Group Dynamics

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Group Dynamics

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marraskuu 14, 2006, 3:42 pm

I thought I'd start a thread for all those behaviorial questions and concerns that come with a book group. Members who dominate, others who constantly digress, the lecturer, the wall flower, the one who never reads the assigned book...and so on.

Has anyone notice differences in conversational style between men and women in mixed groups?

Have you ever had to kick out a book club member and why?

How do you deal with the one member who always seems to want to have the stage?

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 15, 2006, 5:16 am

we had a problem just once. permit me to paste something from a journal about the meeting where we discussed "the da vinci code":

The meeting did not go well I felt. Main reason was that M. had told her husband that he should attend. For quite a while now she's been feeling unhappy that with her kids grown and left home, she and her husband did not seem to have any interests in common, and she felt that this was an activity they could share.

He came last night (not hard for him since it was his house after all) and made a complete nuisance of himself. He hadn't read the book. Didn't know what the book was about. Was domineering and loud. Had the kind of voice that sounds authoritative even when he has nothing to say. Butted into everyone else's contribution. Had nothing to contribute himself beyond "The jesuits are the devil in disguise" which he reinterated several times. (There are no jesuits in the book). Trouble was that S. who was leading the discussion was very laid back and did not step in to manage the conversation. Normally that would not be necessary, but the group was so large last night, and of course, the new members so shy, that the discussion needed some chairing. The teacher in me saw what was happening, but couldn't step in myself to put things right.

Not sure if this guy really is like this, or whether this was a staged protest at M.s insistence that he be there. M. didn't seem to be getting pissed off with him, and nor did the others. But maybe they were all being polite. Hope he doesn't attend another meeting.

Fortunately, he didn't. But neither did the new members who had turned up that night.

marraskuu 15, 2006, 5:13 pm

Bibliobibuli, that was an interesting insight. I want to slap him around. Sounds like your meetings are quite well organised - with a chair etc.

marraskuu 21, 2006, 7:51 am

in theory they are well organised - someone "leads" i.e. does a bit of research and introduces the book and directs the conversation a bit. but we are a racous lot much of the time and it often becomes a happy free-for-all. but all of us are conscious of the need to let everyone else contribute. this guy wasn't playing by the rules.

our group is and always has been, mostly women, in fact we have had only one guy stay the course - and he is lovely.

oh, and the other parts of being organised ... i take care of the yahoo e-group we use to communicate, another friend does the secretarial bit, and we rotate the hosting (which includes a very nice supper)