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Process intervention skills can assist a group of people in understanding how to function more effectively at different tasks. Working together in a small or large group is part of life, one that most people will experience at some level, either academically or through employment. Understanding how to maximum group dynamics through process intervention skills can take a group from mediocre to magnificent.
Clarification and understanding what is being said or expected of a person or group is an important process intervention skill. Clarification can be done by providing individuals or groups with a written summary of expectations. A discussions session in which people can ask questions can be helpful for the individual or group. Clarification keeps people on the same page and focused on the same task, meaning better group dynamics and productivity.
Synthesize and Generalize
Synthesizing and generalizing are process intervention methods that provide group cohesion. People working in a group generally understand and process information in similar ways. It may be helpful to have a group spokesperson who can represent the group viewpoint. The spokesperson will compile the group ideas into a list (the synthesizing component), and he will condense the list into one or two main points (the generalizing component).
Listen and Reflect
Listening is a process intervention skill that involves the eyes and ears. Body language can be more indicative of how a person feels than actual words. Reflection is an important skill, because it lets a person or group know they are being heard and understood. You can use reflection by using statements such as, "So what I hear you saying is...." and reiterating a person's idea in different words. Pay attention to conflicting body language as well; you may want to address conflicts in words and actions in private to prevent anyone feeling singled out or address the concern to the group as a generalization.
People learn through various means: visual, auditory and kinetic. Modeling the process intervention or other techniques for individuals or groups can help ensure they are practiced. Managers who do not model or are in conflict with expectations may experience individuals or groups in conflict or disarray. Periodically check your own actions in comparison to other individuals or the group to keep a common focus and purpose.
Observation and Feedback
Watching the group and providing appropriate and beneficial feedback is helpful for many reasons. Keep a watchful eye on individuals to see how they interact with the group and on the group interactions as a whole. Constructive feedback should be well-timed so it is heard and accepted. You can provide feedback individually or to the group, but do not single out any one person in front of other group members to prevent hurt feelings or hostility.
Michelle Blessing has experience in child development, parenting, social relationships and mental health, enhanced by her work as a clinical therapist and parent educator. Blessing's work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and is pursuing her master's degree in psychology with a specialization in applied behavior analysis.