What fascinated me about participating in the opening P/KE #116 workshop was the way in which the faculty, in particular Wayne Strom, PhD, Professor of Behavioral Science, who led much of this workshop with a focus on leadership challenges, took a group of assertive, dynamic, successful, take-charge leaders and built a cohesive, supportive team of co-students. At different times the class worked in partnerships, in small groups, and as one large group. Over the duration of this intensive workshop, each member of the group learned how to recognize and overcome personal weaknesses, how to acknowledge and build others’ strengths, and how to help one another develop skills to create a synergistic whole. Instead of reacting as competitors, class members became comrades, building mutual respect that lay the foundation for establishing and maintaining networking, mentoring, and advising relationships throughout their professional lives.
My participation in the class was as one of the students. Even though my career experience as an editor is different from that of a corporate president or CEO, the level of professionalism and respect dictated that I be given equal opportunity, equal say, and equal responsibility for the success of the group. What I took away from this experience will stay with me for a long time as important attributes that every business person should seek to instill in building successful teams of employees. The experience also reinforced a personal commitment to continue seeking to live each moment to its fullest and at my personal best.
Getting to the point, below are just a few of the key points that I learned for developing group dynamics.
- The voice of each individual counts, so listen.
- Participate and encourage everyone else to participate because everyone has something to contribute.
- Build trust by being candid with as well as respectful of others.
- Take responsibility for your actions and reactions in the group environment.
- Remember that focusing on weaknesses undermines, but focusing on strengths supports.
- Know your weaknesses so you can grow; know your strengths so you can stretch.
- Stand by your convictions, but remember the group is not always right or always wrong, and neither are you.
- Figure out your priorities so that at the end of the day you know what can’t be left undone.
- Characteristics of integrity, honesty, and fairness matter more than who goes home with the most marbles. “Marbles” are soon spent, while the characteristics are perpetual currency.
- Understand what’s in the box, so you can think outside of the box.