Meaning and Definition of Group Dynamics and Leadership | Characteristics, Types, Importance

The team “Group Dynamics” is concerned with the interactions and forces among group members in an organisation. Group dynamics refer to the adjustive

Group Dynamics

The team “Group Dynamics” is concerned with the interactions and forces among group members in an organisation. Group dynamics refer to the adjustive changes that take place in the group structure as a result of changes in any part of it. As Kurt Lewin puts it, “a change in a part brings change throughout the entire system analogous to the change witnessed in an electrical or magnetic field.” The adjustive changes may take place in the process of interpersonal behaviour or intergroup behaviour.

Group Dynamics and Leadership

Definition of Group

1. Group is defined as consisting of individuals who perceive the existence of a group and their members in it.

2. Group is defined on the basis of a common motivation or goal.

3. It is the relationships among group members which binds them together into a group.

Types of Group Dynamics

1. Formal Group Dynamics

The purpose of a formal group is to perform tasks and meet specific targets. The primary responsibility is to drive business goals and they are a result of an organization’s structure. Formal groups serve a strictly functional purpose and individuals typically function under the guidance of a leader (e.g., manager). Departments, committees and boards of directors are a few examples of formal groups in an organization.

Formal group members are required to work with each other for a certain period of time. Group formation isn’t always a smooth process because not everyone can build rapport immediately. Its group dynamics highly depends on the leader, how they manage the team and delegate responsibilities. But continuous communication and collaboration encourage members to increase personal interactions, improving group efficiency.

2. Informal Group Dynamics

Informal groups are a result of socio-psychological forces that encourage people to interact and engage with each other. Individuals working together are bound to form social groups because humans are social animals. We socialize for various reasons—minimize monotony in the workplace, defeat psychological fatigue and boredom. We simply enjoy others’ company and develop a genuine liking.

Informal group dynamics are tricky to navigate because there aren’t any rules or regulations governing a group. We form them organically as we find like-minded people we can connect with. Most informal groups are small in size, making room for resentment. People outside the groups often feel left out or uncomfortable. Moreover, personal differences are more likely to manifest because informal groups aren’t very stable. Nonetheless, they have the power to influence the effectiveness of an organization.

Characteristics of Group Dynamics

  1. Group dynamics describes how a group should be organised and operated. This includes pattern of leadership and cooperation.
  2. Group dynamics consists of a set of techniques such as role playing, brainstorming, group therapy, sensitivity training etc.
  3. Group dynamics deals with internal nature of groups, their formation, structure and process, and the way they affect individual members, other groups and the organisation as a whole.
  4. Group dynamics refers to changes which take place within groups and is concerned with the interaction and forces ob­tained between group members in a social setting.

Importance of Group Dynamics

There are many problems of human behaviour which have disturbed the man from the very beginning. There are certain questions which may be asked about the human relations and the group behaviour that are very difficult to answer.

Principles of Group Dynamics

In order to achieve the best use of Group Dynamics the following principles of group dynamics have been discussed by Dorwin Carl Wright and they are as follows:

(1). If the group is to be used effectively as a medium of change, those people who are to be changed and those who are to exert influence of change must have a strong sense of belongingness to the same group.

(2). The more attractive the group is to its members the greater is the influence that the group can exert on its members.

(3). In an attempt to change attitudes, values or behaviour, the more relevant they are to the basis of attraction on the groups, the greater will be the influence that the group can exert upon the members.

(4). The greater the prestige of a group member in the eyes of the other members, the greater the influence he can exert.

(5). Efforts to change individuals or sub-parts of a group, which, if successful, would have the effect of making them deviate from the norms of the group, will encounter strong resistance.

(6). Information relating to the need for change, plans for change and consequences of change must be shared by all relevant people in the group.

(7). Strong pressure for change in the group can be established by creating a shared perception by the members of the need for change, thus making the source of pressure for change lie within the group.

(8). Change in one part of a group produce strain in other related parts which can be reduced only by eliminating the change or by bringing about re-adjustment in related parts.

Leadership

Leadership is defined as a relationship between one or more individuals and one or more other individuals within the framework of the social unit called a group. One part of the group is being called leader or leaders, while the other part is comprised of followers. In this relationship the activities of the followers are initiated, stimulated, and sometimes even determined and controlled by the leader.

Definition of Leadership

According to Keith Davis, “Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards goals.”

Elements of Leadership

1. Vision of a leader

Leading means having a vision and sharing it with others. Only when you get to inspire others, it is possible to share a common goal towards which to direct the efforts and dedication of the entire team. What is your vision? Your vision must be bold and ambitious. You need to aim high. Creating a vision is quite complicated and will require to take your team and define your company 10 years from now. Will you be able to dominate your sector? Will you be able to create a leading company in your sector? Being a leader a create a vision requires time.

2. Motivation

A leader knows how to motivate better than anyone else; it is one of their main functions as people managers. Through motivation, a leader channels their coworkers energy and professional potential in order to achieve objectives. This is a very important feature in a leader. You need to talk to your team, ask them questions, let them talk, listen and understand what they need. Leading is not about talking and giving orders, is about listening and creating the perfect environment for each one in your team.

3. Serving as a Leader

The leader is at the service of the team, and not the other way around. Group members must have and feel the support of their leader, the tools needed to do their jobs properly must be available to them, they must have recognition for their efforts and know that there is a person paying attention in order to correct bad habits. That is all part of a leadership which serves the team, and not the opposite.

4. Empathy

One of the basic qualities of any leader seeking success is precisely emotional intelligence, that ability often innate that makes leaders put themselves in the place of others, understand their concerns and solve problems. Leaders know the secrets of their businesses and therefore can empathize with customers and members of their teams: that empathy gets to inspire and establish links that will ultimately lead to success.

5. Creativity

The definition of leadership also has to do with creativity. Good leaders are able to create an environment that will encourage all the members of their team to develop their skills and imagination, so that they can contribute to the common project and vision of the company. If you want to lead successfully, respect the creativity of others and learn from the people around you; their ideas will surely prove to be positive for you.

Characteristics of Leadership

  1. It is a inter-personal process in which a manager is into influencing and guiding workers towards attainment of goals.
  2. It denotes a few qualities to be present in a person which includes intelligence, maturity and personality.
  3. It is a group process. It involves two or more people interacting with each other.
  4. A leader is involved in shaping and moulding the behaviour of the group towards accomplishment of organizational goals.
  5. Leadership is situation bound. There is no best style of leadership. It all depends upon tackling with the situations.

Importance of Leadership

Leadership is an important function of management which helps to maximize efficiency and to achieve organizational goals. The following points justify the importance of leadership in a concern.

1. Initiates action:- Leader is a person who starts the work by communicating the policies and plans to the subordinates from where the work actually starts.

2. Providing guidance:- A leader has to not only supervise but also play a guiding role for the subordinates. Guidance here means instructing the subordinates the way they have to perform their work effectively and efficiently.

3. Creating confidence:- Confidence is an important factor which can be achieved through expressing the work efforts to the subordinates, explaining them clearly their role and giving them guidelines to achieve the goals effectively. It is also important to hear the employees with regards to their complaints and problems.

4. Building morale:- Morale denotes willing co-operation of the employees towards their work and getting them into confidence and winning their trust. A leader can be a morale booster by achieving full co-operation so that they perform with best of their abilities as they work to achieve goals.

5. Builds work environment:- Management is getting things done from people. An efficient work environment helps in sound and stable growth. Therefore, human relations should be kept into mind by a leader. He should have personal contacts with employees and should listen to their problems and solve them. He should treat employees on humanitarian terms.

6. Co-ordination:- Co-ordination can be achieved through reconciling personal interests with organizational goals. This synchronization can be achieved through proper and effective co-ordination which should be primary motive of a leader.

Qualities of a Leader

A leader has got multidimensional traits in him which makes him appealing and effective in behavior. The following are the requisites to be present in a good leader:

1. Physical appearance:- A leader must have a pleasing appearance. Physique and health are very important for a good leader.

2. Vision and foresight:- A leader cannot maintain influence unless he exhibits that he is forward looking. He has to visualize situations and thereby has to frame logical programmes.

3. Intelligence:- A leader should be intelligent enough to examine problems and difficult situations. He should be analytical who weighs pros and cons and then summarizes the situation. Therefore, a positive bent of mind and mature outlook is very important.

4. Communicative skills:- A leader must be able to communicate the policies and procedures clearly, precisely and effectively. This can be helpful in persuasion and stimulation.

5. Objective:- A leader has to be having a fair outlook which is free from bias and which does not reflects his willingness towards a particular individual. He should develop his own opinion and should base his judgement on facts and logic.

6. Knowledge of work:- A leader should be very precisely knowing the nature of work of his subordinates because it is then he can win the trust and confidence of his subordinates.

7. Sense of responsibility:- Responsibility and accountability towards an individual’s work is very important to bring a sense of influence. A leader must have a sense of responsibility towards organizational goals because only then he can get maximum of capabilities exploited in a real sense. For this, he has to motivate himself and arouse and urge to give best of his abilities. Only then he can motivate the subordinates to the best.

8. Self-confidence and will-power:- Confidence in himself is important to earn the confidence of the subordinates. He should be trustworthy and should handle the situations with full will power.

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