Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Negativity in groups - issues in team coaching

We'd had  a great day - the group were humming with creativity and the outputs from their discussions covered the walls. I was bringing it to close when a voice piped up from the back. "What's the point?" he asked, "Nobody's going to listen us-  even if they did, what we've come up with is never going to work!". The mood in the room plummeted and several members of the group rounded on the dissenter - why hadn't he raised his concerns earlier in the day, why was he being so negative? Some of the group even made fun of him "Trust you to see the dark side, keep us grounded why don't you!"

Dealing with negativity can be a real challenge as a group facilitator. You want all perspectives to be represented and know that sometimes it is the 'marginal voice' that brings fresh perspective and guards against group think. However the negative voice often isn't interested in solutions so much as proving to others that their pessimistic views are right and realistic - " We're all doomed and I predicted it". Its therefore sometimes a fine line between supporting difference and keeping productive work flowing. All in a days work...

1 comment:

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