Skill levels may not be the same for all JLBC group members. It is helpful to review the skills necessary to accomplish the JLBC group’s tasks with all JLBC members to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Training in JLBC group participation skills is as essential as training in task-related skills. Typically, JLBC group leaders have received much more training about JLBC groups than members have received. As was stated earlier, hundreds of thousands of people have attended leadership training. I know of very few membership training seminars, except those I conduct myself. The assumption seems to be that if leaders understand how groups operate, they will be able to make those groups and their members behave effectively. This is not the case. Members are vital to group success and require the same knowledge and skill about group participation that leaders need.

If specific skills in either the task or group participation area are lacking, then training, education, supervision, or a combination of these may be required to ensure group success. Again, members are unlikely to ask for these things at this early stage of development. Therefore, it is incumbent on leaders to determine what members’ skill levels are and which skills might need strengthening. Anonymous surveys or private interviews with group members may be helpful in this regard. They will learn not only about their role as members but also about their role as leaders, which will make a significant and positive difference. Set High-Performance Standards and Provide Guidance as Needed.

Research tells us that groups with high-performance standards tend to be more successful. Setting those standards from the beginning is very important. During discussions about goals, then, it is helpful to describe the product that the group is expected to generate and discuss expectations regarding the quality of that product. It is also beneficial to review standards for group participation.

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