Group Roles

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Group Roles and Associated Communication Behaviours


1.Task Leader


3.Opinion Seeker

4.Opinion Giver



7.Devil’s Advocate or Central Negative

8.Energizer Typical Communication Behaviours

Behaviours include goal setting; agenda making; initiating, seeking, and evaluating ideas and opinions; regulating participation of members; summarizing discussions

Proposes new ideas or approaches to problem solving

Asks for evaluation of ideas under discussion; seeks values and beliefs of members

Offers own interpretation of ideas and proposals under discussion

Probes the value of ideas by raising concerns and questions for others to answer; does so without putting others on the defensive

Critically tests soundness of ideas, information, and inferences; reinforces good ideas; points out logical fallacies or inadequate evidence

Responds negatively to most ideas of group; generally counters view of majority with own ideas; often takes opposite point of view for sake of argument

Motivates group by dramatizing progress and trying to stimulate productive effort; makes upbeat comments and pushes group to do its best work


9.Socio-Emotional Leader



12.Tension Releaser

13.HarmonizerUsually most well-liked member of group; listens, encourages others, and strives to maintain group harmony

Follows orders carefully and does assigned tasks or routine chores no one else wants to do; goes along with group consensus

Shows acceptance of others’ ideas and praises their efforts; engages in active listening; shows understanding; serves as sounding board

Breaks ice and manages conflict by using well-timed humour or changing discussion topic

Mediates disagreements between members by emphasizing importance of getting along; tries to play down...
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