Perhaps the most powerful aspect of my approach to group dynamics is that I encourage people to welcome the full range of human responses.
This expressly includes non-rational input
In recognition that people know, process, and transmit information in a wide variety of ways. I take the view that dispassionate, linear thinking is only one way this is accomplished, and it's crippling to a group to insist that everything be considered in that format. In particular, people in our culture tend to mistrust or be fearful of strong emotional response.
There is valuable energy in emotions that can be directed toward solving the problems instead of being used to bludgeon or manipulate.
People cannot do their best thinking and until they first feel heard.
Allowing a person a full expression of their input makes it possible for them move to another position
Wherever possible, my preference is to apply the theory directly to actual issues and dynamics currently present in a group--whatever they are. For purposes of teaching the concepts, the nastier the issues the better (after all, if what I have to offer doesn't help with the tough problems, why bother?).
It typically works well for me to start out by simply observing the group in action, where it is discussing something challenging. That way I can get a first-hand sense of what is going on and what some of the underlying issues and tendencies are. Also, it makes possible my tying the theory to direct observations of the group, which tends to give the information more life.
Another possibility is to spend time looking at the nature of conflict and the advantages of moving away from the traditional view of conflict as an indicator of ill health in the group. Instead, I can show you how to work with conflict as an opportunity for gaining leverage on knotty problems.