Small Group Interactions PPT 2.16.2015

(Small) Group Interactions
Mediation & Conflict Resolution
 What is mediation and conflict resolution?
 What are our personality types?
 How do we identify and deal with others’ personality and
communication types?
 Developing empathy and sympathy towards others
 Developing listening skills
 Identifying and addressing stereotypes: gender, race, age, and
classmates’ personal experiences
Small Group Communication
 Group (Definition): collection of individuals who are connected to
one another by some common purpose, are interdependent, have
some degree of organization, and see themselves as a group
 Collection of individuals
 Common purpose
 Interdependence
 Organization
 Self-perception
Small Group Communication - Stages
 1. Opening: getting acquainted, introductions
 2. Feed forward: identifying tasks and group roles
 3. Business: working on task and problem solving
 4. Feedback: reflect on work done, discuss remaining tasks
 5. Closing: closing comments
Why do people join groups?
 Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow, 1954)
 Belongingness / social needs: sense of belonging to a group
 Esteem: one’s self worth dependent on being a part of a group
and being accepted by that group
 Self-actualization: fulfilling one’s potential and becoming a
better individual through group interaction and success
 Theory of Interpersonal Needs (Schutz, 1966)
 Inclusion: sense of belonging
 Control: making the choice to join
 Affection: relating to others’ choices, interests
 Also: looking for shared interests and beliefs
Question: Is it better to have similar
group members or diverse group
Similar Group Members:
 Positive:
 Better understanding of each other
 Agree on more issues (less conflict)
 Quicker decision making process
 Negative:
 Limited perspectives
 Limited experiences
 Inhibited creativity and production?
Diverse group members:
 Positive:
 Different approaches to problems
 Access to different sources of information
 Different experiences
 Increased problem-solving and decision making abilities
 Increased creativity and innovation
 Negative:
 Possible existence of prejudgment and stereotypes
 Increased emotional tension and conflict
In-class activity: When does a collection of
people become “a group”?
 Class divides into 5-6 groups
 Task: complete puzzle as fast as possible
 One participant-observer per group (note task and social functions)
In-class activity: When does a collection of
people become “a group”?
 Questions for the Participant-Observer:
 Talking within group?
 Was the talk task-specific, or about other things? Did group
members discover commonalities among themselves?
 Did a leader emerge? How?
 Did everyone participate, or did some appear withdrawn?
 Was there any disruptive behavior?
 Did the group work together as a team, or as individuals working
on the task?
Group Interaction Process Analysis
(Bales, 1950)
 Understand how groups work by analyzing interactions occurring within them
 12 categories that describe possible group interactions:
 1. Shows solidarity
 2. Shows antagonism, deflates other’s status
 3. Shows tension release
 4. Shows tension, withdraws from field
 5. Agrees, concurs (passive)
 6. Disagrees, shows passive rejection
 7. Gives suggestions and directions
 8. Asks for suggestions and directions
 9. Gives opinion, evaluation, analysis
 10. Asks for opinion, evaluation, analysis
 11. Gives orientation, information
 12. Asks for orientation, information
In-class activity: When does a collection of
people become “a group”?
 Reflect on YOUR behavior during the puzzle activity
 Relate behavior to Bates’ Group Interaction Process Analysis
 What are some benefits of working in groups?
 What are some obstacles of working in groups?
For next class:
 TOPIC: Small Group Communication (Continued), Power and Conflict
 In-class activity
 REMINDERS: please complete your weekly journals
 REMINDER: No class on Monday 2/23 (I will be at a conference)