This text treats groups and the work involved in grouping as useful tools humans have developed for responding to pressures or demands faced by group members. As these pressures and demands toward grouping arise, the differences between effective and ineffective groups may be small (as they begin to manifest), but they can become very large when measured by final group outcomes. Thus, it is important to be aware of the signs that a group is not doing well and to know how to help a group begin to do better.
This book assumes an orientation that expects and detects group pitfalls as they arise, providing students with the foundation for overcoming barriers to effective group experiences. By assuming this orientation, this book is designed to 1) provide a map of the group pitfall terrain, and 2) demonstrate how people working well together can use the struggle against such pitfalls to improve their groups.