It may seem strange to be told that a whole field of learning is not within our awareness; that a whole range of group processes (group dynamics) are occurring every day of our lives, without us being aware of them. This is partly due to the highly successful method of teaching that has dominated the western world for several hundred years. Yet we are all aware, to various degrees of competence, that emotions and our unconscious -phenomena that cannot be taught - affect our lives constantly. It is these phenomena that are the subject of group processes.
The aim of the conference is to provide learning opportunities that will enable members to learn about, understand, and identify conscious and unconscious group processes, and to begin to apply these processes in groups and organisations that members are a part of. A group relations conference is a way of learning about conscious and unconscious group processes, and the way that emotions and anxiety can be significant in affecting group processes. Exploring how what happens at the level of the whole system both influences, and is influenced by, the behaviour of both subgroups and individuals.
During the conference, the participants develop an experiential way of learning what happens in a group. Instead of receiving a predefined set of conclusions or concepts, they learn to explore how the group as a whole is acting in relation to its tasks and structure. Staff will provide observations and hypotheses that explain the conscious and unconscious dynamics that are occurring. This will help members to recognise the influence of the whole group on their own actions and experiences; to act with awareness of the group processes, and to influence the group in a meaningful way.
The ultimate goal of the conference is for the participants to become more effective in their work roles, through the ability to be aware of, understand, and influence the group processes shaping their environment. Being aware of unconscious processes and the effect of emotions enables members to become actors rather than puppets; allowing them to truly make a difference. Learning about these group processes will enable members, and the groups and organisations that members are part of, to be more effective and will positively affect the bottom line of private sector organisations and the effectiveness of public sector organisations.