The Essential Power of Group Work

Participation in my Wiki Group allowed me to develop and improve many skills, abilities, and competencies. It is possible to admit that my colleagues and I did our best to create positive group dynamics. Firstly, we relied on verbal and written communication since we interacted via phone and text messages. Secondly, group cohesion was also established at a decent level. This statement is justified because we had a sense of community to achieve shared goals, and Toseland and Rivas (2017) clarify that this sense is a characteristic feature of group cohesion. Thirdly, social integration and influence were ensured because we selected specific roles and followed them throughout our cooperation. According to Toseland and Rivas (2017), this condition was necessary to make members’ behavior predictable, which positively affected our interactions. Fourthly, our work benefited from group culture because we had common values (Toseland & Rivas, 2017). In particular, we focused on performing individual responsibilities to contribute to the overall success of the group project.

At the beginning of work, we shared responsibilities and clearly defined our roles. Toseland and Rivas (2017) stipulate that roles “define behavior in relation to a specific function or task that the group member is expected to perform” (p. 102). Even though we divided the assignments equally so that everyone dealt with their work and research, I also performed the role of a facilitator. Since we shared what we had written via email, my task was to proofread, adjust, and edit almost every assignment to ensure that the works met academic writing standards. With this, I cannot say that my contribution was more important than the other colleagues’. Since we worked as a group, each member was expected to perform their tasks to ensure that the group’s overall goals were achieved.

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Although I was not the group leader or coach, I still used some empowerment strategies to move the group forward. Empowering members denotes making them “willing participants in the planned change process” (Toseland & Rivas, 2017, p. 118). In particular, I relied on a few empowerment strategies to achieve the most optimal outcomes. Firstly, I provided my colleagues with positive verbal reinforcement upon reading and editing their assignments. I believe that this activity made the members more interested in the work. Secondly, I advocated for using mutual aid in our Wiki Project. According to Drumm (2006), this strategy empowers individuals to interact more effectively because they share their experience and skills, contributing to significant outcomes. The example of mutual aid referred to the fact when I agreed to proofread extra assignments, while Luz, the group leader, met my requirement to extend the previously established deadlines. Consequently, I can say that my empowerment strategies resulted in essential benefits for individual members and the whole group.

Irrespective of the information above, I now understand that I could implement additional empowerment approaches to achieve better outcomes. On the one hand, I would draw less attention to the colleagues’ mistakes in their works. I now understand that highlighting errors is not the most productive strategy because an efficient approach is to focus on a person’s strengths. That is why I would avoid criticizing my colleagues to empower them. On the other hand, I would offer to introduce flexibility in our group. In particular, switching our roles for a limited period of time could be a practical strategy to make each member understand the importance of others’ roles and contributions.

References

Drumm, K. (2006). The essential power of group work. Social Work with Groups, 29(2-3), 17-31. Web.

Toseland, R. W., & Rivas, R. F. (2017). An introduction to group work practice (8th ed.). Pearson.

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