Group Dynamics

The following is a series of notes taken from a class on Conflict Dynamics I took from Dr. Macmillan Kiiru, back in January of 2009. The class took place at Daystar University, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Group dynamics:
Focuses on advancing knowledge about the nature of Group Life

The Scientific study of the:

a) Nature of Groups, b) Behavior in Groups, and c) Group Development

The Knowledge of Group Dynamics helps the way we think and/or function in groups


“My life is our life.”


III. Assertive People:

  • Meet conflict directly
  • Does not pretend everything is ok
  • Looks for win/win situations
  • Brings the facts forward
  • Does not let offenses build
  • Willing to compromise to arrive at a destination
  • Open-minded to other solutions
  • Assist others in problem-solving
  • Address problems immediately
  • Let others how they truly feel
  • Upbeat, positive tone
  • Empathic reasoning
  • Seeking out constructive feedback
  • Refraining from ‘beating around the bush’
  • Making certain they are properly understood
  • Establishing healthy boundaries
  • Lack of attacking individual character
  • Always ask tough questions
  • Sensitivity towards feelings of others
  • Hold other people accountable

Honest, initiative, forgiving, trusting, humble, non-defensive, serving, reliable


Vs. being Aggressive:

  • Proud and self-centered
  • Want what it wants, without others concern
  • Always right
  • Must win at all costs
  • Attack others when disagree
  • Offensively opinionated
  • Exaggerated
  • Close-minded
  • Slams doors
  • Always seem angry
  • Constantly interrupts
  • Dominates conversations
  • Intentionally intimidates


IV. The Process

Many achievers are of necessity, aggressive. Aggressive people, however, tend to be very lonely. The environment around us demands certain behaviors that often are not necessarily positive. The backgrounds, the way we are raised at home, sometimes produce an aggressive or passive person. But we should look back, to see where we are. This is a discipline we work through.

How sustainable is aggressive behavior? It doesn’t last long. Aggression leads to “a cliff.” It can be self-destructive. That is why it is not self-sustainable. But assertive behavior is sustainable, because of the responsiveness of those around.


V. Understanding Groups:

1) A group may be defined as a number of individuals who join together to achieve a goal

2) People join groups in order to achieve goals they are unable to achieve by themselves

3) A collection of individuals who are interdependent in some way

4) A number of individuals who are interacting with one another


Groups have goals. They are interdependent, as they interact with each other. Often, though, the goal of the group is not the goal of the individual. How do you harmonize the group and individual goal?