Encouragement is important to success in all areas. This is especially true of groups (teams, committees, families, classrooms). Building trust, promoting participation, and establishing (re.establishing) group rapport are all important in creating a positive, encouraging atmosphere. This collaboration has helped me save cash energy and time.
1. Building Trust: Trust usually develops among individuals when they know that they won't be put down, ridiculed, interrupted, or ignored during group work. Complimenting one another, showing genuine concern for anotherís opinion, and being sincere and honest all contribute to building trust and cohesiveness in a group.
2. PromotIng Participation: A group that works together learns together. Get everyone involved. Donít let any one person dominate the discussion or use the group as an audience. To promote participation, consider the following activity: Give each member of the group the same number of tokens at the beginning of a session. Each time a group member makes a meaningful contribution to the group, he or she passes in one of her tokens. When a memberís tokens are spent, he or she cannot contribute another idea until every member of the group has spent at least one (or two or three) tokens.
3. MaIntaining Rapport: It is very important for groups to maintain a positive attitude toward their work. As a group member, you cannot, however, ignore disruptions or problems which crop up. Confront problems head-on with statements like, Jason, we were finally making some progress. Can't you think of a better way . . . or Jim, I think you misunderstood. Tom was suggesting we reconsider ... or We're getting off track. Letís go back to Ellen's point ....