A group relations conference is a unique opportunity to study rational thinking and emotional experience, without giving precedence of one over the other.

Group relations conference technology originated with the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (UK) as a method for understanding group and organisational behaviour through learning from experience. Based on clinical and research practices from psychoanalysis and the social sciences, group relations conferences have developed around the world as a powerful mode of learning about the roles we take up for effectively participating in groups, organisations and society. 

In Australia, group relations conferences have been held almost continuously since the 1980s under the auspices of professional associations and university higher degree programs. Collaboration and Competition: Exploring the Dynamics of Working Together is the 5th residential conference hosted by Group Relations Australia.

In a group relations conference you will experience a learning model different from any other kind of conference. There are no ‘conference presentations’ as such. You will be engaged in various organisational and learning tasks in groups with different configurations that will challenge ways of thinking about self, others and group behaviour. Learning happens within programmed events, and in the spaces between events in the interactions with others. The learning is participative, immediate and continues long beyond the time of the conference. It is an intensive model of learning with a ratio of approximately 1 staff to every 5 participants.

You can expect to learn about:

Yourself — 

  • the formal and informal roles you take up in work groups, and why you might take up those roles; gain insight to one's own behaviour in relation to others; deepen your understanding of the question, “How is it that I am having the experience I am having, right now?”

Skills for organisational roles —

  • for taking up leadership, followership and exercising authority; effectively consulting to groups at work; of working with uncertainty and ‘not knowing’.

Dynamic forces that influence group behaviour —

  • the conscious and unconscious dynamics of groups at work; the systemic forces at play within an organisation —rational and irrational, authority and power, the co-existent presence of collaboration and competition.