Ranking - Roles Within The Group

This model developed by Raoul Schindler and Dr. Christian Hanisch describes the roles people can take on within a group.

2 min read
Ranking - Roles Within The Group

Some people have a certain tendency towards a role because of their personality and their impact. However, it should be noted that the role of the members is not uniquely defined and cannot be changed. Instead, the role within the group is strongly dependent on the situation and is therefore of a temporary nature.

Abbildung: Rangordnung - Rollen in der Gruppe

V - Superior - Formal Leader

The formal leader is defined by an implicit or explicit hierarchy. In day-to-day work, this can be the head of department, for example. Privately it can be an authority figure like mother or father.

Accordingly, the formal leader is not "chosen" by the group, but "preferred" by external circumstances.

α – Alpha – Informal Leader

The informal leader is generally a person who takes care of the group's concerns and thus gains its approval. The alpha defines "the direction" in which the group moves. He is accepted as a leader without his position being defined from the outside.

γ – Gamma – Follower

The Gamma supports the Alpha. He trusts the alpha and accepts him as a "pointer" and opinion leader.

β – Beta – Specialist

The specialist has a special position within the group. Due to his special knowledge, which the group depends on, he has special rights within the group. It is accepted that within certain limits the specialist defies social rules.

Ω – Omega – Troublemaker

The troublemaker is considered a destructive element within a group. There are three different forms of the troublemaker.

Lethal Injection

The lethal injection doesn't fit into the group and doesn't want to fit in. Their behavior is highly destructive. It influences the climate within the group in a negative way (e.g. bad mood). The rules of good behavior dictate that lethal injections must be removed.


The scapegoat is perceived and treated as the weakest link by the group. The behavior of the group towards the scapegoat is highly destructive, even if there is no objective reason for it. The rules of good behavior dictate that scapegoats must be protected.

(Constructive) Critic

The critic questions rules and/or goals and/or processes within the group. He is perceived by the group as destructive, but strives for positive change. The rules of good leadership dictate that the critic must be taken seriously and appreciated. His views and questions may seem destructive at the moment, but they contain important aspects that need to be considered or suggestions that will help the group progress towards the respective goal.

G – Opponent

The opponent of the group can be a person. In general, however, it is a task or goal. The definition of a common, overarching goal creates cohesion within the group.

The opponent should – if there is one – be outside the superordinate structure (e.g. company, organisation), otherwise conflicts will arise within it, which will have a negative impact on the overall climate.

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