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Meeting Dynamics 



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Meeting Dynamics: Silent Forces to Weaken Group Effectiveness

Counter-productive meeting dynamics

When a team or committee can’t work to solve a problem, there may be unseen forces at work that paralyze productivity.  Below are twelve silent group dynamics that may result in counter-productive outcomes.

Anxiety   A significant problem can produce high levels of anxiety, which may, in turn, pressure a group to solve an issue quickly, even if it is not the best or most thoughtful solution.

The Unspoken  Unarticulated sensitive issues may lead a group to solve a problem that either doesn’t exist or exists in a way that the solution doesn’t address.  

Omissions  Uncomfortable or personal details involved in an issue which participants don’t want to confront can lead to weak or ineffectual decisions or outcomes.

Conformity   Pressure to conform may move a group to accept “group think” rather than exercise creative or divergent thinking.

Authoritarianism  Fear of authority may shut down the expression of thoughtful or creative problem solving.

Niceties  A desire not to offend others or make colleagues feel uneasy may dampen a group’s ability to make effective decisions or solutions.

Diffusion  Responsibility diffusion can weaken the outcomes of group work.  This occurs when group members deny or refuse to accept responsibility for a group decision.

Laziness  “Involvement laziness” can weaken group work when individuals decide they don’t have to engage or contribute to the collective effort.

Irrelevance  Group efforts will suffer if members feel they can secure safety in irrelevance.  In other words, members will focus on side issues or minutia in order to avoid an unpleasant truth or fact.

Aggrandizement  Individual power plays or self-aggrandizement can derail a group’s effectiveness.

Confusion  Lack of orientation, goals, or direction can lead a group to stagnate in confusion or “wheel spinning.”

Battles  When personal vendettas, spoken or unspoken,  play out during group work, they derail the focus and effectiveness of the group.