Our cohesion was mainly driven by shared goals and a meshing of characteristics. Although we did not agree on each and every subject, we were all able to voice our differences in a civilized manner and a way that is understood by the rest of the members. According to Zastrov (2009), members of the group should have respect for each other and respect individual autonomy. This means that all members are equal and should be willing to help each other to develop in areas where they are lacking. In our group, the members came from the same background (MSW program), had a common goal and were able to interact despite differing views.
I have acted both as a group member and a leader of the group during my time with my group class. At this time, I have come to realize that an effective leadership style has a great impact on the cohesion of the group and success in meeting the group objective. During the first few sessions, we were unable to interact with each other and meet the set group objectives. This as I came to realize was because we had not developed a leadership system for the group. Once the group had a leader, it became easier to carry out our objectives.
During my time as the leader of the group, I first realized that a leader’s first task is to ensure cohesiveness, build trust and create a sense of belonging for all members in the group. After this, the leader should ensure that group goals take precedence over individual members concerns. A successful leader should trust the group process and realize that it works best if the power of the group is released through cohesion, a sense of belonging, feedback, reality testing, trust and meaningful self-disclosure (Shulman 2011).
During the group study process, I learnt that a group leader should also ensure that the group members are empowered to work by themselves and develop their own conclusion about a given subject. The