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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Managing Small Groups with Common Interests, August 27, 2011
This review is from: True North Groups: A Powerful Path to Personal and Leadership Development (BK Business) (Paperback)
True North Groups-A Powerful Path to
Personal and Leadership Development
by Bill George and Doug Baker is about
forming cohesive small groups to support
us during challenging times. Small group
membership requires a willingness to
challenge life's assumptions, comfort
with self-reflection, the ability to
listen and the sustained ability to
commit time to a common effort.
Ideal candidates have a sense of humor
about life, they like small group interaction
and are good listeners , as well as
facilitators.

Individual small groups possess common norms.
Examples of these norms are openness, trust,
respecting uniqueness, empathy, withholding
judgment, providing constructive suggestions
and attendance. Barriers to group cohesiveness
are lack of member commitment, absence of
suitable boundaries, dominating behaviors,
lack of sharing and the violation of group
normative values.

High performing groups usually have good attendance,
high levels of trust, adherence to explicit norms,
meaningful discussion topics, regular retreats or
meetings and a periodic group assessment. On occasion,
groups struggle for reform for a variety of reasons.
i.e. new blood is needed, people quit,the group
segments into one or more splinter subgroups.

Early in the life of a True North Group ,
members may meet to build intimacy and trust.
Each may discuss early life experiences,
obstacles in life, self-awareness issues,
values, passions, motivations, talents
and personal relationships.

Bill George and Doug Baker have established a
True North Groups Institute to support individual
True North Group efforts. Institute leaders are
available to support facilitation of the formation
of new True North Groups among individuals
and within organizations of varying
complexity.

There is a help line support to enhance the
effectiveness of existing groups. A registry
exists for professional facilitators to assist
in new group formation and performance. There
is an extensive bibliography with authoritative
references.

Overall, Bill George and Doug Baker have crafted
a very useful book for conveying the essential
elements of small group formation, as well as
the practical implementation problems which need
to be addressed at various juncture points where
small groups meet and debate.

Small group formation and interpersonal
interaction are difficult hurdles for
organizations to traverse. The guidelines
in True North Groups make this process of
group formation much easier with a
step-by-step implementation scheme and
a thorough delineation of classic pitfalls.

The methodologies explained in this book
are suited ideally for new system projects
in data processing organizations, as well
as human resource efforts at encouraging
small group formation in corporate
organizations, as well as governmental
organizations. The precepts in this book
could be extremely helpful in crafting a
budgetary framework for Congressional groups
meeting later this year.

Professional negotiators could utilize the
methodologies outlined to manage small group
issues at the neighborhood or regional level
in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.

Credits: First Published on Blogcritics
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