Small Groups and Team communication

Different people join groups for different reasons. The most common ideology is that two heads are better than one, and for this reason, people form groups.  For others it is due to an international attraction to other group members.  Others join groups due to need for belonging support and encouragement this is because a group has more bargaining power and resources as compared to an individual. ( Hartley,1997)

The level of output of a group in terms of quality in decision-making and job performance is higher.  Groups give outlets for interpersonal needs such as need to demonstrate leadership and affection.  Thus, others join groups for this reason.

Types of groups

There are various types of groups for example work groups, social groups, emergent groups, problem solving groups, educational and so on.  The group am familiar with is a work group because I have participated in it.  The group had a common goal, which was to come up with marketing strategy that would successfully change the image of Johnnie Walker from a rich man’s drink to a drink for the versatile and flexible man.  The major characteristics of this group was working together, sharing common goal expertise towards achieving the same goal. There are other types of work groups such as the conjunctive work groups and Disjunctive tasks.  In the former, group members work separately but in a related task and complete individual task before consolidating the tasks to complete to group task for example car-assembling companies.  The other group I am familiar with is the social groups.  The difference between this group and the work group is that social groups are predominantly for social interactions and have no clear cut goal.They are formed to cater for social needs  such as self esteem, belonging, safety and encouragement and support.  Educational groups and emergent groups tend to be less permanent.  They are formed for a specific purpose and when that purpose is accompanied, they naturally dissolve for example group of friends studying for a paper, wedding committee members’ etc. conflicts in groups

The area I would most concentrate on is conflicts and how they could be managed.  First of is to point out that conflicts are unavoidable as well as good for a group if well managed.  How can it be good by allowing members to speak their minds, better understanding of individuals is achieved and better decisions are made. Therefore, how do small groups manage conflicts? Communication is the key thing.

Identifying conflict

First is to establish what is fueling the conflict in the group and whether members are aware of the conflict.  Reasons may be competition for attention, resources etc communicate the common goal and determine commitment to resolving the conflict.

Forecasting a supportive climate
Group members must feel that they are understood, and that their input is valued.  They should feel free to express ideas and opinions.  This climate is characterized by empathy, sense of equality and openness.

Conflict resolution
Listening to both sides impartially and without judgment, group members decide on a compromise or an accommodative solution.  The guiding rule is the common goal and decisions arrived at should be for the good of the team.

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