Supplemental Resources: Supporting Student Learning

Constructive and Destructive Group Behaviors

Constructive Group Behaviors

Cooperating: Is interested in the views and perspectives of the other group members and is willing to adapt for the good of the group.

Clarifying: Makes issues clear for the group by listening, summarizing, and focusing discussions.

Inspiring: Enlivens the group, encourages participation and progress.

Harmonizing: Encourages group cohesion and collaboration. For example, uses humor as a relief after a particularly difficult discussion.

Risk Taking: Is willing to risk possible personal loss or embarrassment for the group or project success.

Process Checking: Questions the group on process issues such as agenda, time frames, discussion topics, decision methods, use of information, etc.

Destructive Group Behaviors

Dominating: Takes much of the meeting time expressing own views and opinions. Tries to take control by use of power, time, etc.

Rushing: Encourages the group to move on before the task is complete. Gets “tired” of listening to others and working as a group.

Withdrawing: Removes self from discussions or decision making. Refuses to participate.

Discounting: Disregards or minimizes group or individual ideas or suggestions. Severe discounting behavior includes insults, which are often in the form of jokes.

Digressing: Rambles, tells stories, and takes group away from the primary purpose.

Blocking: Impedes group progress by obstructing all ideas and suggestions. “That will never work because…”


Adapted from Brunt (1993). Facilitation Skills for Quality Improvement. Quality Enhancement Strategies, Madison WI.

* We believe our circulation of this resource in this space is in alignment with fair use in the US. If you are interested in recirculating this resource, we recommend that you make your own fair use assessment in consultation with the source above, that you include attributions and links to the original sources, and that you include a similar attributions statement to ensure that future adaptors also provide careful credit for their adaptations.

Download as PDF


Constructive and Destructive Group Behaviors Copyright © by Christian Castro; Naomi Salmon; and Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence. All Rights Reserved.

Share This Book