5 Dysfunctional Personalities Within a Small Group
1. DOMINATORS - have an answer for every question and every answer seems to go on forever. Dominators are usually very knowledgeable and kind-hearted. They just don’t always have the social skills needed to help you keep things on track. Some dominators are able to talk for a long time without breathing at all. Or perhaps they’ve mastered the ability to speak while inhaling as well as exhaling. You need to have the courage to help the dominator wrap things up. One of the best methods is to simply finish the dominator’s thoughts for him or her then quickly allow someone else to speak.
2. HIDERS - are easy to ignore because they never bother the other group members. In fact, they’ve become experts at being ignored and missed. Hiders need very gentle coaching and encouragement to start allowing others to get to know them.
3. SCOFFERS - have the greatest potential to ruin a small group. Criticism is contagious and it can paralyze an inexperienced facilitator. The secret to dealing with scoffers is to remember that their bark is always worse than their bite. Some scoffers are in such a habit of being negative that they criticize things they actually enjoy. Remember that the complaints of scoffers are usually more about their own perceptions and hurts than the events they’re criticizing. Don’t ever let a scoffer derail an activity, and never take the complaints personally.
4. REVEALERS - have a tough time knowing how much information is too much information. Revealers often bring details to their stories that leave group members feeling embarrassed or unsure of how they should respond.
5. PROBLEM SOLVERS - have a tough time seeing others in pain or confusion. With great intentions, the problem solver tries to fix other group members, often offering pat answers and solutions. Remind your group that each friend is in the process of discovery and needs time to work out his or her questions.