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The Use of Non-Linear Dynamics to Help Facilitate Understanding of Learning and Development Within Groups

G Andrew International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring 2022

Complexity theory, including non-linear dynamics, provides a powerful approach to understanding and analysing complex interactions as seen when group members learn and develop. However, complexity theory does not feature heavily in the coaching literature, depriving coaches of this tool. This paper discusses the implications of non-linear dynamics on our understanding of group development and illustrate this with a toy model of anger in a group of three. While formal mathematical modelling of group behaviour is probably not achievable, the insights can help coaches understand how best to intervene to maximise their impact and bring benefit to their clients.

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