Tips for working with a difficult group – what works?

law of attraction Mar 05, 2016

You may know that I’ve spent the past 19 years in a music classroom of one kind or another teaching students of all ages. As I was preparing for this week’s blog post, I was observing my students during a group activity. What works? What gets in the way of a successful group? The answers will probably not surprise you. But… how this relates to us as adults might surprise you.

First, here is a list of what gets in the way. I usually try to keep things framed in only positive ways. This time, though, I feel its important to shine some light on some of these “shadow” behaviors.

  • Control – one person controlling or a fight for control
  • Waiting for an invitation to participate in the group that someone is already a part of
  • Not making an effort
  • One individual or group of individuals refusing to listen to others
  • Playing around
  • Refusing to be a part of the group
  • Fear of being ridiculed or bullied
  • Refusing to learn the skills needed to participate
  • Perfectionism
  • Wanting others to solve problems that could be solved by one’s self
  • Blaming

At one time or another, each of us have probably worked with a group that felt difficult. Often when we are involved in a difficult group, our behavioral choices make us feel more disconnected, less congruent with the group and we may even begin to feel resentment.  This can cause more negative behaviors from us that add to the problems. This is the Law of Attraction at work.

Like attracts like. What we focus on magnifies. If we focus on the things wrong with a group, we are certain to find more things wrong, and more things wrong. We’ll feel worse and worse. Our experience will back up our feelings by providing us with evidence of why we should feel bad.

So what can we do if we find ourselves in a difficult group (or situation)? We’ll get to that, I promise. But first, let’s take a look at the things that make a group successful.

  • Shared responsibility
  • Equal input from all group members
  • Respecting ideas from all group members
  • Taking turns (it sounds childish, but its important!)
  • Mutual respect among group members
  • Allowing and encouraging creativity
  • Listening to each other
  • Validating ideas
  • Taking ownership of challenges
  • Being solution-oriented and looking for ways to solve their own problems
  • Empowering others
  • Maintaining a positive attitude
  • Having fun

Now for the hard truth. Your behavior; positive or negative; will impact your experiences in everything you do. That includes your experiences working with a group. Again, this is the Law of Attraction at work. Like attract like. It all starts with a thought.

Your thoughts create your feelings. For example, when you think a positive thought like “what a beautiful day!” your emotions immediately respond with a sense of well-being, happiness, peace or excitement. Try it now. You’ll feel an immediate lift.

Your feelings are a gauge to tell you about your thoughts. If you have negative feelings, you have negative thoughts you may not be aware of. By the same token, if you have positive feelings, you can be sure you have positive thoughts. Your feelings are your indicator. If you want positive feelings, you need to think positive thoughts. It’s simple.

Your feelings create your experiences. Your feelings are the gauge for your thoughts, and they also are pulling evidence of your thoughts into your experience. If you are thinking positive thoughts and having positive feelings, the Law of Attraction dictates that there will be more positive experiences. Like attracts like. If you are having negative experiences, check your thoughts.

This is ongoing. This won’t be something you do one time and then it is done. Each day, each moment we have the chance to put these concepts into action. It isn’t always easy. If you had a tough week last week, you weren’t alone. There was some harsh energy around. Sometimes bad things happen. But by making conscious choices to see the good in what and who is around us, we can literally change our lives.

I’m wishing you a week filled with love and light.

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