2 What is a Group? A small group is: At least 3, but not more than 15 people,Who interact and communicate with one another;Who share a common purpose or goal;Who have group norms and values;Who feel a sense of belonging; andWho exert influence on each other.
3 Why do people join groups? SynergyThe idea that two heads are better than oneSupport and CommitmentPeople are more willing to take on larger commitments with a groupInterpersonal NeedsAffection – relationshipsInclusion – establish identity with othersControl – exercise leadership and prove abilities
4 Group Dynamics Rules Norms Specific guidelines related to specific issues; often written down formallyExample – HHS dress code states that pants should not sag below the waistNormsStandards that govern behavior; rarely written down, just understoodExample – Most teachers at GHS allow students to get away sagging pants
5 Group DynamicsRolesConsistent ways you communicate with others in a groupTypesTaskSocialIndividual / Self-Centered
6 Role Types in Groups Task Social Individual / Self-Centered A set of behaviors that helps the group accomplish the work, solve a problem or address an issueSocialA set of behaviors that helps establish and maintain positive, cooperative relationships among membersIndividual / Self-CenteredA set of behaviors that meet the needs of an individual while harming the task or social dimension of the group
7 Group Types Structure Formal (A committee at work; a jury) StructuredClear rulesOfficial roles and duties (president, chairperson)Official name / titleUsually designed to last a specific length of timeInformal (your group of friends)FlexibleFewer formal rules and roles, but sometimes more normsLess structuredSmaller in sizeOften satisfy interpersonal needs
8 Group Types (cont.) Function Task Social Combination Purpose is to accomplish a specific taskSocialPurpose is to satisfy need for relationships and friendshipsCombinationServe both functions – sometimes they exist for the relationships, but sometimes the group needs to accomplish a task
9 Balance is the Key Structure Interaction Manage the task Is achieved through organization, enforcement of rules and normsOne person may dominate at timesInteractionManage relationships and reactions to the taskThere is considerable give and take discussionThere is much talk and participation from group members
10 Group CohesivenessThe degree of attraction that members of a group feel toward one another and the group.High group cohesiveness is essential for group success.The longer the length of the group, the more important cohesiveness is to the survival of the group
11 Characteristics of Cohesive Groups Emphasize “we” rather than “I”Reinforce good attendanceEstablish group traditionsSet clear goalsEncourage participationCelebrate accomplishing goalsStress teamwork and collaboration over individual accomplishment
12 Communicating in Groups Communication Network – a pattern that describes or identifies the flow of communication within a group (who talks to whom and how much)Types of Communication NetworksChainWheelOpen
13 Chain NetworkA network in which members pass messages from one person to another “up or down” the chain, but there is no communication among member’s except for talking to the person next to you
14 Wheel NetworkA network in which there is a single person through whom all messages are sent.
15 Open NetworkA network where everyone has an equal opportunity to communicate with everyone else in the group. The ideal network!
16 Problem Solving in Groups Identify and Define the ProblemSet scope!Develop Criteria for a Potential SolutionIdentify needsSet LimitsGenerate Possible SolutionsBrainstormingNominal group techniqueSelect the Best SolutionConsensus – a solution all members can be satisfied withNO GroupthinkImplement the Solution
17 GroupthinkA tendency in groups to become more focused on reaching a solution than exploring the issues at handHow to avoid GroupthinkEncourage critical thinkingDon’t agree with someone just because of statusConsider third-party evaluationAssign a devil’s advocateConsider pros and cons of solutions
18 Stages in Group Communication Forming – coming together for a purposeNorming – establishing and discovering group norms (happens throughout)Storming – brainstorming about problemConforming – coming to consensus about problem; also conforming to established group norms and rulesPerforming – presenting finished process