Wednesday, June 28, 2006
This time I was back on my leadership program, grooving with the Deer as we climbed enormous trees and yelled and cried and laughed and danced our way into a new understanding. This retreat was number 2 of 4, and focused on creating from other - very big learning curve for me.
The way my dear friend Dr. Jane explained it to me, there is a theory of old-school group work that says the group will perform at a level slightly below that of the most competent member. Her suspicion was that I was often the most competent member, leading me to conclude quite logically that I could have done the whole project better by myself, a lot faster, and with a lot less hassle. The rest of the group would be happy and want to work with me again. I ran away as fast as I could from these people and started doing my own thing.
The work we did at this retreat gave me a whole new perspective about groups and it is exciting the hell out of me. The structure made it abundantly clear, again and again, that I could go farther with someone else than I could by myself, farther than I even dreamed possible. This is what my coach meant by meeting people where they are. I finally got it. In order to find out where they are, I have to get over there with them, ignoring me for a while, because I know where I am. Not sure if this makes sense to anyone else!
Mainly I want to point out that this is GOOD NEWS, especially because I have a big job to do, and it's going to get done much better and faster now that I can understand how to get help with it. On some level, my improv experience has taught me this before. But now I simply cannot ignore its application in my life.
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In terms of IQ, heterogeneous groups fall prey to the " free rider" problem where the brightest person contributes the most and receives the least stimulus. After a while, this experience gets rather old for gifted students.
Homogenous gifted groups,OTOH are the rationale for gifted programs - the opportunity to work and bounce ideas off peers of equal or greater ability. Theoretical physics, for example, makes most of its progress that way ( and one reason why the Germans with their single " star" Heisenberg, never came close to making the bomb while the Allies with Bohr, Fermi, Szilard etc. did)
Homogenous ability level but different fields of expertise are even better for creative thinking.