Thursday, August 16, 2012

COG's Ladder - Its All Normal Group Behavior

The basic idea of Cog's Ladder is that there are five steps a group of people will go thru in order to form a team that work efficiently and effectively together.

It was developed by Proctor and Gamble and used extensively by the US Armed Forces to understand Small Group dynamics.

What we all should take from this is that LCCC is normal! This is how groups interact and form – moving up and down the ladder like a Gambit playing chess maniac! So, everyone chill and understand - we are all just being people.

Here are the steps on the ladder – top to bottom:

High creativity, high morale, high cohesiveness
Mutual acceptance and the need for approval is gone
Intense loyalty to the group
Cliques are absent
New members will cause the group to drop rungs temporarily

Open minded and active listening
Team spirit starts to build
Cliques dissolve
Leadership shared
Group identity important
Conflict viewed as a positive means to examine issues
New members find it hard to fit in

Competition for attention, recognition and influence
Conflicts arise – voting needed, compromise and maybe arbitration from outside the group
Cliques assume power and hidden agendas change behavior
Win/Lose interactions can happen
Disclosure is cautious
Wide range of participation (zero to all in)
Some members are close-minded
Tasks are fulfilled but not at optimum completion
Some groups never get past this stage.

Defining the objectives and goals
Cliques grow and wield influence
Identity of the group still low
Begin risk taking
Sense hidden agendas

Getting acquainted and sharing values
Cliques are formed
Hidden agendas stay hidden
Conflict usually absent
Feedback and disclosure at a minimum
Approval needs from the group apparent – end

Recognize any of this? And yes, you can be in between rungs and step up and down as a group on occasion.

So all you chess clubs out there – including LCCC – relax. All this stuff is normal. Just understand where you are on the ladder and work earnestly to move up.

And be sure to play chess with each other while doing that!

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