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Communicating in Small Groups

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Presentation on theme: "Communicating in Small Groups"— Presentation transcript:

1 Communicating in Small Groups

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; and Who exert influence on each other.

3 Why do people join groups?
Synergy The idea that two heads are better than one Support and Commitment People are more willing to take on larger commitments with a group Interpersonal Needs Affection – relationships Inclusion – establish identity with others Control – exercise leadership and prove abilities

4 Group Dynamics Rules Norms
Specific guidelines related to specific issues; often written down formally Example – HHS dress code states that pants should not sag below the waist Norms Standards that govern behavior; rarely written down, just understood Example – Most teachers at GHS allow students to get away sagging pants

5 Group Dynamics Roles Consistent ways you communicate with others in a group Types Task Social Individual / 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 issue Social A set of behaviors that helps establish and maintain positive, cooperative relationships among members Individual / Self-Centered A 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)
Structured Clear rules Official roles and duties (president, chairperson) Official name / title Usually designed to last a specific length of time Informal (your group of friends) Flexible Fewer formal rules and roles, but sometimes more norms Less structured Smaller in size Often satisfy interpersonal needs

8 Group Types (cont.) Function Task Social Combination
Purpose is to accomplish a specific task Social Purpose is to satisfy need for relationships and friendships Combination Serve 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 norms One person may dominate at times Interaction Manage relationships and reactions to the task There is considerable give and take discussion There is much talk and participation from group members

10 Group Cohesiveness The 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 attendance Establish group traditions Set clear goals Encourage participation Celebrate accomplishing goals Stress 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 Networks Chain Wheel Open

13 Chain Network A 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 Network A network in which there is a single person through whom all messages are sent.

15 Open Network A 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 Problem Set scope! Develop Criteria for a Potential Solution Identify needs Set Limits Generate Possible Solutions Brainstorming Nominal group technique Select the Best Solution Consensus – a solution all members can be satisfied with NO Groupthink Implement the Solution

17 Groupthink A tendency in groups to become more focused on reaching a solution than exploring the issues at hand How to avoid Groupthink Encourage critical thinking Don’t agree with someone just because of status Consider third-party evaluation Assign a devil’s advocate Consider pros and cons of solutions

18 Stages in Group Communication
Forming – coming together for a purpose Norming – establishing and discovering group norms (happens throughout) Storming – brainstorming about problem Conforming – coming to consensus about problem; also conforming to established group norms and rules Performing – presenting finished process

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