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SCOM 121 Notes Week 3

by: Kira Gavalakis

SCOM 121 Notes Week 3 SCOM 121 0003

Kira Gavalakis
GPA 3.4
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These notes cover week 3's reading homework for SCOM!
Fundamental Human Communications: Presentations
Lori Britt
Class Notes
Communications, SCOM, SCOM 121, JMU, James Madison University, Fundamental Human Communication




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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kira Gavalakis on Thursday January 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SCOM 121 0003 at James Madison University taught by Lori Britt in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 98 views. For similar materials see Fundamental Human Communications: Presentations in Communication at James Madison University.

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Date Created: 01/28/16
Chapter 10: The Anatomy of Small Groups (Not on Study Guide) Structure­ form or shape characterized by an interrelationship among parts. Definitions: Setting the Scope Group­ composed of three or more individuals, interacting for the achievement of some common purpose(s), who influence and are influenced by one another. Dyad­ two people working together; a couple, engaging in interpersonal communication. To qualify as a group, three or more people must succeed or fail as a unit in a quest to achieve a common purpose. (We­oriented) Groups are small as long as each individual in the group can recognize and interact with every other group member. Group size largely determines group structure. When groups get bigger, 1) The number of non­participants increases (when much beyond 7 members) 2) Large groups become factionalized, or members who have the same stance on something will form a smaller, competing subgroup 3) The group will take more time to make decisions 4) Scheduling a meeting is tougher 5) Group productivity is harder Rule of seven­ any member added to a group of seven will subtract 10% of effectiveness. The smallest size capable of fulfilling the purposes of the group should be considered optimum. Groups Versus Organizations: Structural Differences Hierarchical­ members of the organization will be rank ordered. ­ CEOs, president, vice president, etc. Upward   communication  (vertical   communication)­   messages   that   flow   from subordinates to super ordinates in an organization. Downward communication­ messages that flow from super ordinates to subordinates in an organization.   Horizontal communication­ messages between individuals with equal power, such as office workers in the same department. Task and Social Dimensions: Productivity and Cohesiveness 1) Task dimension­ work performed by the group and its impact on the group. 2) Social dimension­ relationships between group members and the impact these relationships have on the group. Productivity­ goal of the task dimension; productivity is doubled if five workers have the same proficiency as ten workers. Cohesiveness­ goal of the social dimension; making sure each group members is valued, ensuring members are excited and challenged to work, etc. Productivity and cohesiveness are interconnected.  Finding the proper relationship between productivity and cohesiveness is a persistent dialectical struggle in all groups. Norms: Rules Governing Group Behavior Norms­  rules that indicate what group members have to do (obligation), should do (preference), or may not do (prohibition) if they want to accomplish specific goals. Types of Norms: Explicit and Implicit Explicit norms­ specifically and overtly identifies acceptable and unacceptable behavior. i.e. “No Smoking” signs Implicit norms­  observable patterns of behavior exhibited by group members that identify acceptable and unacceptable conduct. I.e. everyone sits in same spots during meetings, nobody eats/drinks during meetings, etc. - May become explicit when there is a violation Conforming to Norms: Being Liked and Being Right Conformity­  inclination of group members to think and behave in ways that are consistent with group norms. Binge drinking page 295 Members conform to group norms for two principle reasons: to be right and to be liked. Conformity to group norms is greater in collective cultures.   Roles: Expected Patterns of Behavior Roles­ “patterns of expected behavior associated with parts that you play in groups” - Formal roles­ assign a position, i.e. “president,” “chair,” “secretary.” - Informal roles­ identify functions, not positions, i.e. when a member often instigates group conversations, they have an “unspoken” role of initiator­ contributor. Informal roles are generally divided into three types: task, maintenance, and disruptive roles. o Task roles­ advances the attainment of group goals. o Maintenance roles­  addresses the social dimension of small groups. o Disruptive  roles­  me­oriented;  serve   individual  needs  at   the expense of group needs and goals. Leadership Leadership­  leader­follower influence process with the goal of producing positive change that reflects mutual purposes of group members and is largely accomplished through competent communication. Traits­ relatively enduring characteristics of a person that highlight differences between people and that are displayed in most situations. Directive style  (autocratic)­ puts heavy emphasis on the task dimension with slight attention to the social dimension of groups. Member participation is not encouraged Participative style (democratic)­ places emphasis on both the task and social dimensions of groups.  Laissez­faire­ sit­on­your­derriere approach to leadership, which is to say no leadership at all is exercised.  Development (readiness)­ composed of the ability of group members, their motivation, and their experience with relevant tasks.  Chapter 11: Creating Effective Groups (Not on Study Guide) Difficult Group Members: Addressing Disruption The disruptive roles identified in Chapter 10 provide a common list of such behaviors.   Bad apples­  disruptive members who poison the group (“one bad apple spoils the barrel”) How to deal with difficult members: 1. Make certain a cooperative climate has been created by the group. 2. Don’t encourage disruptive behavior. 3. Confront the difficult person directly. 4. If all else fails, remove the disrupter from the group. 5. Always be unconditionally constructive. Social loafing­ the tendency of individuals to reduce their work effort when they join groups. Social loading is more common in an individualist culture. The Three Cs of Motivation Any step that creates a competitive, defensive environment is unlikely to motivate social loafers. 1. Collaboration­ the cooperative style of conflict management (synonymous with teamwork). 2. Content­ the group task 3. Choice­ complement to content. Competent Group Decision Making and Problem Solving Synergy­ occurs when the work of group members yields a greater total effect than the sum of the individual members’ efforts could have produced. Deep diversity­ substantial variation among members in task­relevant skills, knowledge, abilities, beliefs, values, perspectives, and problem­solving strategies. Negative synergy­ product of joint action of group members that produces a result worse than that expected based on perceived individual abilities and skills of members. Meetings Suggestions: 1. Don’t call a meeting unless no other good alternative exists. 2. Identify the specific purpose of the meeting. 3. Prepare a clear agenda. - Agenda­ a list of topics to be discussed in a group meeting presented in the order in which they will be addressed. 4. Above all, keep the discussion on track. 5. Start the meeting on time and be guided by the “what’s done is done” rule. 6. Do not discuss an issue longer than the time allotted unless the group decides to extend the time. 7. Take a few minutes at the end of the meeting to determine if all objectives were accomplished. 8. Distribute minutes of the meeting to all participants as soon as possible. Structure Decision Making: Using the Standard Agenda The Standard Agenda­ provides one such highly effective structured method of decision making and problem solving.  - based on the  reflective thinking model­  a sequence of logical steps that incorporates   the   scientific   method   of   defining,   analyzing,   and   solving problems. - Six Steps in the Standard Agenda: 1. Identify the goal(s). 2. Analyze the problem. 3. Establish criteria. Possible criteria may be: a. Stay within time limits for class presentations. b. Show clear organization. c. Use at least one attention strategy and cite at least three sources during each presentation d. Use at least one picture/visual aid per speech. 4. Generate solutions. 5. Evaluate solutions and make the final decision. It is particularly important during this step that group members consider both the positive and the negative aspects of each choice. Murphy’s   law­  anything   that   can   go   wrong   likely   will   go  wrong.  (Expect   the unexpected) 6. Implement the decision. Employ Decision­Making Rules Competently: Making Choices Consensus­ “state of mutual agreement among members of a group where all legitimate concerns of individuals have been addressed to the satisfaction of the group.” There are several advantages to using the unanimity rule to structure decision making.  - Requires full discussion of issues - Team members will be more likely to support the decision and will defend it when challenged. - Usually produces group satisfaction The unanimity rule has two chief drawbacks. - Difficult to achieve - Becomes unlikely as groups grow larger Many choices made by group members, however, do not require consensus. Effective groups use majority rule when consensus is impossible or when quick decisions about commonplace issues must be made.  Groupthink­ process of group members stressing cohesiveness and agreement instead of skepticism and optimum decision­making.  Ultimately, what is required to combat groupthink is a group climate that encourages robust discussions of opposing viewpoints.  Ways to Promote Creative Problem­Solving 1. A cooperative expectation is most conductive to creativity. 2. Creativity is promoted by challenges. 3. Creativity flourishes when there is a moratorium on judging ideas.  4. Relaxing deadlines as much as possible can free team members’ thinking. 5. A fun, friendly atmosphere usually promotes creativity best. Team creativity is enhanced by structured methods of problem solving. Brainstorming­  creative problem­solving method characterized by encouragement of even zany ideas, freedom from initial evaluation of potential solutions, and energetic participation from all group members. Team members produce the best results when several rules are followed: 1. All members should come prepared with initial ideas. 2. Don’t criticize any idea during the brainstorming process. 3. Encourage freewheeling idea generation. 4. Don’t clarify or discuss ideas during the idea­generation phase. 5. Do not engage in task­irrelevant discussion. 6. Stay focused on the topic. 7. Piggyback on the ideas of others. 8. Record all ideas for future reference. 9. Encourage participation from all team members. 10. Wait to evaluate ideas generated until the brainstorming session is completed. Nominal group technique­  a second structure method of creative problem solving involving these steps: 1. Team members work along to create ideas. 2. Ideas are shared in a round­robin fashion, being written on chalkboards, walls, tablets or easels. Clarification is okay, but evaluation is not. 3. Each team member will chose the top 5 favorite ideas and rank them. 4. The rankings are averaged and the ideas with the highest averages are picked. Reframing­  creative process of breaking ridig thinking by placing a problem is a different frame of reference. Every team is a group, but not every group is a team.  3 distinctions: 1. Teams have a higher level of cooperative and cohesiveness than standard groups. 2. Teams normally have individuals with diverse skills. 3. Teams usually have a stronger identity. Team­ “a small number of people with complementary skills who are equally committed to a common purpose, goals, and working approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.” Most groups can profit from acting more team­like. Goals for a team work best when they are clearly stated and limited in number. Collaborative interdependence is essential to teamwork.


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