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…”


Attributions

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


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MTLE Resources by Christian Castro, Naomi Salmon, and Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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