Development of Group Work Skills Reflection Paper Leading a group of people can often be wearisome, a difficult job, and yet many find the experience to be completely satisfying. Satisfaction is directly related to how well-functioning the group is and how to get a group of people to work together is both an art and science. On the other hand, outside the work place, people are a part of a group work which served a vast majority of wide diversity of things. For example, recreation sports teams, hobby groups, faith-based prayer groups, volunteering and charity organization.
All these groups form a long common interest. Moreover, the purpose of this paper is to reflect on the development of group work skills based on a group demonstration in class. That will exhibit my proficiency in leading a group in session which will outline the following component: identify of key group skills and dynamics, reflect on the group challenges, reflect on the leadership style scores and belief about group structure, and the understanding of the potential effect of trauma on group members. Identifying Key Group Skills and Dynamics
The structure of the group is based on a class assignment, where five students were randomly selected to participate in a role play for 15 minutes on a specific topic with two facilitators. The vignette topic that was choose to be display is, mandated anger management group for women who have been arrested for domestic violence, where the group is in the first session. During class time, the students sat in a circle and acted out their roles. The purpose of the group was for the members to build from one another through support, strength, and empowerment.
In the beginning of group, a warm-up activity was done called round robin, where the facilitators took turn introducing themselves and welcoming the members to group. This activity continues where the members took turn introduce themselves, explaining the reason they are in group, and their expectation. During the stages of group development, numerous theoreticians conceptualized the model in their own views and based on the types of stages through which all groups pass (Toseland & Rivas, 2012). There are three stages in group development: beginning, middle, and end.
Northen and Kurland (2001), model the first stage in group development is inclusionorientation. This is the stage where the focus is on the members’ comfort and feeling of belonging in group (para. 4). For instance, based on my observation in conducting the anger management and domestic violence group, the members were not contented with each other. Some members were very quiet using the avoidance approach (Angie and Tessa) and some were apprehensive (Genie, Lauren, and Brianna). In the anger management and domestic violence group, the group was trapped in the beginning stage.
The group struggle because some of the group member’s characters were over powering. Some key group skills that was demonstrated doing the vignette are supporting, reframing and redefining, linking member’s communication, confronting, resolving conflicts, involving group members, and responding to others. Ordinary, in the anger management and domestic violence group, support was show to the members. A lot of reframing and redefining was done with the following characters: Genie, Lauren, and Brianna. Linking member’s communication was provided when most of the members in the group stated they did not like Lauren because of her attitude.
As the facilitator, I spent a lot of time confronting with Lauren due to the lack of behavior she portrays in group. I did address some of the conflicts that had occurred in group but not enough to reach goal-attainment. For example, Genie was picking on Lauren and Lauren was picking on Brianna where they were advised to stop. I tried to involved most of the members in the group discussion, when I asked the members if they agree with Lauren going back into space mode. I did respond to some of the members in the group, but not all because of Lauren character and me trying to accomplish Reflect on the Group Challenges
The first dimensions of group dynamics are the communication processes and different interaction patterns. According to Toseland and Rivas (2012), “communication is the process by which people convey meanings to each other by using symbols” (p. 69). For example, communication can also be portraying as verbal, nonverbal, and virtual languages in the group. In my group demonstration, the communication process was not encoding to my perception. As the facilitator, I was going to discuss the rules of the group, but Te’s character Lauren started to revealed her discomfort in the group by acting out.
Which cause me to lose sight of the goal. “This form of communication can also be synchronous, that is going back and forth in real time” (Toseland & Rivas, 2012, p. 70). For example, her character was so determined on not cooperating, it created synchronous form of communication which causing a case work in the group. As a facilitator I should not have engage in such behavior because that places the group in jeopardy. Additionally, Te’s character of Laruen created such a powerful fight of interaction pattern of hot seat and maypole that the group did not reach mutual aid.
The hot seat is when there is an extended back-and-forth between the leader and one member as the other members watch. Maypole is when the leader is central figure and communication occurs from the leaders to the member and from the member to the leader (Toseland & Rivas, 2012). The group did not reach stage three, mutual aid and goal achievement for a number of reasons. Indeed, the focus of the group was on one particular individual Lauren, which stop the group from sharing data among other group members. For instance, other group members like Angie and Tessa barely spoke because of Te’s character Lauren which created a dialectical process.
Another issue that stop the group from reaching stage three, is the lack of interaction from the co-facilitator. The co-facilitator (Aneesa) could have increase her assistance with structure and balancing out the other group members when they became disorderly. Furthermore, the roles that the group members played also prevent the group from function properly. Te’s character of Lauren portray a bully or warrior. She shows direct hostility toward the facilitator and other members in the group. Genie and Brianna’s characters both portray scapegoats which provokes Lauren and irritated her which cause the group to be very challenging.
The characters of Angie and Tessa both plays the silent member because they did not have a chance to express themselves. Reflect on the Leadership Style Scores and Belief About Group Structure Leadership in the social work profession has taken on greater importance in response to social, cultural, economic, and political forces that shape social services provision (Lawler, 2007). In regards to the Leadership Comfort Scale (LCS), and the Beliefs About Structure Scale (BASS) both scale helps further the process of self-assessment when identifying one’s leadership skills.
After taking both assessments it shows in the LCS that| am comfortable with when situation arise in group and BASS shows I favor a low level of structure. To reflect on both scales, I find the results to be true. I am comfortable when a situation arises, and I learn to assess the issue at hand instead of waiting when it escalates. A low level structure group means; I am more member-centered instead of leader-center. Members can help run the group instead of me being in charge all the time. To conclude about my leadership style and belief about group structure, I have to said I am democratic when it comes to leadership.
I want equal opportunity for everyone, where individual can express their thoughts of mind without second guessing themselves. Based on liberty and happiness, when a person express himself or herself with no judgement from their peers, and the psychology of thoughts creates a zone free stressor. Understanding of The Potential Effect of Trauma On Group Members Trauma disrupts the body’s natural equilibrium, freezing a person in a state of hyperarousal and fear. Many people who have experienced trauma feel disconnected, withdrawn and find it difficult to connect with other people (Pullen-Sansfacon & Ward, 2014).
For instance, Te’s character Lauren was experiencing trauma doing group session which caused her state of mind to be in a natural disaster state. Which also reflected on her thoughts and feelings to be reluctant in group. According to Mirabito (2011), “people in that stage can experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)” (pg. 250). PTSD is the psychological reaction to a severely stressful and physically threatening event that often results in anxiety, flashbacks, hypervigilance, depression, suicidal ideation, and other mental health concerns for an extended period of time.
People who experience PTSD may continue to feeling of afraid or anxious even when no danger is present. In conclusion, the development of group work skill was a great assignment that help me recognize my strengths and weakness when conducting a group. These skills will help me learned on how to sharpen my leadership style and to be more effective and proficient in my career. Moreover, conducting the angry management and domestic violence group with such strong characters illustrates that, even though, you maybe prepare and have all the tools figure out, when going in a group all expect the unexpected.