Effective Group Climate

An effective group climate is characterized by:

  1. Supportiveness

  2. Participative decision making

  3. Trust among group members

  4. Openness and candor

  5. High performance goals –Gamble and Gamble

Characteristics of an effective and well-functioning group

  1. The atmosphere tends to be informal, comfortable and relaxed.

  2. There is a lot of discussion in which virtually everyone participates, but it remains pertinent to the task.

  3. The task or objective is well understood and accepted by the members. There will have been free discussion of the objectives at some point until it was formulated in such a way that the group members could commit themselves to it.

  4. The members listen to each other. Every idea is given a hearing. People do not appear to be afraid of being foolish. They will offer a creative thought even if it seems fairly extreme.

  5. There is disagreement. Disagreements are not suppressed or overwritten by premature action. The reasons are clearly examined and the group seeks to resolve disagreement rather than dominate dissenters.

  6. Most decisions are reached by a kind of consensus in which it’s clear that everyone is in general agreement and willing to go along. Formal voting is at a minimum. The group does not accept a simple majority as a proper basis for action.

  7. Criticism is frequent, frank and relatively comfortable. There is little evidence of personal attack, either overt or hidden.

  8. People are free to express their feelings and their ideas about the problem and group’s operation.

  9. When action is taken clear assignments are made and accepted.

  10. The chairperson of the group does not dominate it, nor does the group defer unduly to him/her. Leadership shifts from time to time depending on the circumstances. There is little evidence of a struggle for power as the group operates. The issue is not who controls but how to get the job done.

  11. The group is conscious of its own operation. Gamble and Gamble

Gamble, Terri Cwal, and Michael Gamble. (1999). Communication Works
Sixth Edition. Boston: McGraw Hill College.

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