Analyzing Facilitation Sessions Using Tuckman Model
Discuss about the Social Identity and Intergroup Relations.
The aim of this paper is to discuss about the facilitation sessions involving the refugees and analyze it through the Tuckman Model. Another concern of the paper is to reflect on my leadership styles. The aim of the facilitation session is to provide therapeutic service and counseling to the refugee group who has migrated to Australia, the framework of the Tuckman Model is used to critically understand the different sessions. In addition, there would be assessment of the leadership style that has been used in each of the sessions as well as my position and role as the facilitator (Germain, 2010). Although there are different kinds of group models, every group has four major phases that is an initial starting-up period in which the group members are anxious however, they are positive about the group. Secondly, this is followed by a period of conflict or discontentment as the group members begins to understand the dynamics of the relationships and their equation with the leader. In the third phase the groups function effectively by fulfilling its objectives and facilitating the personal development of all the members. The final phase is denoted by the phase of closure that is characterized by the group members addressing their issues.
This section is concerned with describing about the different facilitation session and analyzing it through the chosen Tuckman Model. Bruce Tuckman conceptualized the Tuckman Model in 1965. He identified five stages of development those are forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning that is experienced by all the teams. According to Tuckman, a team would not be fully effective until it reaches the stage of interdependence or performing. Durig the organization of these team sessions group norms and values like being non-prejudiced towards the team members, being respectful towards the team members and the issue of confidentiality was taken into account. All these were important considering that vulnerable and marginalized position of the refugee participants in the mainstram white colonial Australian society. The agenda of Session 1 is sharing the experiences in the country of origin, sharing the experiences in the refugee camps, to understand the experiences of the refugees in Australia and enabling them to settle in Australia. During the Facilitation Session, 1the focus was to start the group and introduce the members of the group with each other (Tajfel, 2010). Considering that it would be an introductory session, an ice-breaking session was conducted so that the members of the group became familiar with each other. Therefore, the paper plane ice-breaker was deployed in which the members formed a circle and each member picked a paper plane that created awareness about each of the participants. The aim of this session was to understand the processes that went into in the construction of the refugees and at the same time facilitate acculturation of the refugees by providing them the requisite support. This would be followed by providing the participants to share their experiences, encourage them to be respectful and mitigate conflict during the conversations. All these can be understood as the forming stage of the Tuckman Model as it is concerned with members being oriented to each other, creating condition that would facilitate the group members to know more about each other and learn about the rules and the procedure (Breshears & Volker, 2012). Since this stage involves mitigating the conflict that may emerge during the interaction between the different teams. During Session 1 the responsibility of the facilitator is to deal; with the conflicts and the disruption. This would be achieved through understanding the different ideas of the people and would respect their experiences that would reinforce their belief in pluralism and diversity. In case of Facilitation Session 2, the aim was to identify in what ways the organization can best support the young refugees and create a platform that facilitated safety of the group members and create an atmosphere for them to share their stories. The Facilitation 2 resembles the storming stage of the of the Tuckman model. In this stage, the details of the group comprising of the program length, frequency, size and venue about the group therapy was discussed. During this stage, storytelling was used as a tool to break the ice that may pose impediment between the facilitator of the group and the group members and it was used in identifying the issues that was faced by the group members. It was found that the group members initially were reluctant to share their experiential reality as those were personal details and they felt that they were vulnerable (Breshears & Volker, 2012). As possible areas of conflicts were identified, there was a change in strategy in the group work. The idea to continue with the ice-breaking session sounds quite appropriate considering that it was important to break the barriers that were creating constraints in the communication of the group members. The activities and the decision pertaining to this stage is reflective of the core value of the storming stage that strives to deal with the differences faced by the members and manage the conflict (DuBois & Miley, 2013). Therefore, it can be stated that the leadership style is catalytic as it fosters self-directed learning, structuring as there are structured activities that propagates individual awareness among the members and it is cathartic as the ice-breaking session makes the group members feel relaxed and enable them to recover from their trauma.
Leadership Styles Used in Each Session
The sense of being displaced is a complex emotion and therefore, the leadership style inspired from the position approach is quite appropriate to respond to the challenges that have emerged during the session (Fisher, 2009). The deployment of the narrative approach was instrumental as it uses the method of storytelling to externalize the problems of the clients. Storytelling allows the facilitator to understand about the about the client’s inferred meaning and the implied dreams. Considering that the refugees belong to different culture and assimilating with the new culture can be challenging, it is important that the stories were woven out during the sessions as these stories provide the gateway to the norms prevalent in their culture (Howe, 2017). Secondly, it enables the facilitator to understand the cultural expectations of the refugees and contextualize their personal values and dreams. The narrative therapy encourages the refugees to view their problems as separate from the problems and restructure their life-enhancing outcomes (Germain, 2010). The goal is to empower the client through a collaborative alliance with the refugees and refrain from engaging in premature judgments (Lee & Hudson, 2017). During this session, I realized that it is important to have a good understanding about the different kinds of resources that are important whilst dealing with the refugees. However, this session went beyond the storming stage as the shortcomings regarding the group work was discussed during this time and there was an emphasis on building trust with the group members that facilitate in bridging the gap (Webster & Spellings, 2016). In the facilitation session 4, the strength-based approach and the narrative approach was used to conduct the group. It was realized that it is important to facilitate the group and this was done through guiding the members to interact and clarify the content that would be used in the sessions to empower and motivate them. During this stage, the facilitator collected information and used that information to further the knowledge about the composition of the refugees (AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers, 2018). The strength-based approach deployed with the objective of recognizing the strength of the refugee in the group through the storytelling method that have been applied earlier.
One basic problem that was identified at this stage that there was superficial harmony without any meaningful conversations, debates and problematization of the issues, therefore there was not much nuanced understanding. Reflecting on this facilitated in understanding about the shortcomings in the leadership style of the facilitator and the scope for improvement to respond to the given situation. In Facilitation session 5, I was involved as a facilitator and my aim was to focus on the employment opportunities for the refugee thereby providing them with dignified living options and earn their livelihood (Baldwin, 2016).The other focus was to provide psychological support through stress management, helping people to network and provide mutual support. The strength-based approach was used in this stage by focusing on the strength, abilities and the potential of the young refugee in the group session, through a recognition of their expertise, through active involvement in the decisions related to the purpose and the process of the group and finally by recognizing the social context of the person. I was interested to understand and ascertain the different motivations of the group members and enable them to overcome their difficulties. Stage 5 is in conjunction with the Norming stage of the Tuckman model as during this session, the goals were in the committed and cohesive state and it was felt that the desired goals would be achieved. Apart from responding according to the given situation, the idea was to integrate the code of ethics that was prescribed in the AASW Code of Ethics where social justice and self-determination was given the foremost importance (Banks, 2012). The values derived from social work was important in guiding me regarding approaching the members of the group and seeking solutions that would empower them. The deployment of the ice-breaking activity was pertinent considering that it used the papers, pictures and pens to that were used for writing the goals for each of the participants. The deployment of self-determination is important considering that strength-based approach was used to recognize the strength and expertise of the people and empowering them to face with the trauma. The reflection during this stage about understanding the nuances between professional integrity and not spoon-feeding the group members was quite important. My role as a facilitator was to enable the group members to identify themselves, locate their problems, realize their potential and overcome the challenges accordingly (Zastrow, 2011). The lesson on sympathy and empathy enabled in connecting to the self-determination of the participants. More than being dictatorial, the idea was to proceed in a collaborative manner and link between the problems and their appropriate solutions that was done during this stage. In Facilitation Session 6, the goal was to identify the needs of the young refugee participants, enable each member to recognize the achievement of the group and building up relationship between the peers with the aim of forming a support network. Much like the previous sessions, this stage was also concerned with the strength-based approach where the group members were empowered to recognize the strength and the limitation. Once again, there was an introductory session to familiarize the group members about the roles of the different group members. During this stage all the group members worked as a team and they were encouraged to become self-sufficient to solve the problems rather than relying on the facilitator. This resonates of the features of the performing stage where the group members developed a support network and they were helping each other to find meaningful resources that would enable them to rehabilitate in the society. The members in this session have developed the proficiency in working together towards their goals and at the same time achieving their goals. This is reflective of the performing stage, as the members have started to work together and become interdependent. The strategy of not incorporating culturally responsive practice is appropriate considering the heterogeneity of the group. The increase in the confidence level of the members was required considering that this was the 6th stage and by this time group members need to feel confident about facing the challenges through the different methods of social work therapy that have been incorporated so far. The group members could exercise their autonomy and use their agency to reflect on the diverse issues in their present context. This approach helped the refugee to cope with trauma, grief and loss and therefore proved to be a cathartic experience. In this sense, the leadership was cathartic to alleviate the ordeals of the group members. Session 7 was the stage of adjournment or the closure of the group. During this stage, there is an opportunity to reflect on all the sessions and evaluate the sessions. In addition, there needs to be proper acknowledgement and structuring about ending the group session therapy (Padgett, 2016). The social work facilitator felt that session needs to end on a positive note therefore a leisure game was played with the objective of relaxing the environment and bonding as agroup. I would consider this is appropriate as it taught the skills of time management, decision making and reflex to the group members. Narrative approach and self-disclosure was used to reflect on the journey so far and in intervening the group members whether their expectations have been met. In addition, there was the incorporation of the strength-based approach. This stage enable me to understand that nota all the members have benefitted equally however that is important to devise better plans in the future and relook into the adopted approaches in addressing the concerns of the different members.
The strength-based approach and the narrative approach enabled me in conducting the group process without much delay. During the course of the group facilitation process I have developed strategies with the aim of interacting with the members of the group, clarifying the content and encouraging self-expression from the group members. I wanted to assess the group members and elicit information from them on their feelings and behavior. I was intimately engaged in my work and seek new directions through the allocation of resources, demonstrating different roles and confronting with the inconsistencies. Therefore as a facilitator, my aim was to engage in collecting the information from the refugee participants and assess their problems. The deployment of the strength-based approach and the narrative approach underscore on the values of empowerment, empathy, acknowledging diversity and expanding the scope of agency of the team members. This constitutes the practice of ethical social work and the three indexes that have been discussed fostered the group-based skills of the team members.
My experience as a professional facilitator enabled me to profusely make use of the theoretical framework and translate it to practice. This was reflected in the different strategies that were deployed in each of the sessions that were compatible to the unique biographies of the team members. From the outset of the sessions, it was understood that the refugee groups have a history of displacement, a sense of not belonging to the land where they are now settled and at the same time a sense of no belonging to the land from where they have originated. I made one mistake by oppressing the differential expressions that steered the members to generate insincere content. The motivation behind the teamwork was to equip the group members to learn social values and socialization through in-depth and personal conversations. I realized that instead of rich connotation, it was superficial harmony that pervaded the group. I realized that despite the best intentions and the efforts I could have caused harm to the participants because of this attitude of suppression. Toa mend these mistakes, in future I would collaborate with a co-facilitator. This collaboration would be beneficial in understanding my strength, weakness, abilities and limitations as a facilitator and thereby act appropriately in a much more nuanced manner. In the pursuit of my role as a facilitator, I would adhere to the code of ethics enshrined in the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and incorporate empathy and genuineness in my work. I followed a situational leadership style where my leadership roole and responsibility emerged from the changing nature of the situation.
From the above discussion, it can concluded that group work in social work is purported to act as therapy for the team members. This is particularly useful for counseling and resolving the issues of the refugees wo are vulnerable. The facilitation sessions were conducted following the Tuckman model and each of the stages in the model provided direction about the next stage to be adopted for the session. The social work theoretical framework informed about the appropriate strategies for the alleviation of their problems. The strength-based approach and the narrative approach was found to be appropriate in empowering the team members to resolve their problems and in ascertaining their unique lifeworlds and distinctive biographies. Finally, my leadership style was situational as it emerged from the problems and situation at different stages and were meant to be flexible to respond in an effective manner.
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