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Professor Vyverman Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:45-9 14E. Room 1137
CMNS 212: Small Group Communication TTR 5:45 – 9:00 pm Lewis 1107 (First class only) 14E. Room 1137 (Remainder of quarter) Professor: Scott Vyverman Office: 14E. Room 1113 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Preferred) Phone: (312) 362-7755 Office Hours: Thursdays 4:45-5:30 COURSE DESCRIPTION We will examine and discuss the aspects of daily communication within and between groups. We will discuss methods for improving communication within and between groups, including leadership, conflict management, and decision making. A greater understanding of group communication as a process is an expected outcome in this class. Through readings and group work you will enhance your understanding of group communication and the process that relate to it. You will also discover the importance and ramifications of group communication in daily interactions. This course is designed to give students a better understanding of small group communication processes and relationships. As such, each student will be assigned a group to work with for the entire quarter. Throughout this course groups will be assigned a variety of activities. Many of the activities will require you to invest time outside of class. RECOMMENDED TEXT: Tubbs, S. (2005). A Systems Approach to Small Group Interaction (9th Ed.). COURSE OBJECTIVES (1) To understand and identify the foundations of successful group interaction (2) To understand and adopt appropriate group role, leadership style, and conflict management style required for participation in any group activity (3) To distinguish between the characteristics of effective and ineffective communication behaviors in the group setting (4) To acquire the skills necessary to implement, monitor, and evaluate group decision making (5) To develop a personal code of ethics and conduct for participation in any group activity (6) To develop the ability to observe, describe, and assess communication in small groups (7) To design and deliver effective group presentations
Chapter 1 How many people constitute a small group? Answer= Between 3 and 20 (5 is the ideal size) Also consider• Interaction aka communication (talking and listening) • Structure • Group cohesion • Social identity • Goals Definition: Small group interaction is the process by which 3 or more members of a group exchange verbal and nonverbal messages in an attempt to influence one another.
To the classDefine GROUP and TEAM. Group= A more general term. Team= A high performing task group. Usually closer and more cohesive than other types of groups. Death by committee? The new millennium… (GM vs. Saturn) • Plant Mgr. (GM) vs. Strategic advisory committee (Saturn), consists of Saturn President and his staff, plus top UAW advisor
Whetton and Cameron (2005) Nine Important Skills to Succeed• Develop self-awareness • Manage personal stress • Solve problems analytically and creatively • Coach, counsel, establish supportive communication • Gain power and influence • Empower and delegate • Manage conflict • Build effective teams and teamwork • Motivation
For students• • Those that study in groups learn more effectively (Harvard, 1990) Small group learning promotes greater student involvement, increased student achievement, increased persistence through courses and programs, and more favorable learning-related attitudes (Cooper, 1998)
Workplace examplesEx) Westinghouse and the value of time Managerial myths1. The good manager knows what’s going on at all times 2. The good manager must know more than the employees 3. The good manager must be able to solve every problem 4. The good manager should be the only person that is responsible for how the dept. is working
(Bradford and Cohen, 1997)
Corporate teamwork1. Fed Ex has 4,000 employee teams 2. Motorola has 2,200 problem-solving teams 3. Cadillac has over 60% of workforce working in teams 4. Xerox has over 75% of workforce working in teams Empowerment= is a leadership style that enables the leader more effectively to utilize the talents, abilities, and knowledge of others and, at the same time, to increase his or her available time to work on more strategic activities, rather than “putting our fires” Pros and cons of empowering workers? Trust is key. Related factors are potency, meaningfulness, autonomy, and impact.
The Systems Approach= Small group interaction occurs in a system of interdependent forces, each of which can be analyzed and set in the perspective of other forces. Open system= An open system is an organized set of interrelated and interacting parts that attempts to maintain its own balance amid the influences of its surrounding environment. General Systems ConceptsInput, throughput, output, cycles, negative entropy, feedback, dynamic equilibrium, differentiation, integration, equifinality Put simply, inputs lead to outputs. A group with external inputs is called an open system.
The Tubbs ModelRelevant background factors Personality Gender Age Health Attitudes Values Internal Influences Physical environment Group size/structure Type of group Status and power Leadership Norms Communication Language behavior Self-disclosure Interaction roles Decision making Conflict Organizational change Interpersonal growth Risk taking Improved info flow Interpersonal relationships Consequences Solutions
The Tubbs Model
Input = Relevant background factors such as personality, gender, age, health, attitudes, and values. Throughput = All the verbal and nonverbal behaviors that occur during a group discussion. Output = Groups often have an ongoing life history, however, outputs are often the end results of group interaction. Cycles = The cyclical and ongoing nature of group work can create a feedback loop whereby outputs can become future inputs. Feedback = All systems receive feedback of some kind. Dynamic Equilibrium = Balance and understanding within the group. Differentiation = Specialization rather being a generalist. Integration = Organizing. Equifinality = The potential for groups using the same methods to arrive at different conclusions and vice versa.
Case Study – Departmental Email Your thoughts?
When and how to use email? Caution using “reply all”!
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a combination of intrapersonal communication and interpersonal communication. Business Intelligence (BQ) is a combination of natural talent with the infusion of real world skill. Watch out for “blind spots”… typically most people don’t know what their weak spots are. High BQ people know what their blind spots are and how to compensate for them. Examples?
Communication = According to Basik (Air Force Academy), “effective communication” and understanding one’s own shortcomings (BQ and EQ) make an effective leader and group member. The bottom line is that intelligence and talent are not enough. Types of Communication 1. Interpersonal Communication 2. Public Communication 3. Organizational Communication 4. Mass Communication 5. Group Communication (Similar to the others in that it includes verbal and nonverbal message stimuli)
Structured versus unstructured groups. Structured Groups (Mechanical system) • A leader and followers • Authority-based • Traditional groups • Communication moves in one direction “No questions asked” Unstructured Groups (Organic System) • Communication flows like blood, vital to group survival • Discussion-oriented • Less traditional • “Question and answer interactions”
Intentional-Unintentional Communication. The so-called “Freudian slip” happens when the id wins out over our ego. “Bushisms” (Handout and YouTube- www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGRYPYuFZLk) The arc of distortion is the gap between what we intend to communicate and what is actually received. We can reduce the gap is we are receptive to feedback. Experts agree on feedback- must be clear and understandable, come from a trusted person, and be as immediate as possible. Verbal-Nonverbal Communication. Nonverbal communication= • Facial expressions • Tones of voice • Gestures • Eye contact • Spatial arrangements, expressive movement, cultural differences, and other ‘nonverbal acts’
Visual cues. Eye contact and facial expression are two most important types of visual cues. • Woman make more eye contact than men • Braless women get less eye contact from males than those wearing them • Can use eye contact to assert dominance • Avoiding eye contact is a way of protecting ourselves • Hands and hand gestures say so much. (“The rolling fist thumb show”, Obama’s fist bump) • The “limp fish” handshake can be very negative and projects a poor first impression in an employment setting • More attractive people are assumed to be have higher credibility than homely counterparts • “Business casual” dress codes in the workplace has have created interesting nonverbal issues
Vocal cues. Vocal cues include regional dialects, methods of pronunciation, and five major factors. (YouTube- http://youtube.com/watch?v=mKsUlf20DF0) • Volume • Rate and fluency • Pitch • Quality • Inflection
Defensive-Supportive Communication, avoiding defense mechanisms. • Description vs. Evaluation- tone of voice can have a big impact • Problem Orientation vs. Control- No one likes to be controlled • Spontaneity vs. Strategy- Pseudo-participation is insulting • Empathy vs. Neutrality- Don’t be neutral • Equality vs. Superiority- Treat others as you would like to be treated • Provisionalism vs. Certainty- Keep an open mind Content vs. the Process of Communication. (Your groups?) Listening is the common denominator for success. Bypassing occurs when the sender and receiver miss each other with their meaning. Listen more than you speak, you have 2 ears and only one tongue!
Inference making = Assumptions and conclusion drawing. Polarizing = A major phase of conflict escalation. • Exaggeration • Stereotyping • Segregation • Destruction
The Johari Window
Cocktail Party Conversation Bad breath Area
Things we keep on the “DL”
Potential growth or self actualization
What’s Team Talk? What does it tell us about teams? What influence does team talk have on an organization? Key Dimension of Team Talk • Identification • Interdependence • Power differentiation • Social distance • Conflict management tactics • Negotiation
Maslow Hierarchy of Human Needs
• Most people share three needs that groups fulfill 1. Inclusion • Feeling a part of and being together with others • Most want to be included, though not all the time • Digital Divide? 2. Control • Need to influence, lead, and develop power • Dominate-submissive relationships 3. Affection • Friendship and closeness among people • Co-workers are often our best friends
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Pg. 118)
Extrovert or Introvert? Senser or Intuitive? Thinker or Feeler? Judger or Perceiver? Masculine or Feminine speech? (Pg. 121) Digital divide between the sexes? Gender vs. Sex. Age and ethics. Stress.
• Can be learned or genetic • A myriad of experiences shape our view of the world • Chronic “self-pittyers” • A positive attitude is best, duh.
• More fundamental than attitudes • More stable and long lasting • Like attitudes, a predictor of behavior • Cultural values
Small Group Presentations
Usually has a moderator that leads discussion Prepare as you would for any public communication
• • •
Moderator introduces topic and speakers Speakers give uninterrupted speeches Classroom presentations are often symposium presentations
Statement followed by Q & A session
Types of speeches 1. Informational = Identify the problem or issues and educate the audience 2. Persuasive = Attempt to convince the audience that your perspective or solutions are the way to think or act Technology and visual aids - Power Point should be used for key points, quotes, graphics, not for the audience and you to read - Make sure that we in the audience will be able to see clearly, meaning watch your color choices and don’t overload slides - Visual aids should be necessary and should not have to be passed around. Don’t hold something small up and expect the audience to see it. - Be sure to rehearse your presentation in real time with your Power Point slide show and visual aids
Determine your purpose - Entertain, inform, persuade, or actuate Analyze your audience - Demographics, professions, backgrounds - Thinking about the audience ahead of time will help you to reach them Supporting Materials - Examples - Statistics - Quotations - Analogies
Organizing your materials 1. Chronological 2. Spatial 3. Problem-solution 4. Causal 5. Topical Typical organizing pattern (Introduction, body, conclusion) Main point 1 Sub point Supportive material Sub point Supportive materials
Outlines and note cards - You should start with a full sentence outline - After you have constructed your full sentence outline, begin to break it down into a key word outline - Your note cards should only have key words and/or a statement or quote - Rehearse with your key word outlines/cards
Be sure to practice, practice, practice!
The physical environment - People are highly affected by their environment (lighting, space, and sound) - Warm colors are more inviting and conducive to productivity - “P” shaped desks are becoming more popular - Some companies are using the “hoteling” concept Territoriality - Animals and humans lay claim and defend a particular space - Proxemics is the study of personal space and distance
Distance (North American zones) 1. Intimate (touching to 18”) 2. Personal (18” to 4’) 3. Social (4’ and 12’) 4. Public (12’ and beyond)
Seating Patterns - Those seated at head of rectangular table are often chosen for leadership roles
Group size and structure
1. Communication networks A. Wheel (solve simple problems) B. Chain (solve simple problems) C. Y D. Circle (more complex problems) E. All-Channel (more complex problems)
Social loafing? Types of groups
• • • • • Primary (Family and closest friends) Casual and social (Fraternities, golf partners) Educational (Training seminars, orientation meeting) Work (“The Hawthorne Effect”, The Bank Wiring Observation Room Experiment) Problem-solving (Tiger teams in the workplaces)
Status and Power Types of Status (One’s rank, ability to influence)
1. Ascribed (Based on looks, money, family) 2. Attained (Merits and accomplishments) 3. Chronic (Gender, race)
Tokenism = When members of the groups minimize the differences between them and emphasize the differences of the token member Types of Power
Reward (give or withhold rewards) Coercive (punishment rather than reward) Legitimate (based on job or function) Referent (power we grant because we want someone to like us) Expert (Knowledge and respect)
Chapter 5 continued
Positive and Negative uses of power • Can be used for good or evil • “dealer” or “dealt” • Driver, passenger, or “road kill” • Power within groups can bring about or solve conflict Conflict = “conflict between the motive to compete and the motive to cooperate” Power = the ability to overcome resistance and yield positive outcomes and results utilizing the human resources of the group
Leadership = influencing others to accomplish organizational goals According to Bisoux (2002) • “leadership has gone soft” • 73% of CEOs that were removed were fired for “ineffective leadership” • Practical skills like emotional intelligence, teamwork, teambuilding skills, facilitation skills, oral communication skills, and coaching and mentoring are lacking in many leaders (basic business school curriculum) Theories of leadership 1. Trait Theory (Born) 3. Function Theory (Learn) 2. Circumstances Theory (Right place, right time)
Leadership Styles 1. Authoritarian (Controlling) 2. Laissez-faire (No direction) *3. Democratic (Compromise, direction, task and social leadership functions)
Effective leadership according to Robbins and Finley (1995) project energy, be involved and involve others, assist evaluation and change for the group, persuade and persevere, look beyond the obvious, maintain perspective…
SuperLeaders! - Develop SuperTeams, bottom up leadership, democratic and participative style, has wealth experience and knowledge
Followership - Leadership and followership go hand-in-hand (followers make leaders) - Most research looks at leaders not followers Followership Styles 1. Dependent (“Obedience Syndrome”) 2. Counterdependent (Dissatisfied with any leadership) *3. Independent (Stems from empowering employees) Note- Followers contribute 80% to the success of an organization
Contingency Theory - Effective leadership is dependent upon how the leader adapts to particular situations - 3 factors determine leader effectiveness (Fiedler) - Leader-member relations, task structure, position power Least Preferred Co-workers Scale (Fiedler) - If leader describes co-worker in negative light = task - If they inject something positive = relationship Situational Favorableness - Assesses relationships between leader and group, structure of tasks, leader position power Leader-Situation Match and Mismatch - Strong relationship leader might not succeed in task group and vice versa
Group Development (4 phases) 1. Phase 1 – Ice breaking, find out enough about each other to have some common basis for functioning 2. Phase 2 – Thrash out decisions for procedures as well as for determining the solution to the group task 3. Phase 3 – Resolution of conflict experienced in Phase 2 4. Phase 4 – Maximum productivity and consensus
Improving creativity - Creative thinking usually involves “thinking outside the box” (9-dots) - Divergent thinking (Brainstorming) - Convergent thinking (Evaluate and prioritize ideas) - Appropriate time should be devoted to each to avoid forced or premature convergence
Are you right-brained or left-brained? Rational or irrational?
Reflective thinking process (Decision making) 1. Define problem 2. Analyze causes 3. Identify criteria 4. Generate solutions 5. Select a solution 6. Implement solution Brainstorming (Open & random thinking & communication- Lateral thinking process) 1. Put judgment aside temporarily 2. Turn imagination loose, start offering results 3. Think of as many ideas as you can 4. Seek combination and improvement 5. Record all ideas in full view 6. Evaluate at later session
Common denominators of creative people (1996) 1. Exhibit a great deal of energy 2. Smart and naive and ask lots of questions 3. Playful with ideas but have great discipline and work hard 4. Alternate between imagination and fantasy, also rooted in reality 5. Exhibit tendencies of both extroverts and introverts 6. Humble and proud 7. Women are tougher and men are more sensitive 8. Behavior is consistent with the values of culture but can be rebellious and independent 9. Passionate and objective 10. Suffer pain and enjoyment because they are open and sensitive 6 Thinking Hats? What color are you?
Conflict = An expressed struggle between at least 2 interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce resources, and interference from others in achieving their goals. Sources of conflict - - - - Intrapersonal Intragroup Interpersonal Intergroup
Types of Conflict 1. Conflict of Ideas 2. Conflict of Feelings
Conflict Management (Cooperative, balanced, and empathetic) 1. Proactive conflict management = prevents conflict through proactive programs 2. Collaborative conflict management = diffuse conflict by developing a process for working through conflict Conflict Grid (Blake and Mouton) 1. Avoidance - “the less said the better” 2. Accommodation – Excessively person-oriented, the appearance of harmony 3. Compromise – No one wins and no one loses 4. Competing – Attack to gain the upper hand *5. Collaboration – Both person-oriented and results-oriented
Conflict Prevention 1. Railroading – Forcing your will on the others 2. Teaming up – Minority members team up 3. Majority – 51% needed for “victory” *4. Consensus – Agreement among all members
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