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Episode 120

July 7, 2021

120:Facilitating Group Dynamics - with Grace Lau

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    Group dynamics are always present in the room, whether or not we choose to acknowledge them.

    What can we do to understand and manage group dynamics – and our place within them?

    As an organisational psychologist, vastly experienced facilitator, and insightful thinker, Grace Lau is the perfect person to answer this complicated question.

    Tune into this episode to get a stronger grasp on group dynamics, explore organisational psychology, and to hear the surprising reason Grace why locks herself in the bathroom during workshop breaks!


    Find out about

    • How and why people’s characters flex and flow in different groups
    • Why it’s okay to interfere with a group’s dynamic for the sake of the workshop’s objective
    • Why we should reconsider the unnatural (and impossible) idea of neutrality
    • How changes in dynamics are often the result of patterns, not single events
    • Stories from Grace’s experience of facilitating workshops on group dynamics
    • How social cues have (and have not) translated to online tools, adjusting group dynamics without us realising
    • What impact hybrid workshops will have on group dynamics

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    Questions and Answers

    01:04When did you start calling yourself a facilitator? 03:34How do you apply your background in organisational psychology to your facilitation practice? 05:38How do you approach psychological safety? 11:39How do you account for the fact that different personalities have more impact than others in a group? 15:32Where does a facilitator’s responsibility for group dynamics start and end? 18:12Can one truly be neutral and facilitate oneself out of unconscious biases? 24:18 When something changes in a group’s dynamic, can we point to the cause? 30:37In this example of a workshop that the group sees as a ‘tick box’ exercise, how would you add a little friction and interest to proceedings? 34:06Does the majority of the work that goes into a session happen before the group arrives? 37:08What makes a workshop fail? 41:08Is it easier to sense or handle group online? 49:26Can individual people or moments change a group’s rules – without even necessarily noticing? 53:03How can we manage two separate conversational spaces (e.g. a video call with a chat function)? 54:55What should facilitators pay attention to with group dynamics in the hybrid space? 59:53 What is your favourite exercise? 01:04:11 What is the one thing you would like listeners to take away from this episode?

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