Problem Solving in a Group

I’m reading this incredible book by Daniel Levi called Group Dynamics for Teams (2nd Ed.) and I wanted to share one part from the book.

The following are characteristics of effective group problem solvers (Beebe & Masterson, 1994; Janis & Mann, 1977):

– Skilled problem solvers view problems from a variety of viewpoints to better understand the problem.
– Rather than relying on its own opinions, an effective group gathers data and researches a problem before making a decision.
– A successful group considers a variety of options or alternatives before selecting a partiular solution.
– An effective group considers a variety of options or alternatives before selecting a particular solution.
– A successful group’s discussion is focused on the problem. Too often, groups have difficulty staying focused on the issues, especially when there are conflicts.
– An effective group listens to minority opinions. Often the solution to a problem lies in the knowledge of a group member but is ignored because the group focuses on the opinions of the majority.
– Skilled problems solvers test alternative solutions relative to established criteria. The group defines what a criteria a good solution must meet and uses those criteria when examining alternatives.

(Levi, 2007, p. 186)

Think about this the next time you are trying to solve a problem in a group setting!

Random note: If you visit his faculty page in the link above, the first selected publication is “Levi, D. & Kocher, S. (2008). International visitors’ experiences of Chiang Mai’s Buddhist temples. Journal of Human Sciences, 9, 86-102.” haha awesome!


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