6 Ways to Be a Valuable Group Member

By Greg Audino

Joining a new group can be disorienting. It’s common for new members to revert back to different stages of development as they try to understand where they fit in, which pushes them further away from who they are now - the person that the group wants to get to know the most!

So whether you’re a new group member looking to make a good impression, or a group leader who’s trying to build a good culture, read on to learn about the best qualities of members of an online, workplace or personal community.

1. A Good Group Member Listens And Asks Questions

Good communication is key within a group, and communication is a two-way street. The best group members are always making an effort to listen to others - hearing their ideas so they can get to know them and challenge them to be their best selves. They do this by paying full attention when another member speaks and then asking powerful questions so new discoveries can be made together.

There is a time and place for statements to be made, but a successful group member knows that learning about ideas is just as important as expressing ideas.

2. A Good Group Member Offers Compliments And Help

Uplifting others is important for keeping the group running as a unit. The best group members and leaders know that offering compliments for a job well done should be balanced with reaching out to members about how they could improve. And when there is outreach for how something could be done better, good members and leaders offer help instead of criticism, shame, or distance.

3. A Good Group Member Wants To Understand The Needs Of The Group

The best group members are regularly asking how they can help or what role they can play for the better of the group. If they are unwilling to contribute in this way, they will talk to the leader about it and look for alternatives. But for a member to make the effort to understand the needs of their group, then consider how those needs relate to their own personal needs, shows effort, compassion and self-respect.

4. A Good Group Member Is Honest

A good group member is straightforward, and because of that, immediately lets other group members know what they bring to the table. This moves the group along efficiently for two reasons:

  • No games are being played
  • The more transparent a group member is, the faster everyone else can see their strengths, weaknesses, biases, and what makes them unique from everyone else.

5. A Good Group Member Is Willing To Compromise

Groups will always be made up of individuals, and even members that have been around a while will have a hard time removing their personal opinions and experiences. This is natural, and the best group members accept and respect these differences instead of being judgmental towards them. Often, that means trying to bridge the gap with a compromise, so individual needs are bundled into group needs and group decisions.

6. A Good Group Member Offers And Receives Encouragement With Grace

Good group members believe in their group, and when that trust is there, then we let our personal guards down and work together. This means that when good members offer encouragement to others, it’s because they want to see them thrive, not because they don’t trust other members to not be lazy or selfish.

It also means that when they receive encouragement, good members know that their peers are trying to bring the best out of them, not accuse them of holding back or trying to assert power over them.

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