The T-Group Trainer: Group Facilitator or Prisoner of Circumstance?
AbstractIn this study of 31 English T Groups, trainers were reported to be more influential, more trusted and more likely to create tension than were members. An index of group outcome was found to correlate significantly with high trainer influence and high trust in the trainer. However, effective trainer behavior also showed substantial variation between different types of T Group. In low tension groups, trainers whose behavior made others tense were more effective, whereas in high tension groups the reverse was true. Seven trainers within the sample conducted more than one group. When these groups were compared, there was no evidence that particular trainers tend to create in their groups a climate of a consistent type. It was concluded that the culture of a group depended primarily on the group's composition. Some trainer behaviors, such as supportive ones, were effective across a wide range of group types. Others, such as confronting behavior, were effective only where the trainer correctly diagnosed its appropriateness to the group culture.