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The HaBO Village Podcast

The Power of Group Dynamics [Podcast]

Episode 22: In this episode, Michael and Kathryn discuss the reasons why you should pay attention to group dynamics and how they affect your company and customers. This podcast will help you understand why dynamics change with different group sizes and how to best communicate in each setting.

A thought bubble on a meeting table

In This Episode You Will Learn:

  • The difference between interpersonal communication and communication in a group setting.

  • The 6 basic stages of communication.

  • Why feedback loops are important and how to use them.

  • The different types of groups based on size and examples of dynamics that can occur in each setting.

  • 6 key things to focus on if you want to improve your skills in managing group dynamics.

  • How understanding group dynamics will increase Passion and Provision in your company.

 

"As a leader in a Passion and Provision Company, you've got to have good communication. You've got to be able to communicate your vision clearly to everyone in the organization; you have to know that they 'get it'; and you have to know that when they say, 'I understand,' that they are actually understanding what you intended."

– Michael Redman

Take the Leadership Blindspot Quiz

References:

Malcom Gladwell

 

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Michael:        Hello and welcome to HaBO Village Podcast. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
      And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
      And we are delighted to have you with us today. We're glad to be here back in the studio. And today we're talking about...


Kathryn:
      Group dynamics.


Michael:
      Group dynamics. We have, if you paid attention to our model on the... I think the third podcast. Might be the second, where we talked about the nine areas of business, which we actually converted somewhere along the line to four. Doesn't mean there's not nine anymore, but what we did is regroup them, and you'll see that in one of our other podcasts.

                                    I'm clarifying a little bit. Really what we're saying is this. That we talk about the four core areas of business and those are, leadership, marketing, management and finance. If you have those four wheels on your car, you're going to get along way and they're in good shape, and full of air and lots of tread.

                                    The next thing that we talk about on a regular basis is another four really important key soft skills, that kind of float through all of it. And they are soft skills that we have talked about over the years, and noticed in our own business in another people's businesses, clients that we've worked with. That these are really super important skills.

                                    One of those skills is group dynamics. Today we're going to talk about it, and I think you're going to see how this connects to passionate provision. But it has to do with a category of interpersonal skills. That's super, super important.

                                    You just have to learn how to deal with people in a whole lot of different areas of business. If you're the type of person who is introverted and you don't want to deal with people, you prefer not to and you want to be in business, you need a business that doesn't require you to deal with people. Customers or employees.


Kathryn:
      Good luck for any man.


Michael:
      Then you can slowly increase the amount of people you interact with. But group dynamics is super important. But what we're not talking about is a direct one on one interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence, in that context. Emotional intelligence is really important.


Kathryn:
      It's important for every single area of your communication. But when we talk about national intelligence, oftentimes we start talking about one-to-one relationships and just that inner personal place where you are assessing another human, and your own emotions. And just learning to interact while in that. That's incredibly important in group dynamics-


Michael:
      That's a different podcast.


Kathryn:
      It's not what we're talking about today.


Michael:
      What we are talking about is, when we talk about group dynamics, we mean...


Kathryn:
      We mean essentially anytime there is more than you in the room, you've got two people, you've got five to 10 people, maybe you've got 15. Maybe you've got 150 or more.


Michael:
      Two or more in the room.


Kathryn:
      Two or more besides you.


Michael:
      Should we say three or more? To stop-


Kathryn:
      Where three or more are gathered, we have group dynamics.


Michael:
      What we're going to do, we've spent a lot of time thinking about this. I've spent years thinking about this, and you have done the same Kathryn. We do a lot of public speaking. We do guest speaking. We work and speak to rooms in our company, of our staff. That's less than 12 people.

                                    Sometimes at Christmas we're up to 15-18 people. But we have those types of small groups that we deal with at work. We have clients that come in various numbers. They might come in as just the leader, might come in with a small group, a really small group. Two or three might be more, we're going to talk about that.

                                    We will speak at the university at times here in our community and you see somewhere between, 15-20 to 30-40, 50 in a scenario like that. Then we'll speak in front of crowds that may be, five, six, 700 people and sometimes a little bit more. But mostly that's kind of the size.

                                    We see this gamut, and then we do a lot of dialogue. We're going to walk through those things. Kathryn, what's the difference between a one-on-one when we step into just a one-on-two? What changes the dynamics?


Kathryn:
      Well, whenever you add multiple people and personalities to a room, the dynamic is going to automatically shift. Now you no longer have your own world and your own interior, but you have one other person's. You actually got a third, and those two people are impacting each other.

                                    There is this kind of multiplied effect when you move from just one of you to even just two more people. Then as you go beyond that, the effect continues to multiply. For example, if you are one on one with an introvert, you're probably going to have a decent conversation.

                                    But you start to go one to two, and the second person in the room, besides the introvert is an extrovert. It's going to completely shift the dynamic and you're going to have to work differently in order to actually get anything out of the introvert.


Michael:
      Well, even if you step back from the introvert extrovert part, right?


Kathryn:
      Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Michael:
      When you're just talking to one person, you can share your thoughts, they can share your thoughts. If you've ever had problems communicating and having your ideas understood or having somebody else feel like they're being understood in a one on one conversation, you can understand how difficult that is.

                                    As soon as you add a second person, now you've got a dynamic of how do you share thoughts, how do you share ideas, how do people understand each other? It's probably really good for us even though we'll talk more about this in the one-on-one in EQ Podcast. For us to talk about briefly, just reminding everybody the really core of communication. Of one-on-one interpersonal communication and how it works. It's really a one, two, three, four, five, six, I'm going to say six steps, for the sake of this conversation. Or six parts.

                                    The first thing is, everybody has a thought, or emotion or an idea. When we communicate, we often our thoughts in the way we talk or our body language, everything else seem to just kind of all happen at the same time. For some people there's a distinct separation. But for all of us we have a thought, an idea. We have an emotion-


Kathryn:
      An emotion attached to that in terms of how important that better idea happens to be. How it is close to your heart.


Michael:
      That's the first thing, is you have a thought or an idea. Then second thing is you choose to translate that, or in some people's cases there is no buffer there. They just translated into saying something, or body language or something like that. Right? There's some type of translation into a language or some kind of messaging or something that sends it to somebody else. It might be a written letter. It might be your voice.


Kathryn:
      Might be really snarky Facebook post.


Michael:
      It might be that. It might be that look you get from your spouse, or your friend that just says, you just stepped over the line and you know it. Then the third stage is it has to... well, I'll come back to three because it sounds a little confusing. One, you have the thought. Two, you communicate. Three, it goes through noise and we'll come back.

                                    Four, the person perceives it. The other person perceives it and then they translate. They hear your words or they see your body language, or they read your letter or note and then they translate that in their mind to what they're hearing. It's hard to notice that.

                                    But if you're dealing with a different language, or a dialect or anything else, and you're like, "Okay, what was it they said? I'm not sure I even understood them trying English." Or, "They're speaking Spanish and I know I've got to go back to my high school, college Spanish and try and translate. What was that?" Think about it. Translate. Okay. That's what they said. And they meant by that. If you're listening to the British and you hear the word kerfuffle...


Kathryn:
      It's a brilliant word.


Michael:
      A brilliant word, you have to go, "Okay, I heard the word kerfuffle."


Kathryn:
      What does that mean?


Michael:
      What does that mean?


Kathryn:
      This is created kerfuffle.


Michael:
      You have to know what it means in Great Britain, and you have to know what it means in America, and try and understand which perspective the person communicating has. Because they may, they may not know. There's a confusion.


Kathryn:
      You clarify, you proceed, you hear, you translate, you actually get the words. Then the next step is that you actually, as a person receiving that message, you begin to translate the implications of what that word is, or what that communication was, what it meant, how they set it.

                                    All of those things are happening. They're often happening at a subconscious level. But you're actually translating what it is that that person tried to communicate to.


Michael:
      Now, we're dragging this out a little bit just to initiate, just to really look. It's like imagine seeing this communication that happens in 3.2 seconds, and we filmed in slow motion. Now we're talking about each segment. The thought. The communication. The fact that somebody heard it or saw it, they translated an idea in their mind. Then they had a reaction. When that that translation brings a reaction.

                                    Then, what often happens is that three that I said, that was confusing, the third step of noise. That the noise in the world can confuse the messaging. One is you don't fully pay attention, because the noise in the world is like very much like... I'm trying to think of a great analogy.


Kathryn:
      A dramatic pause.


Michael:
      A dramatic pause. Very much like just a really loud lawnmower outback when you're trying to talk and all of a sudden it starts where a large truck that goes by, all of a sudden it's harder to hear. There's this noise messing up the communication. Well bad handwriting can do that. Poor English can do that, a poor choice and then all the other distractions in the world can do it.


Kathryn:
      Then beyond the distractions in the world, you've also got internal noise. You've got, what kind of day is that person having, what's happening for them. What are they going to be translating through?

                                    We were talking a little bit about this yesterday and one of the really easy examples and again, just that one-on-one communication is the husband says to his wife, "You look really great today." If she's having a good day and she's internally not full of noise, then the answer to that is, "Thank you, I really appreciate that." But if she's having a rough day or isn't feeling great about herself, the response might be more like, "Did I not look good yesterday?" Right? I mean, do you understand how that happens?


Michael:
      You look like you lost some weight.


Kathryn:
      Was I fat yesterday? Right? That's a lot of what tends to go wrong sometimes in communication, is that, I'm meant to compliment you. And because of the noise in your internal world, you did not receive it and translate it the way that I meant it. And that can get very dicey.


Michael:
      Super dicey. When we talk about all those things, why did we go through this? The next major phase of this communication is if you, if you're doing it well, you ask or...


Kathryn:
      There's a feedback loop.


Michael:
      There's a feedback loop. What I heard you say was, that, I don't look fat today.


Kathryn:
      That I didn't look that yesterday.


Michael:
      Then you can say no, no, no, no. What I said was, "It looks like you've lost some weight. I never said anything about you being fat." That kind of, "Oh, all right. But I heard." See because this is what we do sometimes. We'll say, "I heard." And some people know they, actually recite exactly what you said when they say, "I heard you say." Some people recite what they think the intention was.


Kathryn:
      Many people actually assume intention. And that's a whole nother world of conversation. This isn't a counseling session, but-


Michael:
      But no. The reason this is important for this subject though, for all of us, is you have to understand how a single one-on-one conversation can go sideways. Then when we step into group dynamics-


Kathryn:
      You just multiply it. It's such a good time.


Michael:
      This is exponential potential...


Kathryn:
      Kerfuffle.


Michael:
      Kerfuffle.


Kathryn:
      To come back to my favorite British word. That's not my favorite, though.


Michael:
      It is totally. That's really important. That's why we talk about the theory. Two people, and you have a thought or an idea that person communicates it. It goes through all the noise of the world, distractions and everything else. External and internal potential. It's perceived then it's translated and understood, and then that person reacts.

                                    Then hopefully there's a feedback loop and good communication has the feedback loop, so that the first person can change their communication as needed to refine how well something's received. If it's the opposite and you go, yes, that's it.

                                    To be able to say that now, what happens in group dynamics is the feedback loop gets harder and harder to have the more people are in a group dynamic. When we have two or three people in the room, to 10 or 11-12, technically in research and everything else we have what we call small group.

                                    In small group research and academics, they say somewhere around 10 to 15 people is where the dynamics of having conversation that is interactive and everybody can be involved at some level starts to break down.


Kathryn:
      They say basically as soon as you get to about 15, it's time to potentially start a second small group, or branch off so that everybody in the group actually can input and can have valuable conversation and interaction.


Michael:
      If the goal is for that.


Kathryn:
      If that's the goal, yes.


Michael:
      And that's what is really important about small groups, because in a small group environment, you're trying to either make sure that you're communicating in a way that everybody understands. You can ask and it doesn't take too long.

                                    Second, people can share their thoughts and ideas. The group can benefit from those thoughts and ideas. But as soon as you move past 15, roughly 15, 12 to 15, what you start to have is you start to run out of time. Because it just becomes physically impossible to shove all those thoughts and ideas and communicate.

                                    What else happens is people start to stop talking, because they're nervous or uncomfortable with sharing their thoughts.


Kathryn:
      Till they leave the room.


Michael:
      And sometimes it's uncomfortable because the rooms too big. Sometimes it's, they don't know if they can trust everybody in the room. Because, to really be honest, to have honest communication you have to have trust.

                                    What starts to happen is this group dynamic. As a leader in a passionate provision company, you've got to have good communication. You've got to be able to communicate your vision clearly to everybody in the organization.

                                    You've got to know that they get it. And you've got to know that when they say, I understand, that they're actually understanding what you-


Kathryn:
      Intended.


Michael:
      Intended. And there are several ways you can watch that. One of them is, their behaviors in the company. But the larger the group gets in your organization, the more employees there are or anything else, the harder it is to observe everybody's behavior.

                                    There's lots of tricky things that go into having group dynamics. That's real important. Plus, you're hoping that all these people have a great amount of intelligence, and they're helping the organization and when they see something with customers, or with a problem with operations or anything else. That they can feedback to leadership in inappropriate ways.

                                    You can get fairly fast intel, and you can also make a judgment and improve product service or anything else. And you know that the system is working like a finely tuned machine. That's why group dynamics is so important because it relies on people communicating, and you as a leader communicating with multiple people, and receiving that information back.

                                    What we see here is, we're going to walk through really quick. The different steps as we see are the different types of groups that we think there are. The first is, we really think if you have three in the room, you and to others, that's one. Then we go to one to five. And then after that...


Kathryn:
      You're kind of looking at 10 to 15.


Michael:
      That small group.


Kathryn:
      Then beyond that it's sort of like, 150 plus. There's just this sort of no man's land in between 15 and a very big group. Because again, once you get past about that 15 market, it just shifts the dynamics.


Michael:
      You start to have multiple small groups. Then, what you'll see in a company, just as a side note, you see leadership starting to be developed. Once you get past probably 20 people, you start to see a need for...


Kathryn:
      Middle management.


Michael:
      Middle management.


Kathryn:
      Yes, definitely.


Michael:
      At least some kind of leadership structure. Directors or something like that, because Kathryn, gives me responsibility for somebody else. All of a sudden now there's three steps in that communication. And that's where it starts happening. Then it jumps to 150. But why 150 Kathryn? Do you remember?


Kathryn:
      I don't.


Michael:
      That's fine. See I put her on the spot.


Kathryn:
      There's an honest answer. No, I don't remember why.


Michael:
      One of the things that's interesting about 150, you may have read this in, Malcolm Gladwell, talks a little bit about it. There is a lot of other folks that talk about it in dynamics. There is some research that was studied decades ago on how large of a group of people can you handle? It was looking at different animals.


Kathryn:
      Oh, I remember.


Michael:
      Yes?


Kathryn:
      I think the concept, if I say it correctly and if not I'll get corrected. Is that 150 is about the maximum amount of relationships that any human being can possibly have.


Michael:
      They can handle and manage.


Kathryn:
      They can manage.


Michael:
      Right?


Kathryn:
      Yes. On average, I assume there's highs and lows depending on who you are, but that's about the average.


Michael:
      What's interesting is it's based on the research that was looking at the size of social groups that animals had in the animal kingdom, and the size of their brain. The brain size, because it has to do with different areas of the brain and stuff like that.

                                    I don't have all the details on it, but it was very interesting. And human beings are kind of at that place where, that's the amount of relationships you can keep track of. That's the amount of relationships you can systematize.

                                    That's why, if I have 10,000 people in my Facebook list, and I'm being really good at social media, let's not be confused. I'm not dealing with 10,000 people. I'm not interacting with 3000 people, not keeping track of 10,000 people. I'm going to have interpersonal relationships that are frequent. That are not very connected.

                                    But if I have a social group, I can kind of keep track of everything that's going on in that social group at about 150. When there's a lot of churches out there, that kind of cap out around that 120 to 150.


Kathryn:
      The pastor can't keep track of any more than that, and do a good job.


Michael:
      Yes, you have that kind of dynamic going on. Pretty cool. Because what it allows you to also see as a leader of a company, as you're growing, is to understand. When you understand small group dynamics and how things work there, and you understand that cap size, you start seeing, okay, well, I've got a company of 400-500 people.

                                    You probably have maybe even 200 people. You probably have a couple of VPs that are really taking over, whether they're technically VPs or not, they're operating in that fashion. They're overseeing a business unit of yours, and the employees in that business unit.

                                    This is pretty significant. Then we go on to outside of that 150. Large internal groups and large external groups. Kathryn, talk a little bit about that.


Kathryn:
      Obviously large internal groups would be if you have just a huge company. How do you do company meetings? How do you structure communication at a broad level to every person within your group?


Michael:
      Especially when there are multiple locations.


Kathryn:
      Yes, spread out. The other thing that you have as large external groups... if you're public speaking to a large room, then that's the big group dynamic thing. If you are communicating to customers and you have a broad base of customers, that's another large external group. And then potential customers.

                                    All of us want this potential customer list to be much bigger. The group dynamic and the way that you communicate to those folks becomes very significant. And part of it is that you're really dealing with, well at least two pieces that matter. One is are you communicating in person or are you not? And is the communication that you're having supposed to be a monologue or a dialogue? Those things begin to affect how you structure any of those kinds of communications.


Michael:
      Absolutely. You want to think about this. It all comes back to, are you communicating what you need to communicate? And how do you deal with different people's ways that they interpret? Here's an example. We were having a conversation last night with some friend of ours. He does leadership development around the world.

                                    We brought this subject up at some level, and he was making this comment about having a conversation about a pool. A social issue in another country that had gone... it was a story about a woman and a man and their daughter. Well, their child had been killed.

                                    They went to court and what they thought is, while they were camping that wild dogs had killed the baby. There were a lot of people who didn't believe that story, and thought the woman killed the baby. She actually went to prison.

                                    And what was amazing was the majority of people in the country believed that she killed him. Even though the evidence came back a few years later, and demonstrated that it most likely was wild animals that got the baby, and she was let out of prison. But the people in the country still are struggling with believing that. And this couple that he was talking about, they were in leadership. Somehow this thing came up, and it was an emotional powder cake.


Kathryn:
      May be it happened like 30 years ago?


Michael:
      That was amazing how something stuck in. There's a couple of things coming out of here. First of all, you're dealing right off the bat with this leadership issue. In that leadership issue, you just trying to do some normal coaching and training.

                                    And then all of a sudden there's this topic that comes up and it causes an emotional dissonance, and that creates noise in the relationship. You don't ever know when you're going to strip over one of those things. As a leader, you're always trying to stay focused on the topic, but there are things that could come about or nowhere, that can shift the conversation.

                                    And you have to be able to not only think about obvious things, but interact and deal with things that aren't obvious. They are spontaneous. What happens? The core thing we need to realize with group dynamics is that if you're communicating as a leader in your organization, whether it's not one-on-one, but you're going beyond the one-on-one. One-on-two, one-on-five, one-on-twenty. One on a hundred and fifty, or whatever.

                                    You're going to understand and you have to assess some certain things. First of all, is this a monologue or a dialogue conversation?


Kathryn:
      Correct.


Michael:
      Are you trying to get feedback? If you're doing a company meeting with, 150, 250, 350 people and you want some kind of Q and A, you're going to have mics up and you're going to create that opportunity.

                                    But the majority of time it's, ask a question. I'm going to talk about it. The majority of that time in a large group, it's mainly monologue. Creating a feedback loop is tough. Then if you want a dialogue, make sure your groups are small enough to have them. What starts happening in large, large groups when you put people on a mic, is oftentimes you're having a dialogue with one other person in front of hundreds, if not thousands of people.


Kathryn:
      And those are the very brave souls that are willing to risk asking a question, which is not very many people.


Michael:
      We're going to give you some tips right now. Realizing that group dynamics, hopefully we've demonstrated at some level. Group dynamics are super important to create a Passion Provision company, because communication is super important in a Passion Provision company.


Kathryn:
      Yes. Internally, you're dealing with anything from your leadership team to management to, if you're a nonprofit, you have a Board of Directors that you're having to communicate with. That is, you're communicating to multiple people. That dynamic matters a great deal if you want that to run smoothly.


Michael:
      Huge.


Kathryn:
      And then there's your staff. You've got multiple different types of groups within your organization depending on the size of your organization.


Michael:
      Now, when you're small. If you're a small, small company and we're talking a small under 10 people, your entire company is a small group. But you're always going to have these opportunities to have a three or four people in a room.

                                    If you're dealing with clients, a lot of times you don't just get to deal with one person. There's a team or a committee, especially for us, we do consulting. There's a team or committee that walks in, and we've got to handle all of these different ideas and thoughts. How do you pull them along?

                                    Because the leader either is a very consensus type of leader. They want everybody to be on the same page. Or this is a decision making group. The leader doesn't have just arbitrary ability like in a board of directors or something. They have to get the team on board. And it's way easier to make decisions and move forward through the hard times, when you have a unanimous decision to go forward.

                                    Then you have the potential of prospects and other folks outside of the organization. Customers, because they're a large group of people. That's group dynamics. Then when you're trying to reach the masses with your organization and your message, you've got another level.

                                    It's like you're communicating, like you're talking to one person, but you're talking to all these different people. This is group dynamics. What we didn't even talk about, and we're not gonna talk about much, but it's worth being said, is the idea of using groups to gain information.

                                    Large groups for surveys. Crowdsourcing information and things like that, is very helpful. Those are just examples of other things that you can elaborate. Here's what we think is six different things that you need to be aware of, to practical application in the midst of this. I'm sure that this is not an exhaustive list.


Kathryn:
      No.


Michael:
      But it's six things that we think are really helpful. Take note. The first one is just very, obviously you need to be aware that this scenario exists.


Kathryn:
      You have to understand that things shift depending on the number of bodies that are added to the equation. It's just being smart and thinking through that.


Michael:
      They don't shift the same way all the time. It shifts based on the condition of the situation, the context of the group, and the situation. The personalities in the room and then generic issues going on.


Kathryn:
      Well, and they shift on based on things like, for example, we have a Monday morning staff meeting while we are adding staff. And the minute you put one more brand new person in the room, it shifts. You're re-establishing safety, you're re-establishing a whole bunch of things when you add people to something that's been going on for a long time. Those are just the realities of even just when you're hiring people. Just be aware and pay attention.


Michael:
      Pay attention, good. Number two. Study and learn different techniques for different environments. This is really something that if there are core areas that you're going to pay attention to that are worth your time investing, is understand where you need to be.

                                    This is it. Understand what type of groups you're going to be in. Are you going to typically be in small groups under 15? Then work on small group communication. Work on small group dynamics. Because in that small group, you're not just communicating a message, you're trying to communicate content.

                                    You're trying to get people to do things. Actions to be happening, especially in a company, and you're trying to maintain or build a certain emotional buy-in or state of mind. You want people's values to move in a direction. You want their buy-in, their motives to move in a direction and align. You're thinking about all three of those things.


Kathryn:
      Definitely. And small group really is the most common for a lot of people.


Michael:
      Number three, understanding small group is incredibly common. I would say it's on top of the list.


Kathryn:
      Well, and regardless of who you are and how big your company is, you're probably going to deal with small groups no matter what. That's going to be super important. A lot of you may not ever speak to, maybe you're not a public speaker or you're not dealing with massive communication with large groups. But even if you have a huge company, you're still going to be dealing with a handful of leadership, or a board of directors. Or some sort of small group. Just understanding and learning more about that dynamic is really important.


Michael:
      Number four. Be conscious and observe this whole dynamic. It goes with number one, being aware. But really number four is that, be consciously observing, be actively engaged as you're paying attention and listening, and watching your people that you're leading. The customers you're trying to work with as much as possible.

                                    However, you can observe behavior. If you're looking and watching this group dynamic area and you're learning skills in that place, you're going to improve over time. It's a conscious practicing, and a conscious listening.

                                    We get into trouble when we're so busy and we're in a hurry, or we are engaged in only thinking about our thoughts. Sometimes you just get stuck in your head and you're so preoccupied with a thing, you're communicating, but you're not fully engaged in the conversation.


Kathryn:
      Well, and there's a sense too that we tend to assume that what we're saying really makes a lot of sense. If we're not paying attention and we're not observing the responses, the reactions. If we're not asking questions and getting feedback. And creating some sort of a way to make sure that people are understanding and translating what it is that you're saying the way that you want them to, you can run into trouble.


Michael:
      That's really part of force. Force, got two parts. It's being conscious and observing, and at the same time being conscious about creating feedback loops. Here's what happens in organizations in this group dynamics. Unless, you ask, the larger the group, the more people are going to shut down and not communicate.

                                    If you don't create a feedback loop, they will not force a feedback loop. Some people, put another three or four people in the room and they just shut up, so you have to ask them questions. Other times it's just socially inappropriate. You don't stand up in a lecture that has 300 people, and believe that somebody you can ask from the stage a question. Or ask from the audience.


Kathryn:
      Some people do.


Michael:
      Some people do, but it's very rare. Just create the feedback loops. Be conscious observe the feedback loops. Five?


Kathryn:
      Five is, really be aware of what it looks like to create safety. People are only going to give you their honest feedback if they know that they're safe to do so. That's time and trust. We talk about... they spend a lot of time talking about trust as we work with companies.

                                    But the reality is, if you don't create a safe place for somebody to give feedback, they won't give feedback. How would you do that? Well, let's just imagine, and maybe you've even experienced this. That somebody is brave enough to say something, and the leader in the room just shuts them down. Well, that will probably be the last time they contribute in that setting.

                                    If you are creating kind of a culture of honor. You're caring about people. You're making sure that you're feeling back with them, and that really you're saying to your entire team, every person's opinion has value.


Michael:
      Yep.


Kathryn:
      That's the way to create safety. How you react and respond as a leader, both your body language and everything else, communicates whether or not it is safe for me to actually provide my opinion.


Michael:
      In one of our other podcasts, because management is one of our key cornerstones, one of our key tires on our car in our business. In management we talk about how trust is one of the five key characteristics. Goals, communication, accountability, trust, recognition. Those are the five core pieces.

                                    You're creating a trust environment. The reason we talk about group dynamics, is because it's something that's common. It's unique and different from other situations. Incredibly important soft skill. You've got to think through, how do you apply all those management techniques to a group, and how do you create trust? Because there's some different techniques. Creating those feedback loops and creating safety is going to help.


Kathryn:
      The final thing then is, you've probably all been in a situation where the leader is trying to take a group somewhere and ask for feedback. And the person who decides they're going to give their feedback just misses the mark. Like, they are nowhere close.

                                    How you handle that. How you interact, how you respond to that person is going to be critical both for creating safety but then also just for portraying a sense of honor and kindness. If I completely screw up, and this happens in our company sometimes where Michael, will say something and I think I know where he's going and then I throw out my hat. And I am just off base.

                                    If he was to say to me, "You are so wrong, like you just completely missed it." That would be really, really hard. It would be dishonoring, it would be painful. But if he says, "Hey, I totally understand how you went there, that's not quite what I'm talking about here. Let me just kind of adjust and give you a different perspective." Then that allows for me to sort of gracefully go, totally gift that one up, and not feel super horrible.


Michael:
      Well, and usually that's exactly what I try to do. For those of you who are thinking, that's not an if, that's actually how we try and do it around here. We don't always do it perfectly, but if somebody says something, my first job is to try and understand what they're saying. Because it's not always clear.

                                    I ask questions to clarify, if somebody says something. Unless it's just blatantly obvious and then everybody knows it, you can jump in, but you need to make sure you don't assume something's obvious. Then you go, "Okay, what I hear you saying is this. Is that what you mean?"

                                    And then have empathy. Try and understand how they could come to that conclusion. It happened in one of two ways, usually if it's not accurate. It happened in the context of you can go, oh, I could see how what I said was..


Kathryn:
      Legit to that result.


Michael:
      Yes, legit to that result. Or I completely miscommunicated. I said something wrong. I thought I said X, and what I really said was Y. You can find some times the room will go, "Well, but you said Y?" "No, I said X". The room says you said Y. If the room thinks you said Y, just assume you said Y.


Kathryn:
      Just be humble.


Michael:
      Just-


Kathryn:
      Just own it.


Michael:
      Own it and move on, and then and then be able to say... instead of arguing, say, "Then you know what, I miscommunicated. I totally did not mean to say that. Let me try communicating again." Goes back to interpersonal communication. If they didn't hear you right, there's two things. It could have been them. It really could have been you. That happens.

                                    Being humble and okay with the fact that you made a mistake and to be able to say that in front of a group of people, is a skill that is learned. If you don't have it natively, and most of us don't. You have to learn that. You have to learn to be okay with it. You have to be humble enough with it, and you have to learn that it's not a threat to your leadership.


Kathryn:
      When you do that and you demonstrate it well, you actually create safety. Because then, it's okay for other people to not communicate perfectly, and to know that there's a loop that can be revisited and re-articulated. You actually demonstrate what it is that you're wanting out of your team. That's a good thing.


Michael:
      Absolutely. All that said, that's really the top six. Let's go over that again. You need to be aware. You need to study and learn different techniques to handle the different sizes of groups.


Kathryn:
      You need to focus probably on small group, because that's the most common, and every single organization is going to have small group dynamics.


Michael:
      Be conscious and observe what's going on, and be consciously creating feedback questions or feedback loops depending on the communication channel that's being used.


Kathryn:
      Make sure that you are thinking clearly and carefully about whether, or not you're creating safety for people to actually interact and give their feedback.


Michael:
      Which number six. Correct that with honor and kindness, and humility in the midst of all of that will really help reinforce number five.


Kathryn:
      Yup.


Michael:
      Very, very clear. Those six things are incredibly tangible and useful in group dynamics. Really the big goal for today is just to introduce this topic and to let you know that we believe that in a Passion and Provision company, there are four key categories and four key soft skills that are super important. And this is one of those core soft skills.

                                    If you can learn this one and grow in it, you will see more passion provision. It'll help with sales, it'll help with management, it'll help with the financial side of things. And it'll help with having more fulfilling and enjoyable work environment.


Kathryn:
      It'll help you work with your clients better.


Michael:
      Totally.


Kathryn:
      All of those things.


Michael:
      Thank you so much for joining us today on the HaBO Village Podcast. Please go to iTunes and hit subscribe for us. We would love that. That would be great. Tell people about us. And if you are in a situation where your organization needs group dynamics coaching. If you want coaching, if you want more training and education, that's what we do for living.

                                    Half a Bubble Out, is here to be encouraging and helpful in those places. We just encourage you to go to our website and give us a call. Fill out a contact form, and we would be glad to talk about the services we have for you. If we can be helpful. We want to be helpful because it's not helping that precedes itself.


Kathryn:
      So they say.


Michael:
      Thank you once, again. This is Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
      And this Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
      For the HaBO Village Podcast. Have a great week. Bye-bye.


Kathryn:
      Bye-bye.