|I don't buy the "stages of groups" theory.||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (floriferousmsn.com)|
|Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2001 17:59:02 -0700 (MST)|
In several years of observing communities I have not observed that the patterns described by TR Ruddick to be absolute. In my experience, group theory is just that, theory, often contrived by academics for their own purposes. I have observed intentional communities to form without going through the first 3 stages as described by Mr Ruddick. I am sure there are groups which go through these, and as a general theory of groups it is not a bad one, but, from my direct experience, Mr Ruddicks group theory is hardly an absolute as claimed. I do agree that the poker chip method is an interesting way to dividing up meeting time, and I also agree that such a method might lead to disaster in some cases, and certainly should be used with an understanding of the needs behind the agenda items at the meeting. There is great variation in peoples participation in any given meeting. If you are looking for patterns of participation you should do so over a period of many meetings in order to get a better understanding of the data. Often participation is in direct response to the interest level of the agenda item to any particular person. If a normally talkative person is quiet it could be they have no interest in that agenda item, or it could be their mother died last night. Long term patterns are interesting and useful for dynamic facilitators, but observation should be coupled with query and feedback before assumptions are turned into conclusions. Rob Sandelin Community Works! -----Original Message----- From: cohousing-l-admin [at] cohousing.org [mailto:cohousing-l-admin [at] cohousing.org]On Behalf Of Ruddick, T.R. Sent: Monday, December 03, 2001 10:19 AM To: 'cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org' Subject: [C-L]_RE: As others see us/ talkers vs nontalkers Lending emphasis to what Lynn said in the following exchange: "Howard wrote >My friend Ted Kaehler devised an explicit group variant of this. > >* He brings poker chips equal to the number of minutes the meeting will last. > These are divided equally among the attendees. >... >* If you have no chips, you may not speak. However, if you wish to speak, > you may raise your hand and "beg" for a chip. ... I've been party to some attempts to have everyone speak "equally" in a group, but it doesn't always work." "Doesn't always" is a little too kind. It might, rarely, have slight short-term benefit. But in the long run this sort of artificial time-sharing will ruin the group's function and developmental process. It never works. A bit of group theory to explain why I insist on that conclusion. Groups go through four distinct stages of development (called different things by different group researchers): 1. A few authoritative leaders ("burning souls" as they're called here) with many mildly interested, passive followers. Decision making is by fiat of the leaders. 2. Open conflict, as more people become more committed and newer peoples' vision clashes with that of the original or older members. Decision making happens through political processes--coalition, debt-swapping, etc. 3. Pacification, conflict avoidance, "assumed consensus". This is the stage where the group is in danger of falling into "groupthink", the stage where people withhold feelings and thoughts. Decision-making is done quickly and without thought on major issues, although to maintain a sense of attention to detail there are some lengthy debates about relatively meaningless things. 4. High performance groups, where decisions are made by true consensus after careful consideration of each members' views. Leadership in this stage is functional and fluid, with members moving in and out of leadership positions based on their capacities to deal with the task at hand. All groups recycle through these phases whenever there's a big turnover in membership (some groups never get to stage 4--some never get past stage 1 before disintegrating). Some groups, depending on membership, go through them really fast. Your "poker chip" example would interfere with the first two stages, would get people stuck in stage 3, and would be utterly useless in stage 4. Note that some of the old methods of assessing consensus--like the red-yellow-green cards for people to hold up--would not have the same negative effect. Those techniques increase the flow of communication rather than artificially stifling it. 4. High performance. Leader _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l
- RE: As others see us/ talkers vs nontalkers, (continued)
- RE: As others see us/ talkers vs nontalkers Ruddick, T.R., December 3 2001
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