Monday, March 27, 2017

The Unique Factors That Go into Creating Positive Group Dynamics

As medical director of the Geriatric and Neuropsychiatry Treatment Unit at MetroWest Medical Center, Dr. Antonio Bullon ensures that his multidisciplinary team provides quality care for older adults. Dr. Antonio Bullon has both a personal and professional interest in human group behavior and the way in which professionals can break down barriers and achieve positive communication and understanding. 

The term "group dynamics” dates back to the 1940s, when Kurt Lewin used it as a way of defining the behaviors and roles that individuals assume when part of a group. The term is used as a way of describing both the effect of individuals on other members and on the entire group. 

Positive group dynamics are built upon a sense of trust and by members engaging toward a collective decision. In successful groups, individuals hold well-defined roles and are held accountable for achievements, or lack thereof. There is a psychological penalty associated with holding the group back and positive feedback associated with doing one’s task creatively and efficiently. 

Setting in place a productive group dynamic involves knowing the strengths and weaknesses of individual members and how to juxtapose them for maximum impact. At the same time, it is important to understand the various phases groups go through as they coalesce upon a shared goal and ethos. This was famously laid out in the 1960s by psychologist Bruce Tuckman through the catch phrase "forming, storming, norming, and performing.”