How Group Cohesiveness Is Developed And Sustained
Working in groups is the primary aspect of many professional and personal settings. Group keeps changing in both structure and processes in which they carry out themselves. Group cohesiveness is developed to help the group to attain something more than which individual members would achieve on their own. Group cohesiveness is the bond that pulls people towards being a member of a specific group and remains loyal to that particular group. The main reason for the formation of groups is to bring change, enhance support for every individual or the group as a whole through a collective way. Although it is common for groups to experience internal disputes and conflicts at some stages, when a group works effectively, they can produce a positive and a very supportive environment in which new interpersonal skills can be developed.
To develop the cohesiveness, a group should have norms. It is crucial for the group to spell out its norms in a group constitution explicitly. When these norms are set out well, a new member who joins the group is given a list of these regulations and rules, aims and objectives. This will serve as a standard practice which will help the group that expects to stand for a long time. Group norms should also evolve with time, and in a group that has been formed recently, they are understood and implicit. A new member of a group starts to learn and becomes conversant with the norms and usually makes an effort to change their behavior and adapt to the group norm. Many groups have a norm of the way people should wear and the styles of hair they should have. In some groups, it is essential that the members should wear a T-shirt from the group. If the members follow the identity and norms of that group, it demonstrates that they belong to it.
To sustain group cohesiveness, it is essential to develop a way of punishing defaulters. If a member makes it a habit to refuse to conform to the norms of the group, they should be marginalized, and in the worst cases, they should be expelled for good. If the members of the groups risk not expelling a disruptive member, this may cause a breakdown of the whole group or restructuring of all the values and norms of the group. To maintain the cohesiveness of the group, it is crucial that the group analysis the norms from an objective perspective. They should ask themselves if the norms are helping the group to progress because some norms can hold back the development of the group and consequently it is essential to examine them. It is important also to review the norms and see if the group members really understand the norms and if they are broken consistently.
I have been a member of a self-help group in my community; the group has well spelled out norms which everybody has to follow and conform to them. Every member is supposed to attend as many meetings as possible and a minimum of 70%. It is also essential that the members should work on the goals and objectives as set out in the group norms. This has worked very well for our group because every member has observed them and every meeting is always full. We evaluate our progress after every three months, and we have realized positive progress on our objectives and aims of our group. All this has been achieved because our norms have shaped everyone in one line and towards a common goal which has enhanced group cohesiveness.