Super Tip Thursday: 15 Ways To Soften Defensive Behavior While Working In A Group

19 Jun



Working in a group comes with its own challenges but it can work. If you need to organize as a group, then you have to find ways to work together as a cohesive unit. Everyone in the group is their own person and has their own connection to what is being organized. Defensive behaviors can arise in these situations. There are some ways to help combat that and make the defensiveness go away.

  1. Be descriptive rather than critical or evaluative.
  2. Empathic rather than neutral.
  3. Display an attitude of equality not superiority.
  4. Work from a place of mutual problem solving instead of personal control.
  5. Listen Actively. Be present!
  6. Being strict doesn’t work.
  7. Add spontaneous moments.
  8. Get people to explore and acknowledge differences.
  9. Always work to reduce tension.
  10. Be encouraging. A nice remark or a nod or big smile always works.
  11. Help keep communication channels open. Make sure everyone in the group has their say.
  12. Compromise. Maybe a person in the group has a different way to do something but the end result is the same. Let them do it!
  13. Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes.
  14. HUMOR! Sprinkle it in!!!
  15. ALWAYS pick one person to lead the group. This person will be the taskmaster, liaison, and gatekeeper. But remember to NOT be a dictator.




All of these things have worked for me and most group situations I have been in. Try them out in your next group assignment or family project.

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Posted by on June 19, 2014 in Organizing


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