Module 3: Développement communautaire - S'organiser - Construire l'équipe | fr - 895 - 57490
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Construire l'équipe

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Introduction to Community Development

Getting Organized

Building the Team

Building the Team

Introduction

This module deals with the practical matters of organizing your group. How an association is organized depends on what its purpose is, but apart from the particular organizational structure you choose to take, there are many aspects of group development that need to be considered.

When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as rootless and stemless. We treat it as a seed giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed. When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don't condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development.

(Timothy Gallway, The Inner Game of Tennis)

Building the Team

Overview of Group Process

Group process refers to how the group carries out its work. It includes the formal arrangements of roles and responsibilities, but also informal relationships, communication patterns and the distribution of power and influence within the group. Groups that have poor group process often run into difficulties. When the group is not functioning well, members become alienated, down-hearted, argumentative and their involvement may decrease.

It is sometimes said that “form should always follow function”. “Function” refers to the major purpose for which the group was formed. Form refers to the various structures we put in place to help us do that, such as boards of directors, meetings, task groups and policies and procedures. It is important that the form that you choose for your organization is compatible with its function, and also your members’ values and core principles.

Building the Team
Organizational Elements

There are some common organizational elements that most organizations share. This is not an exhaustive list, but is some of things that seem to be important for successful group functioning.

Vision

As the Cheshire Cat said to Alice in Wonderland. “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there”. Sometimes conflict arises in a group due to members having different ideas about where they hope to end up. Take some time as a group to develop a shared vision of the future you are trying to achieve.


Purpose

People become energized when they are motivated by a sense of common purpose. It is helpful to frequently remind ourselves of the connection between the work we are doing today and the long-range outcomes we expect to see in the future.

Values And Principles

Groups in which individuals share basic values and agree on a set of guiding principles by which to operate function more easily than those that do not. While members may hold values that differ from each other as individuals, when they come together they need to develop an explicit set of shared values and principles for the group, to which each member can commit.

Relationships

Positive relationships nurture the efforts of volunteers, paid staff, consultants, associates and volunteers. Egalitarian relationships tend to lead to individual initiative and sense of responsibility for the organization as a whole. Successful groups nurture relationships that are accepting, welcoming, empathetic, caring and respectful.

Rhythms

There are naturally occurring ebbs and flows within the lives of individuals and within the lives of organizations. There will be flurries of activity sandwiched between times of less activity. Recognizing that this is a natural occurrence will make it easier to cope with feelings of frustration at times when there seems to be little progress.

Learning

In order to keep people interested and keep your group well-informed, it is important that new knowledge and group members are acquiring skills. It is also important that the new knowledge and skills are shared within the group and are used effectively. The goals of the group will be furthered more quickly if it is able to adapt to changing external and/or internal conditions.

Ground Rules

Effective group process is essential. No matter what style of governance you choose,“ ground rules” need to be established; such as: “meetings start and stop on time” or “everyone has an opportunity to be heard”. Group members need to agree on the ground rules, write them down and refer to them at each meeting. Each member must take responsibility to ensure that the ground rules are respected.

Empowerment

Groups are empowered when the individual members are empowered; that is, each of them believes they have the ability and opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way. In order for this to happen, the group must:
• provide adequate orientation for new members
• ensure equal access to information
• be willing to seriously consider alternative viewpoints
• provide ample opportunities for input
• ensure due process observed in decision-making
• encourage involvement in challenging tasks
• provide access to resources
• create opportunities for learning and networking
• take the time to ensure high comfort level of all involved
• acknowledge contributions
Building the Team

Common Stages of Group Development

All groups do not go through the same stages of development, nor do they go through them in order. Quite often they will skip a stage, perhaps coming back to it later. While recognizing this non-linear aspect of group development, it may be helpful to understand that there are common experiences among groups.

Stage 1

Stage 1: Forming the Group
When a group comes together for the first time and people do not know each other, they may feel uncertain and thus be hesitant to make strong commitments right away. Some may be a bit puzzled about the purpose and goals of the group. Others may not be sure whether they will have anything in common with the other members.
In this stage the facilitator or chair needs to encourage the group to spend some time getting acquainted, setting ground rules, exploring values and developing effective communication patterns.


Stage 2

Stage 2: Taking Ownership
As the group comes together it is important that members start to take ownership of the group process. They need to understand and/or shape their purposes and tasks in ways that make sense to them and are personally meaningful. As the members express their diverse viewpoints some areas of conflict may occur. There may also be some ill-feelings toward the facilitator or chair if (s)he is not seen as being fair and unaligned with one side or another.
It is essential at this point to ensure that all perspectives are given serious consideration, and that efforts are made to accommodate the emerging diversity. If this is not easily achieved, a review of the vision, mission and goals may be helpful. If it is apparent that not all members share the same basic vision and sense of mission, it may be necessary for the group to split into subgroups that will each undertake different activities.


Stage 3

Stage 3: Getting It Together
Having successfully resolved any disagreements, the group now has a sense of cohesion and members feel trusting and accepting of each other. They are able to make a stronger, perhaps longer term commitment to the group and are willing and able to take on greater responsibilities. Effective decision-making procedures are in place and power is shared among all group members. These factors lead to the group developing a strong organizational identity; they are much more than a collection of individuals now.


Stage 4

Stage 4: Making it Happen
The supportive and open group atmosphere that has been achieved at this stage contributes greatly to high levels of productivity. As an interdependent team, members are now able to take on major projects and bring them to a successful conclusion. While there may be inherent reward in the accomplishments, it is also important to recognize people's hard work and efforts. Many community volunteers make considerable sacrifices in terms of their time, family life, leisure pursuits and/or personal finances when they become actively involved in their communities.
In addition to providing some public recognition of their contributions, make sure that there is an "ebb and flow" in their level of participation. When one project is finished, the most active members will likely need a break. This may encourage others to come forward to help with the next project. It may also help with leadership development and succession planning, as newer members increase their level of participation.

Stage 5

Stage 5: Moving On
There will always be turnover in group membership. Depending on the nature of the group, there may come a time when it is appropriate for the group to disband. Whether one person leaves the group, or all members go their separate ways, it is important there be a sense of closure, with departure being on good terms. If the group is disbanding it may be helpful to complete an evaluation of the group's work, recognize the positive contribution made by members and celebrate the group's accomplishments.
Remember that, whatever stage your group is at, it is in a state of becoming; i.e., it is always evolving and developing. It is important to note the positive qualities of the group as well as the areas that need some work.


Building the Team

Introduction

A team is a group of people that are working collectively towards a common purpose. Building an effective team will reduce conflict and increase results. A strong and cohesive team uses shared leadership and active listening. In high performance teams members have broad, complementary skills and responsibilities, workloads, decision-making, information and resources are distributed more or less equally. The interaction of all these factors creates a synergistic effect, in which the results achieved by the team are more than the results that could have been achieved if each member had been working independently.

Building the Team

Characteristics of Effective Teams

Highly effective teams have these qualities:
• shared sense of purposes and values
• set ground rules and examines its own group process from time to time
• climate of trust, respect, mutual support
• accept the value of others' knowledge, skills, and experience
• express differences of opinion freely
• creative, no expectation of narrow conformity
• identifies conflicts and resolves them satisfactorily
• distribution of roles and responsibilities, recognition and rewards
• flexible and responsive to changing needs
• strive for optimal performance
• evaluate performance and progress regularly
• take healthy risks
• see the "big picture"
• positive social relationships among members
Building the Team

In order to build an effective team there must be support from the leadership, willingness on the part of members to let go of "I" and adopt "we" as their frame of reference and have trust and confidence in each other.
Training in teamwork is helpful, as is having more experienced members mentor the newer ones. The collaborative spirit and enhanced results of an effective team will help the group to maintain its membership, adapt to change and develop innovative solutions to complex problems.

Introduction to Community Development

End of Unit:
Getting Organized - Building the Team
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