Group dynamics are fascinating. Around others, most of our thoughts and actions flow unconsciously. We get caught up in the mood of the group and let it take over and guide our emotions, whether positive or negative. Most of us know this, yet it’s uncomfortable to really reflect on it because it exposes a significant hole in our persona. Nobody likes to think they aren’t in control. However, that is exactly what happens in groups; control is lost and unique thoughts are replaced by the convenience of conformity.
In reading Robert Greene’s “The Laws of Human Nature,“ I was introduced to a new term: reality groups. Greene describes this group as one that “exists in order to get things done, to make things, to solve problems.” Such groups are hard to find, to be sure. They take selflessness, refection, and a sense of purpose. Above all, they can only thrive if negative attitudes and toxic people are removed. Only then can you look ahead and begin to form the ideal group dynamics.
Greene listed 5 specific strategies for achieving reality groups:
- Collective Sense of Purpose
- Appropriate Groups Lieutenants
- Information Sharing
- Positive Emotions
These are pretty self-explanatory and one can see how they would foster a strong, productive group. There are massive subtle occurrences when groups engage in positive action. The synergy that takes place allows each group member to work to his maximum potential; free from judgement and toxic group members.
When everyone is striving towards the same goal in a radically transparent environment, the potential output “alpha” is immense. It’s no secret that the top companies in the world have worked tirelessly to create group dynamics that mirror reality groups. Companies may worry about cutting costs, innovation, and the like, but if a similar focus was given to understanding (and re-working) current groups, maybe a similar uptick in productivity would be seen. Until then, it continues on as the elephant in the room.
What have your experiences been? Have you been lucky enough to experience the positive qualities of a reality group?
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