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Small Group Communication

Chapter 10

Laura Silos

on 30 September 2012

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Transcript of Small Group Communication

by: Laura Silos Small Group Communication Group Norms A great deal of your social and professional life will revolve around your participation in groups. Understanding the nature and functions of small groups effectively will help you throughout your social and professional career. 1. The Round Table: group members arrange themselves in a circular or semicircular pattern. They share info or solve the problem without any set of pattern of who speaks when. Group interaction is informal and members contribute as they see fit. A leader or moderator may be present and try to keep the discussion of topic or encourage more members to speak up.

2. The Panel: members are experts but participate informally and without any set pattern of who speaks when. The difference is that there's an audience whose members may make comments or ask questions.

3. The Symposium: each member delivers a prepared presentation. All speeches are addressed to different aspects of a single topic. A leader introduces the speakers, provides transitions from one speaker to another, and may provide periodic summaries.

4. The Symposium-Forum: made of two parts
a. symposium: with prepared speeches
b. forum: with questions from the audience and responses by the speaker.
The speaker introduces the speaker and moderates the question and answer session. Small Group Formats Small groups that exist only to generate ideas and often follow a pattern called brainstorming.

Rule 1: Don't Criticize. All ideas are recorded but are not evaluated or discussed.

Rule 2: Strive for Quantity: If you need ideas you're more likely to find it in a group of many than in a group of few. The more ideas the better!

Rule 3: Combine and Extend Ideas: the value of a particular idea may be the way it stimulates someone to combine or extend it. Even if your modification seems minor or obvious, say it.

Rule 4: Develop the Wildest Ideas Possible: the wilder the idea, the better! A wild idea can easily be tempered, a simple or conservative idea is not. Idea-Generation Groups

Problem-Solving Sequence: the six steps of the sequence are designed to make problem solving more efficient an effective.

Step 1. Define and analyze the problem. How long has the problem existed? What are the major causes? What are the effects? Who is affected?

Step 2. Establish criteria for evaluating solutions. This step will enable you to rule out unacceptable solutions and to devote your time to solutions that seem possible and workable.

Step 3. Identify as many solutions as possible. Focus on quantity rather than quality.

Step 4. Evaluate all the solutions proposed according to the criteria you have established.

Step 5. Select the best solutions. Methods used are decisions by authority (leader), majority (vote) , or consensus ( reaching and agreement).

Step 6. Test selected solutions Problem-Solving Groups 3 Group approaches popular in business that rely on problem-solving techniques.

1. The Nominal Group Technique: uses limited discussion and confidential voting to obtain a group decision.

2. Delphi Method: a group of experts is established, but there's no interaction among them; instead they communicate by repeatedly responding to questionnaires.

3. Quality Circles: a group of workers (6-12) whose task is to investigate and make recommendations for improving the quality of some organizational function. Problem-Solving at Work Small Group: a collection of individuals who are connected to one another by some common purpose, are interdependent, have some degree of organization among them, and see themselves as a group. small Groups and Teams 1. Collection of Individuals: in a small group there are few enough in number so that all members may communicate with relative ease as both senders and receivers. Generally consists of approximately 3-12 people.

2. Common Purpose: the members of a group must be connected to one another through some common purpose.
3. Interdependence: the behavior of one member is significant for and has an impact on all other members. When one member attacks or supports the ideas of another member, that behavior influences the other members and the group as a whole.

4. Organizing Rules: members must be connected by some organizing rules or structure. At times the structure is rigid, like in groups operating under parliamentary procedure, in which each comment must follow prescribed rules. At other times, like in social gathering, the structure is very loose.

5. Self-Perception as a group: each member thinks, feels, and acts as a part of the group. The more members see themselves as part of the group, the greater the group satisfaction and productivity. Team: a small group constructed for a specific task, whose members have clearly defined roles whose members are committed to achieving the same goal, and that is content focused. 1. Specific Purpose: a team is often constructed for a specific task. After the task is completed the members may be assigned to other teams or go their separate ways.

2. Clearly Defined Roles: member's roles are rather clearly defined. Each brings a unique perspective to the task and each is an authority in a specific area.

3. Goal Directed: all members are committed to achieving the same, clearly defined goal.

4. Content Focused: teams are generally more content focused and their communication proceeds largely through the exchange of content messages. Virtual Groups and Teams A group whose members communicate through some electronic means and who may be separate widely geographically. They serve both relationship and social purposes on one hand and business and professional purpose on the other.
ex. Facebook and Twitter 5 Group stages 1. Opening Stage: getting acquainted time where members introduce themselves and engage in social small talk.

2. Feedforward Stage: members attempt to identify what needs to be done, who will do it, and so on.

3. Business Stage: the actual work on the tasks; problem solving, sharing info, or whatever else the group needs to do.

4. Feedback Stage: the group may reflect on what is has done and perhaps on what remains to be done

5. Closing Stage: the members again return to their focus on individual and will perhaps exchange closing comments like "good seeing you". Rules or standards of behavior identifying which behaviors are considered inappropriate. Role Expectations Identify what each person in an organization is expected to do. Power in Small Group Power: is what enables one person to control the behaviors of others.

1. Legitimate Power: when this person believes you have a right by virtue of your position to influence or control his or her behavior. ex. teachers, parents, employers, doctors, police officers

2. Referent Power: when that person wishes to be like you or identified with you.

3. Reward Power: if you have the ability to give that person rewards either material or social.

4. Coercive Power: if you have the ability to remove rewards or to administer punishments.

5. Expert Power: if group members regard you as having expertise or knowledge, whether or not you truly possess such expertise.

6. Informative Power: if you're seen as someone who can communicate logically and persuasively. Personal Growth Groups Aim to help members cope with particular difficulties such as drug addiction, having alcoholic parents, or having a hyperactive child.

Encounter Group: constitute a form of psychotherapy. They try to facilitate members' personal growth and foster their ability to deal effectively with other people.

Assertiveness Training Group: aim to increase the willingness of its members to stand up for their rights and to act more assertively in a wide variety of situations.

Consciousness-Raising Group: aims to help people cope with the problems society confronts them with. Information Sharing The purpose is to enable members to acquire new information or skills through a sharing of knowledge.

Educational or Learning Groups: the members pool their knowledge to the benefit of all.

Focus Groups: assembled for a kind of in-depth interview. The aim is to discover what people think about an issue or product. A collection of individuals who meet to solve a problem or to reach a decision. As you can see small groups exist in a variety of forms or types, each with their own rules and goals.
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