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Understanding group dynamics to build and lead high-performance teams: PACAF 18 CES Workshop

An effective and ethical leader will put "I" in "Team" by balancing the needs of the individual with the needs of the group

KADENA AIR FORCE BASE, OKINAWA -- Members of the Pacific Air Force Civil Engineering Squadron on Kadena Air Base joined Dr. Brent Duncan to discuss building high performace teams in challenging environments. Key topics included:

  • Fundamentals of group dynamics through perspectives of systems theory
  • Organizational behavior and social psychology
  • The role conflict plays in driving individual and group performace and satisfaction
  • Reducing social loafing by recognizing and rewarding individuals according to contribution in group processes
  • Intervention strategies for accelerating and maintaining group performance 
  • The ethical and practical value of balancing individual needs with group goals

Workshop resources

Following are resources from the workshop, including slides and notes, Team Stages Exercise, and Conflict Modes Instrument.

Slides and Notes>

Full slide set from "Understanding group dynamics to build and lead high-performance teams." Covers the following objectives: Explore the fundamentals of group dynamics; Understand the role conflict plays in driving individual and team performance; Determine the characteristics of an effective team; Identify and explain team member roles and responsibilities; Apply group dynamics theory to develop practical models for effective teamwork; Consider intervention strategies to accelerate and maintain team performance.

Duncan's Team Stages Exercise and Resources>

Team Stages Exercise is a team intervention and development tool for helping established teams assess individual and group perceptions about team development to identify strategies for enhancing and maintaining group perforamance.

Instructions: Have each team member complete the survey and tally their results, then combine the scores for a team profile. Compare your scores against the provided materials to understand what the results mean and to identify strategies for enhancing individual and team performance. The instrument includes detailed instructions and teaching materials. 

Thomas-Killman Conflict Mode Instrument>

Instructions: Print copies for each team member to complete, then discuss your results to develop strategies for managing conflict for performance. Consider asking questions like:

  1. What are your results?
  2. Are the results what you expected? Are they valid?
  3. Did you discover you have a dominant style or are they all the same? What does this suggest about you?
  4. Do others have the same perception of you as your results suggest?
  5. Considering the different conflict styles, what strategies can you develop to manage conflict for performance in your team?