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Skills for a Healthy Group Climate

Skills for a Healthy Group Climate

Skills for a Healthy Group Climate

To work together successfully, group members must demonstrate a sense of cohesion. Cohesion emerges as group members exhibit the following skills:

  • Openness
  • Trust and Self-Disclosure.
  • Support
  • Respect
  • Individual Responsibility and Accountability.
  • Constructive Feedback.
  1. Openness

Group members are willing to get to know one another, particularly those with different interests and backgrounds. They are open to new ideas, diverse viewpoints, and the variety of individuals present within the group.

They listen to others and elicit their ideas. They know how to balance the need for cohesion within a group with the need for individual expression.

  1. Trust and Self-Disclosure

Group members trust one another enough to share their ideas and feelings.

A sense of mutual trust develops only to the extent that everyone is willing to self-disclose and be honest yet respectful. Trust also grows as a group the members demonstrate personal accountability for the tasks they have been assigned.

  1. Support

Group members demonstrate support for one another as they accomplish their goals. They exemplify a sense of team loyalty and both cheer on the group as a whole and help members who are experiencing difficulties.

They view one another not as competitors (which is common within a typically individualistic educational system) but as collaborators.

  1. Respect

Group members communicate their opinions in a way that respects others, focusing on “What can we learn?” rather than “Who is to blame?”

  1. Individual Responsibility and Accountability

All group members agree on what needs to be done and by whom. Each member determines what he or she needs to do and takes responsibility to complete the task(s).

They can be held accountable for their tasks, and they hold others accountable for theirs.

  1. Constructive Feedback

Group members can give and receive feedback about group ideas. Giving constructive feedback requires focusing on ideas and behaviors, instead of individuals, being as positive as possible and offering suggestions for improvement. Receiving feedback requires listening well, asking for clarification if the comment is unclear, and being open to change and other ideas.

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