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Team Odpedia

T-Group Process

T-Group Process

The branch of OD that involves working in a group of 10-12 people in a non-classroom setup with no agenda provided but to explore what is happening to them on a ‘here and now’ basis and how the group members interact among themselves and resolve emerging issues therein, is T-Group or laboratory training methodology.

The critically important elements of T-Group or Laboratory Training Methodology is the absence of appointed leaders and the presence of a facilitator who does not provide direction, solution, often offering some behavioral data as observations and help the members of the group observe their behavior and the responses that are elicited to those behaviors. These responses are then tested through hypothesis and validated by the ‘here and now’ data, conceptualizing the process. It all started when four colleagues, Kurt Lewin, Kenneth D.Benne, Leyland P Bradford and Ronald Lipitt were asked to organize a conference to address the religions and racial prejudices after World War-II. These four colleagues later started the National Training Laboratories (NTL) in Bethel, Maine in 1947 and started offering T-Groups were learning about individuals and group behavior and also for developing future competent T-Group trainers.

T-Group methodology has been adopted by several organizations which wanted to facilitate change through focusing on individual and groups.

In a T-Group laboratory, the processes could be intra-personal, inter personal as well as at the Group level viz. Group Processes.

In T-Group, the leaderless unstructured setting of the laboratory has enough ambiguity and confusion that creates healthy limit of stress for the participants to elicit their deep inside unconscious behavioral responses.

The word “Laboratory” in Laboratory Training Methodology can be attributed to the spirit of experimentation that forms the principle area of work in any laboratory. The conceptual framework of a T-Group is based on principles of Applied Behavioral Sciences. There are many Group Development Theories that are used to study the Group behavior in T-Groups and they are Jack Gibb’s Model of Trust Formation that identifies the four concerns related to acceptance, data flow, goal and control in the Group. The Inclusion Control Affection Model of Will Schutz and the Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing Model of Tuchman, the intra-personal and inter personal processes in the T-Group are often explored through the well-known Johari Window Model given by Joe Luft and Harryingham

T-Groups training is also often called Sensitivity Training perhaps because of the awareness it generates in the participants of the Group on the fundamental human processes.

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