Group integration dynamics are generally used in order to achieve a better coexistence between social groups. These are some of the most used methods because it allows creating an interaction where the parties involved manage to develop trust among themselves . However, its implementation may have different objectives, but it does generate long-term benefits.
It is basically about carrying out activities with the participation of a group of people, thus learning and interacting in an enjoyable way. The development of social skills that notably improve coexistence within the group is encouraged . It can also be helpful when it comes to getting these same people to acquire new knowledge.
It is a very practical method when you want to improve interpersonal relationships. These activities are usually adapted according to the particular characteristics of each group, that is, the ages, abilities and interests of those who are going to participate are taken into account. The following describes and analyzes how these dynamics work.
What are group integration dynamics?
Group integration dynamics are defined as a diverse set of methods which are designed in order to improve relationships between people . Ie are activities that aim to guide and help possible to correct problems of communication between different types of relationships that may exist between members of social groups.
These activities are directed by a guide or therapist, previously knowing what are the characteristics of the members of the group on which they are going to work. Any technique or instrument that can be helpful during the process can be used.
Those who lead these actions can try to improve the fundamental relationships of the group, although they could also focus on the emotional or social improvement of each person. In the latter case, it could provide both emotional and moral support , the important thing is first to understand the dynamics that have governed this group so far.
Various authors have spoken about this issue from a psychological point of view, until now they have agreed that these dynamics can be applied at any stage of development. This is done with the understanding that any change made in the current dynamics will cause changes in the whole.
In general, these dynamics are both techniques and methods that can be applied to the practical work of a group of people. These in the long run will help mediate and also resolve conflicts and interpersonal problems . But they are even applicable when it comes to changing an individual’s relationship with the rest of the community .
What are their characteristics?
The main characteristic of these dynamics is to have the objective of offering the possibility of learning a lesson , this can be educational, moral or simply to learn a new topic. Most commonly, these are put into practice so that people learn about companionship and its implications. In general, it is about reflecting on issues that are of special importance to the group or community.
These methods are also commonly practiced within the academic or educational field, and it has also begun to be implemented in various organizations. In the latter case, it can be institutions or companies where it is necessary to ensure that employees or participants improve their relationships. In this way, it is possible to break the interpersonal limitations that could negatively affect the professional performance of each individual.
When it comes to the educational level, then these dynamics favor an experience where learning has greater meaning. For them to be carried out correctly, the participation of facilitators or guides is usually required, these people indicate what are the steps to follow. They are also usually in charge of preparing the plans where all the dynamics are integrated, these have been previously studied and selected so that they adapt to the group where they will be carried out.
The other characteristics of group integration dynamics are described below , these generally apply to most cases. They are as follows:
- They help to facilitate communicational and affective relationships between members of the same group.
- They are methods that allow the objectives of a group of people to be brought together, that is, they promote the establishment of goals that are of common interest.
- They are part of the development process of building a mindset where everyone understands the concept of “group.” The collective mentality is strengthened where the needs and opinions of others are taken into consideration.
- Behaviors and attitudes are developed that are given towards cooperation and collaboration . Tolerance and learning to listen carefully are also encouraged.
- People begin to better manage all the resources that allow establishing agreements and making consensual decisions . This means that it is possible to follow more organized group objectives through communication codes .
- Each individual will consequently have less propensity to suffer from anxiety and fear .
- There are fewer risks for the generation of conflicts, these dynamics favor the generation of communication skills between members of the same group.
What is its importance?
For psychology and social sciences, the study and application of group integration dynamics turns out to be very important. This is because these methods or techniques help to form solid social relationships, building trust is encouraged . In addition, it is also important to mention that these can be very helpful so that each member has a learning experience that is dynamic and above all of quality.
It is especially relevant when talking about the educational field, that is to say that these are some of the activities that must be put into practice if you want to ensure that students have a more complete experience. Teachers must ensure that all students participate and create interest in these activities, expressing opinions or ideas helps to gain confidence and a better understanding with other classmates.
They also turn out to be important due to their application in the environment of children and adolescents within schools and institutes. These give allow adults to correct problems related to adaptability and sociability , by not being corrected in a timely manner, it is possible that these individuals present difficulties during the university or professional stage.
Each of these techniques allows for reflection on a particular lesson. These dynamics that are integrated into the workshops in which it is about what to learn about companionship and how to relate in a healthy way. Therefore, it can be affirmed that it promotes the construction of a more fun and playful environment , everyone can participate equally and have an active role for both children and adults.
Its application in the workplace has helped companies to create an environment in which all workers can expand without limitations . In other words, it is an essential tool especially when it is necessary to work in teams or with the collaboration of others.
10 options to achieve group integration
Some types of group integration dynamics are described below, these can be applied in various situations depending on how they adapt to the needs to be solved. It is also important to say that these are just some examples, there is a great variety of these dynamics that require the use of different types of resources. They are as follows:
1 Personal presentation
The objective of this activity is to help people who can make a formal presentation of themselves, it also helps to maintain an egalitarian relationship where there are no disadvantages of any of the parties involved. It basically consists of a facilitator or guide starting by giving an example of how it is done in the following way: “Hello. My name is María and I really like to read and also draw ”.
These dynamics adapt well in groups where there are many people, allowing order and greater opportunity for participation for all. In addition, it turns out to be a resource that can be applied in groups where people have different ages, they can be from elementary school children to adults working in companies. It can facilitate the relationship between people who have similar minds and tastes .
2 Stories created for children
Children from an early age must learn to relate to other people and must put into practice the various resources available to socialize. The method of creating their own stories turns out to be very useful, they provide motivation and the possibility of showing how imaginative they are. It is in a perfect dynamic for children because they can have fun and also interact with other children of the same age.
It can be done in different ways but basically you have to let each person create something new. It can be to relate different stories around the same theme or also to give continuity to the same story from the beginning to the end with the contribution of all. In any case, freedom should be allowed for each member to express freely .
3 Activities for adolescents to reflect on the future
These types of dynamics are widely used in groups of adolescents since in this way they can think about the importance of setting goals and trying to fulfill their dreams. That is, it is about motivating them and guiding them on their way to adulthood , it is important that they understand the relevance of both difficulties as well as successes and failures .
It consists of groups of at least 10 participants meeting in a circle, physical closeness is necessary and they can have visual contact with each other. Everyone will write their dreams and goals on small pieces of paper that will later be placed in a balloon, this will be inflated once everyone has made their contribution.
The idea of this activity is that each member should help the same balloon stay afloat, at no time should it touch the ground or let it stay up. By maintaining good communication with each other and also allowing everyone to interact with the object, this objective is guaranteed to be achieved. Symbolically they are being taught that all their dreams matter and that with the help of each one it is possible to make them come true .
4 Activity for coworkers
This activity encourages teamwork and also the creation of a dynamic where co-workers maintain better communication with each other. These dynamics are recommended within work environments where it is required to work with the help and dependence of others, that is, it is necessary that they can have a close employment relationship.
It consists of choosing pairs, these participants must lie on the floor close to each other. Their backs will be on the ground and they should try to hold hands without turning. The idea of this activity is that both can stand without leaning on the ground, they only have the help of their companions to avoid falling.
5 Activity to improve communication and trust
This dynamic can be applied to people of any age in both academic and work environments. Its importance lies in the possibility of improving mutual communication, it becomes more important if trust in the other is to be gained or reaffirmed .
It can be done in different ways since there are variants of this same exercise. It is about choosing couples or threesomes, one of these people must cover their eyes and trust the instructions given by their companions. So this person can complete an action or activity with the help and guidance of those who can see what to do.
For example, it is common to guide people to avoid certain obstacles when they are walking to a goal. It can also consist of taking objects with your hands or trying to build a Lego figure according to the instructions given to them. It can even be to draw an object that they cannot see directly, you simply have to trust what the interlocutor dictates.
6 Dynamics to treat children’s emotions
This dynamic is ideal when it comes to improving confidence in children from an early age. It also allows them to reflect on their emotions , in the long term they will understand how to handle them and their importance in personal and social life .
In this case, the participation of a facilitator is needed, this will be in charge of deforming pairs of children who must face each other. It consists of each of them trying to imitate the movements of the person in front of them. In this way, empathy and concentration are being promoted , as well as motor coordination skills are being put into practice.
7 Send a message
This is one of the classic activities that have always been put into practice in large groups of people. It can be applied in groups of adolescents or also with adults within the work environment, in this way the capacities for understanding and mutual trust are tested .
Each participant must form a line, the first person must send a message to the one who follows directly. This action is continuously maintained from one participant to the other successively, the idea is to test the possibility that the original message can reach the last participant in full. In most cases, the final result differs in several respects from the message that was originally transmitted.
It is a dynamic that not only tests memory, but also the communication skills of each member. In this way you can check if you can trust others and also understand how you should try to improve any aspect related to communication.
8 Recognize the virtues
This dynamic allows people to gain greater confidence in themselves and also in others. It consists of selecting a group of no more than ten people, they should talk to each other for a few minutes. Each member must make a presentation of themselves with each partner, the purpose is that they can recognize each other .
Later a volunteer will begin to describe a person who should be named by name. Depending on the personal characteristics that she has described of herself, each member will be able to recognize her for those same qualities. Whoever has come up with the answer first must also provide a personal opinion, according to the impression they had of this same person when I spoke with them.
9 Learn from mistakes
This activity consists of having a group of people make sketches or drawings that try to adapt to a description made about an object, person or place. It is possible to obtain very different results, some closer to reality than others, the purpose of this exercise is to show that what we assume is not always the truth .
10 Understand how others perceive us
This activity consists of making each member of a group begin to make a very personal but at the same time objective description about a person. At a certain moment, she could recognize herself or another participant could give her opinion , finally whoever makes the description must give the correct answer.
This activity allows people to have a slightly more accurate idea about what the impression of oneself is in others. It helps that each individual can consider making changes in any aspect that has been mentioned as something negative, perhaps it is time to reflect and rectify for the better.
Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.