TEAM PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL VOL. 2 NO. 1 1996
group members’ desires to evaluate and elaborate. Groups may also come toa standing point after they have a list of several items. At this point a leadershould step in and ask, “Can we think of a few more ideas?” This willencourage the group to continue. Another problem is the tendency forsome members to suppress the flow of ideas through their nonverbalcommunication. For example, a frown of disapproval will discourage thecontributor’s willingness to continue providing ideas.
One advantage of brainwriting is that the technique will produce more ideasthan brainstorming (although the uniqueness and quality of these ideas mightor might not be superior to those produced by brainstorming). In contrastto brainstorming, most brainwriting techniques can be used without having afacilitator for each group. Also, concerns of people expressing themselvesorally and in front of a group is eliminated. Most people dread speaking inpublic or even in front of just a small group. Many people feel that theywill be seen as inarticulate or suggest ideas that have little or no value.By expressing ideas in writing, people do not need to worry about this.
According to VanGundy, a major disadvantage of brainwriting is that somepeople do not feel comfortable expressing ideas in writing. Some peoplemay feel that they cannot express themselves fully on paper or that theirspelling, grammar, etc. is not proficient. Another disadvantage of brainwriting is that this technique is only highly useful for very large groups,when there is little time available, status differences are equalized, and thereis no need for verbal interaction. Without these certain criteria, brainwritingwill be an ineffective technique.
The buzz session, or Phillips 66 technique, links the gap between public andprivate discussions. This technique is used most often during privatediscussions, but it can also include the participation of the audience. In fact,the buzz group method was first associated with J.D. Phillips (1948), whodivided large audiences into groups of six for six minutes to perform sometask. Groups were asked to discuss an aspect of a problem, to formulatequestions, or to brainstorm an idea. Buzz sessions are used regularly butare not limited by size or time constraints. The buzz group method is simplythe process of dividing a group into small units for the means of discussion.After the smaller groups are formed, the leader or mediator assigns a task forthe time allowed. Once the time is up, a spokesperson for each group reportsits results to the larger group. Six factors that need to be applied tosuccessfully achieve the best results of the buzz session are:(1)choice of problem;(2)clear assignments;(3)size of group;(4)proximity of groups;(5)time limit;(6)informal climate.The problem that is to be discussed should be suitable for the group’sexperiences and interests, relevant to the programme, and capable of producing differences of opinion. Also, the assignment should be as specific
Linking the gap betweenpublic and privatediscussions