Empowerment Leadership Model for Small Groups, Teams, & Families
Course Two, Lesson 17
Continually Evaluating the Group's Performance
Note: Whenever "group" or "team" is used, it can mean "group", "team", or "family".
The successful group must continually evaluate the performance of the group and its members in light of the group purpose. Since there is a tendency to sit back and relax when things are comfortable, the smart group makes certain that it continually assesses its own progress toward its purpose and goals. Since people seem to be addicted to comfort, safety, and pleasure, it is quite natural for a group to slide slowly and unperceived into another purpose – that of having a comfortable time or a safe time or a pleasurable time or all of these.
This points out why it is really best that the group leader not be a full-fledged, card-carrying member of the group. (There are some groups where the distinction between leader and group member is slight. This is also true of the family.) If there is not some significant distance for the leader, he or she will just as easily slip into complacence or another group purpose. Oh, there will be no formal declaration of another purpose. It will just happen.
So the successful group evaluates its own performance and that of its members to see that efforts are still directed toward the accomplishment of the group’s purpose. Such evaluation also looks to see not only if efforts are in the right direction, but also if they are effective. Are they doing the job? You as group leader will have to watch this carefully. You should be the first to see the group stray from the purpose or continue on with ineffective actions because of your removal from the moment-by-moment activity of the group.
Discussing the appropriateness of activities can and should occur all throughout the group's experience. Often, what is first thought of as a logical approach to accomplishing the purpose and goals is not effective. The smart group dumps activities and approaches that do not stand the test. Even as a group continues its existence, some time-honored activities and methods will need to give way to newer or more exciting formats. This way the group does not become stagnant.
Next we will discuss briefly that a group sometimes has the task of redefining its purpose.