The process consultant must be keenly aware of the different roles individual members take on in a group. Both upon entering and while remaining in a group, the individual must determine a self-identity influence, and power that will satisfy personal needs while working to accomplish group goals. Preoccupation with individual needs or power struggles can reduce the effectiveness of a group severely, and unless the individual can expose and share those personal needs to some degree, the group is unlikely to be productive. Therefore, the process consultant must help the group confront and work through these needs.
Emotions are facts, but frequently they are regarded as side issues to be avoided. Whenever an individual, usually the leader, says to the group, "Let's stick with the facts," it can be a sign that the emotional needs of group members are not being satisfied and, indeed, are being disregarded as irrelevant.
Two other functions need to be performed if a group is to be effective: (1) task-related activities, such as giving and seeking information and elaborating, coordinating, and evaluating activities; and (2) group- maintenance actions, directed toward holding the group together as a cohesive team, including encouraging, harmonizing, compromising, setting standards, and observing. Most ineffective groups perform little group maintenance, and this is a primary reason for bringing in a process consultant.
The process consultant can help by suggesting that some part of each meeting be reserved for examining these functions and periodically assessing the feelings of the group's members. As Schein points out, however, the basic purpose of the process consultant is not to take on the role of expert but to help the group share in its own diagnosis and do a better job in learning to diagnose its own processes: "It is important that the process consultant encourage the group not only to allocate time for diagnosis but to take the