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  • 1. Module 3 Themes in Personal Communication Group Communication
  • 2. What is a group?
    • Write your definition down on a piece of paper
    • Here is a suggestion:
    • A group is a collection of people who interact in some way and share common goals and interests
  • 3.
    • Groups you may have included on your list:
    • Communication Studies group
    • Work group (shop assistants, waiters
    • Family group
    • Climbing group
    • Football team
    • Dance group
    Which groups do you belong to? Write down a list of all the different groups you belong to e.g family, friendship etc
  • 4. Goals of group membership
    • Why do we join groups? What is the purpose of belonging to them? What do we get out of being in them?
    • Look at each of the groups you listed – jot down next to it, why you think you belong to it and what you get out of this belonging e.g family – security, love
  • 5. Functions of groups
    • Here are some suggestions regarding
    • why we join groups:
    • To achieve a shared goal ( Task-oriented )
    • To resist a common threat
    • To have a sense of belonging and security ( socio-emotional )
    • To create an identity for ourselves
  • 6. Group Activity
    • Form yourself into three equal groups.
    • Each group can take a seat at one of the group tables set up.
    • You will find a task to perform – this is an independent task – no interaction with the teacher is necessary and the teacher will not interact with you.
  • 7. How do groups form?
    • Groups go through stages, according to Tuckman (1995)
    • Forming – people find out about the task, the rules and the nature of the situation facing the group, feel anxiety, try to find a leader – how did this work in your group activity?
    • Rebellion – conflict between individuals, rebellion against the leader, resistance to rules or demands of task
    • Norming – stable group structure, conflicts resolved, social norms established
    • Co-operation – Problems solved, group turns to constructive solution to group task, energy directed at task
  • 8. Group behaviour
    • Once we are part of a group, how does the group stay together or as it is technically known, how is group cohesion maintained?
    • Watch this video clip for some clues:
    • Why did the people behave this way?
  • 9. Group Norms
    • Groups have what we call ‘ norms ’ of behaviour or ‘rules’. Depending on the type of group, this can be unspoken or laid out explicitly, perhaps in a contract.
    • Look at your list of groups – which ones have explicit, spelt out rules of behaviour and membership?
    • Are there any ‘unspoken’ rules or norms for the other groups?
  • 10. Types of group
    • Groups with set, laid out rules and norms are called FORMAL groups – give me some examples.
    • Groups with unspoken, underlying norms and values are called INFORMAL groups – give me some examples
  • 11. Leadership styles – what qualities are important in a leader?
    • Tedeschi and Lindskold (1976) say:
    • Social influence – a person who can control others behaviour, opinions and persuade people to stick to roles and group norms
    • Behaviour – effective leaders can understand the task the group is facing and can match the tasks to appropriate people
    • Authority – if leader is assigned to role by being nominated or elected, this reflects other people’s ideas of their authority or ability to achieve the group’s goals and manage the situation.
  • 12. What sort of person becomes a leader?
    • Myers and Myers (1985) say four approaches to this question:
    • Some take a trait approach – certain people have the right personality traits and become leaders naturally
    • Situational approach – depending on situation a person may rise to the occasion of being a leader e.g in a fire etc
    • Functional approach – can be several leaders, fulfilling different parts of a task, depending on knowledge
    • Contingency approach – leadership depends on a combination of the type of situation, the style of the leader.
  • 13. Leadership styles
    • Authoritarian – makes decisions for group, does not take part in group activities, assigns people to tasks without saying why and makes changes without consultation
    • Democratic – makes decisions but consults group, friendly to group members, participates in group activities, gives reasons for praise and criticism and offered help when required.
    • Laissez-faire – takes no decisions, does not direct or control group activities, makes neither positive or negative comments but others look to them.
    • Collective – no ONE person is leader, several leaders emerge and take decisions at different points.
  • 14. Other roles in groups
    • Everyone plays a role in a group, even if it is what is called the ‘uncommitted’! Read pages 3-5 in the photocopied section after page 54 of Module 3 booklet.
    • How do people get their roles in groups?
    • What names did Albrecht come up with for different roles in groups?
    • What sort of role did you play in the group activity?
  • 15. Conformity
    • Read pages 212-213 in Module 3 booklet.
    • Why do people follow ‘norms’ in different groups – what makes them do it? What do they get out of conforming?
    • Give three examples from Allen’s list, of reasons which might cause us to conform.
    • What are the qualities of a ‘mature’ group?
  • 16. Group Think
    • Sometimes groups become so well established that they start to think in a
    • group way rather than an individual way. Janis (1972) says such groups have
    • these symptoms:
    • They think no-one can hurt or criticise them as individuals because they are protected by the group
    • They rationalise, or excuse behaviour by saying it is for the good of their group
    • They believe their group is right and others are wrong
    • They stereotype people outside their group as being bad, wrong or not as good as them
    • They put direct pressure on members of the group who disagree, not to do this
    • They encourage individual group members to limit their own behaviour and thinking to fit in with the group
    • They have the illusion (not true) that everyone in the group believes in everything the group does and thinks (link to BBC Prison Experiment and original experiment )
  • 17. Group Conflict
    • Even in well established groups there is conflict. According to Blake, Shepard and Mouton (1964) we can manage conflict in three ways:
    • Avoidance – we ignore or gloss over problems
    • Defusion (note spelling!)- we put off conflict to another time or try to agree on minor points – just avoidance really
    • Confrontation = win-lose, win-win, lose-lose
    • Win-lose – usually when leader imposes a solution
    • Win-win – a solution offered where both people get something out of it – a compromise
    • Lose-lose – neither person gets their way but conflict over