Freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of assembly are constitutionally established rights. But what is true in everyday life is not always the case in the meeting rooms of our organizations. Who has not heard this farce: “the company is not democracy”? Who has never heard that, if one were interested in his career, it was better to learn to be silent? How many companies accept that a team of collaborators will initiate a coordination meeting without inviting management? Many of them would interpret this initiative as an act of qualified mutiny.
Every company must learn to manage change , if only to remain able to live with its time. This is all the more true in the 21st century when the pace of technological innovations is accelerating and changes every day even more our habits. But how can a company hope to succeed in its mutations if it does not know how to attach the confidence of its collaborators? A company that does not know how to liberate public expression will have great difficulty mobilizing itself towards a different future.
How can an organization be enriched by the real experience of its constituents, even if it is full of uncertainties, doubts or truths not always good to say? How to foster openness, reciprocity and trust between managers and managers?
The process group, also known as the Personal Exploration Group (GPE), is a provision aimed at establishing and cultivating trust within a group of individuals. By focusing on simplicity, members of a process group work to establish a level of trust conducive to open and honest communication.
Concretely, a process group is presented in a very specific form of meeting. For its good functioning, it is essential to ensure that each participant accepts the following 3 rules :
During the group meeting, each member is responsible for initiating a conversation about the subject (event, phenomenon, experience …) that concerns him / her. The substance and form of the discussion depends on the motivation of the participants to nurture the debate. Members are encouraged to provide feedback, support and work based on feedback and responses from other members’ contributions. Group members can serve as models for effective communication, offer problem-solving strategies, and value self-acceptance and self-support. As the sessions progress, the confidence of the group increases and everyone is responsible for the quality of their environment as well as the form of mutual assistance they wish to offer and receive.
When the group is accompanied by experienced facilitators (strongly recommended for the first sessions), they emphasize the relational skills that characterize this professional community. Through their positive feedback, the accompanists can also suggest some micro experiments. These allow participants to acquire and develop new skills. By developing their relational abilities, the group learns to reinforce security and satisfaction inside and outside the system it forms. This is how it improves its effectiveness.
In social life, feelings that are not expressed contain precious indications concerning the distress and personal difficulties encountered by individuals. In the process group, the climate of trust , which is built up gradually, promotes an environment where members feel safe to share their events and work in teams. As individuals increase awareness of their own interpersonal functioning, develop new interpersonal skills, and learn new adaptive behaviors, they make further progress toward their personal and professional goals. The process group is therefore an inexpensive and very beneficial way to develop the effectiveness of organizations.
The most common difficulties
The smooth running of a process group can be compromised under the following circumstances:
It is the responsibility of each member to draw the group’s attention to the risks to which it may be exposed.
The management team of a division of a company, a global specialist in clinical research, practices the GPE at a monthly meeting lasting about an hour for the past 2 years. This team has agreed to share its experience of the Process Group with our readers.
“We decided to set up these GPEs as a result of some interesting advances in our Team Leadership Development Training . Our objective was to create moments of discussion allowing us to take a step back from the role of our management team.
At first there was a lot of mistrust, long silences and all sorts of avoidance. The topics were desperately neutral (rain and fine weather) or outside our group. Then, little by little, the languages began to untie. Today, some members of the team no longer hesitate to challenge their supervisors, their eyes in their eyes, even to give them negative feedback. The personal difficulties are more easily put on the carpet. One feels that the members are less afraid of the reactions of others and that they are now less hesitant to speak for themselves. There was more risk-taking, and everyone realized that our process group offered many opportunities to publicize its positions and make themselves better known. Besides the development of authenticity,Constructive leadership, Fundamental values for our activity, we also see more solidarity between the managers of the team. Indeed, the confidence that develops favors the declarations of rallyings for this or that position and therefore stimulates the expression of opinions and the courage to defend them. Our team spirit has been strengthened and internal competition has receded. If we are aware of the path we have traveled, we are also aware of the one that remains to be traveled. We have to learn, for example, to reduce some procrastination to go more directly to the substantive subject, to the real concern. The presence of different hierarchical levels tends to provoke certain cleavages; We must learn to overcome them.
The Process group is the instrument par excellence of the “let go”. It’s like a parachute jump in a group. It invites participants to confront the void and to invent something new to stimulate their constructive energy, their efficiency and their satisfaction at work.
Dino Ragazzo Nov. 2011