The power of the group - Like that Team becomes unbeatable!

Ever since the beginning of human existence, man has been a social being that lives (survives) in a group. Only when the group is sufficiently identified, motivated and structured can the power of the group unfold to the full. The well-known evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution in the middle of the 18th century and, in addition to various hypotheses, coined the term "struggle for existence". But why then do we cooperate from an early age? Which groups are good for us today? And how can I use social media positively to Stress to break down and generate happiness? Coaching can be a solution, sometimes can be Does not make any sense.

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The power of the group - functions and forms of groups

Klaus Stanjek, who studied psychology and biology and did his doctorate at the Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Biology, and his colleague Rainer Beeken dealt intensively with the topic of "social groups". The two researchers distinguish groups in terms of their function and form (cf. Stanjek & Beeken, 2017, p. 150 ff.).

1. functions of the group

  • Mediation and control function (interests are communicated to the outside world in order to protect norms of society through control tasks)

Examples: parties, religious groups, customs

  • Relief and protection function (A group that shares the work - normative and structural relief)

Examples: work group, family

  • Supply function (groups to secure livelihood and to secure social-emotional factors such as recognition, belonging or love)

Examples: company boss, parents

2. forms of the group

  • primary group (Group with a manageable number of members, with a clear demarcation to the outside world and a long-term structure - for its members it is the most important group of all others)

Example: family

  • secondary group (Less strong bonding within the group with more members compared to the primary group. There is usually a more short-term structure with a common goal)

Examples: football club, reading circle, school class

  • formal group (Group with common goals regulated by norms - violations have set consequences)

Example: board of directors of a company, school

  • informal group (Groups that arise spontaneously and where the members participate in the organization - their Objectives are not regulated by common standards)

Example: circle of friends, family, club

  • open group (characterized by high variability and indeterminate size)

Example: open self-help group

  • closed group (Groups with a fixed and consistent number of members)

Example: closed therapy group

  • membership or affinity group (Members with the same goals and values, but without the need to identify as a group)

Example: Religious community, gym membership

Identification as a group – 3 key facts for strong identification

1. Basic assumption as a human being

Before even discussing the power of a group or a group-like situation, it helps to recognize that all people in the group are living beings. The group is now called Creatures. Each individual in this group will probably also feel part of the human group – they have dignity and need to breathe. People are motivated either “away from” or “toward”. If this fact is recognized at the beginning of a group-like setting, a basic prerequisite for a sense of community arises, which exists independently of ethnic origin or other perceived differences. Also read our article on the subject Systemic coaching.

2. Recognition of common values, norms and goals

The second step is to define concrete common values, norms and goals of the group. The more agreement there is here, the stronger and more stable the group can develop.

3. Experience the meaningfulness and added value of the group

However, the norms, values, values ​​and goals are not yet sufficient to achieve a high level of group identification. Each individual should know what the concrete benefit is for him and everyone else. What added value do I get from it, what does the group benefit from? In particular, the positive emotions that arise from many group dynamics should be mentioned here. The limited time that people invest in this group should be fun for them, support them in their goals and ideally give them support and security even in difficult phases.

The power of the group - how a group brings happiness and relieves stress?

The fact that and how social support has a positive effect seems very plausible. The idea is this: the more people define themselves as members of a social group, the more they should give, receive and also benefit from social support.

Semer et al. (2008) emphasize that social support only has positive effects if it is provided with an appreciative attitude. The type of identification is therefore a crucial indication of whether, among other things, support is accepted positively or whether it is viewed with mistrust. According to this, a well-intentioned action by the boss is more likely to be accepted as something good by his employees if it is for them Teammembers of the boss count as equal employees. If there is a strong hierarchy gap, it is more likely that the boss, who gives with a good conscience, will be accused of suspicion, distrust or cunning.

Research thus shows that asking whether social support is always good is not at all common. It depends on how the social support is interpreted by the people receiving it.

To get to the point, the theory, which has now been verified by a large number of scientific studies, applies that a strong identification with the group (be it the company, the Team, the circle of friends or the family) therefore helps to reduce stress and deal better with burdens, because in a group with a strongly shared identity there is more support, the support is more likely to be accepted and therefore everyone benefits more from the support (cf. van Dick & Haslam, 2012).

Concrete assumptions of this theory to increase the power of the group are:

  1. The shared social identity helps to deal with stress better because the burdens of identification are assessed more positively.
  2. It helps you deal with stress better because you feel more supported and therefore more confident that you can cope with the stress.
  3. A shared identity not only strengthens the individual feeling of being able to cope with the stresses themselves, but also the self-efficacy of the entire group (example: basketballteam in an important and resource-demanding game, with high group identification and the attitude: "We can do it!")

Effects of group power in the workplace on "hot desking" and working from home

Ritual acts have always strengthened the identification of a group. The common "Team Huddle" - which comes from American football and is firmly established in many well-known companies such as Nike - for an energetic start to the working day or simply for the coffee break at 10:30 a.m.

However, due to the flexible need-based shifting of work to the office, also known as “hotdesking” and the large number of Home Office Working people often live these rituals very little or not at all. Of course, this can have a strong effect on the “we feeling” and thus on employee motivation. How exactly this is noticeable, we can probably only show in the future. Nevertheless, there are ways to create ritual virtual actions in order to still achieve a high level of identification within the group. mediations and Coaching are two of them.

Corona and groups - How can we identify ourselves professionally and privately as groups despite all the measures?

Small talk is a kind of ritual that is constantly practiced in the world. The exchange of non-work matters lightens the mood. At the same time, we learn that we are all human beings with feelings and similar challenges. A conscious and regular small talk along the lines of: “Hey colleague! How are you? What is moving you at the moment?” can reduce stress and create a touch of happiness that comes from genuine appreciation. The advantage of this is that this can just as easily be done virtually.

It is an uncomplicated and natural way and Approach of communication that works wonders on a walk, the nation's current hobby, or even when shopping with complete strangers.

Conclusion: The more each individual person can open up to his or her environment, the stronger the identification with the corresponding group will be. The connection and power of the group can only be felt when it is lived!

What is group power and how does it affect our behavior?

Group power refers to a group's ability to influence the behavior and decisions of its members. This power can manifest itself in a number of ways, e.g. B. through social pressure, norms, expectations or beliefs within the group.
The effects of group power on individual behavior can be significant. Groups can get people to behave differently than they otherwise would, and they can get them to make decisions they wouldn't make alone. This can have both positive and negative implications, depending on the group's goals and values.

What factors influence group power, and how can you influence or control it?

There are many factors that can affect the power of the group, e.g. B. the size and strength of the group, the cohesion and cooperation within the group, the culture and values ​​of the group, and the authority or influencers of the leadership members.
There are several ways to influence or control the power of the group. One way is to change the group structure or norms to influence the behavior of the members. Another possibility is to observe the interactions within the group and to intervene in a targeted manner to encourage or discourage certain behaviors or decisions.

What are the pros and cons of group power and how to use or avoid it?

Group power can have many advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, it can lead to people working together towards a goal and joining forces to achieve more than they could individually. On the other hand, it can also lead to suppressing dissenting opinions or making bad decisions that are supported by the group.
In order to reap the benefits of group power and avoid the downsides, it is important to have strong leadership that steers the group in the right direction and upholds group norms. Also, group members should be encouraged to contribute and discuss their opinions and perspectives in order to make better decisions. Through open communication and constructive dialogue, the benefits of group power can be maximized and the downsides minimized.

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