly


---differences perspective and opinion are valued


---members listen actively to each other




---members perform different functions as needed


---members are adaptable to changing demands


---members share responsibility


---alterrnative ideas and approaches are explored




---output is high and quality is excellent


---clear problem solving process is apparent




---individual contributions are recognized and appreciated by leader and other members


---group members feel respected


---team contributions recognized and valued by larger organization




---individuals feel good about team membership


---members have sense of pride and satisfaction about their work


---strong sense of cohesion and team spirit




What can and cannot be fixed?


---individual competence and creativity


---group composition


---organizational climate


---task and role clarity


---communication and decision making




---personality conflicts


---sub-group conflicts




---loss of members


---introduction of new members







Mission clarity and team composition


---objective of project


---selection and composition of team


---how arrived at? By whom?


Team structure


---how was the team structured in relation to the work?


---how was the leader chosen? By whom?


---.what was the division of labor between the collaborators


---clarity of roles


Team Process


---coordination of work in progress with team?


---coordination between teams and other groups


---what was nature of the decision making process?


---clarity and openness of communications


Recognition and reward


---how apportioned


---talked about at the start of the project


---where members satisfied




---what problems arose during the collaboration?


---how were they solved?


---was there a conflict resolution procedure?—was it agreed upon?


Team effectiveness


---evaluate the effectiveness of the collaboration


---did it succeed or fail?


---define level of success and creativity and member satisfaction



Rethinking Collaboration


---if you could redo your project what if anything would you do differently?






---Monitor process


---End project evaluation