Interpersonal CommunicationUnit 10 - Small Groups• A group is a collection of individuals who are connected toone another by some common purpose, are interdependent,have some degree of organization among them, and seethemselves as a group.
Interpersonal CommunicationCollection of Individuals• A small group is, first, a collection of individuals few enoughin number so that all members may communicate with relativeease as both senders and receivers.• Usually consist of approximately 3 to 12 people.• Problems arise when group is larger than 12• Each member should act as both source and receiver.
Interpersonal CommunicationCommon Purpose• The members of a group must be connected to one anotherthrough some common purpose.• The people on a bus arent usually a group unless theybecome stuck in a ditch and work towards a common goal ofgetting out of the ditch.
Interpersonal CommunicationInterdependence• In a small group, members are interdependent, meaning thatthe behavior of one member is significant for and has animpact on all members.• When one member attacks or supports the ideas of anothermember, that behavior influences the other members and thegroup as a whole.
Interpersonal CommunicationOrganizing Rules• Members of small groups must be connected by someorganizing rules or structure.• Can be loose or rigid.
Interpersonal CommunicationSelf-Perception as a Group• Members of small groups feel they are, in fact, members ofthis larger whole.• Though individuality is not ignored, each member thinks,feels, and acts as a part of a group.
Interpersonal CommunicationBasic types of Groups• Groups can serve two broad and overlapping purposes: socialor relationship purposes on the one hand and work or taskpurposes on the other.
Interpersonal CommunicationRelationship Groups• Social or relationship groups are what sociologists callprimary groups.• These are the groups in which you participate early in life andinclude, for example, your immediate family, your group offriends at school, and perhaps your neighbors.
Interpersonal CommunicationTask groups• Sociologists call task groups secondary groups,they are formed to accomplish something.• Some task groups are put together to solve aspecific problem; for example, a committee ofcollege professors might be informed to hire anew faculty member, select a textbook, or serveon a graduate student’s dissertation committee.• Once the task is completed, the group isdissolved.
Interpersonal CommunicationReference and Membership Groups• A reference group is a group from which you derive yourvalues and norms of behavior.• You judge your successes and failures in comparison with theoutcomes of other members of a reference group.• A membership group is a group you participate in but do notuse as a guide or to measure yourself.
Interpersonal CommunicationSmall Group Formats• The round table– Group members arrange themselves in a circular or semicircularpattern.– Information is shared to solve the problem without a set pattern of whospeaks when
Interpersonal CommunicationSmall Group Formats cont…• The panel– Group members are “experts,” but participate informally and withoutany set pattern of who speaks when– Has an audience whose members may interject comments or askquestions
Interpersonal CommunicationSmall Group Formats cont…• The symposium– Each member has a prepared presentation much like a public speech– Has a leader who introduces the speakers, provides transition from onespeaker to another, and may provide periodic summaries.
Interpersonal CommunicationSmall Group Formats cont...• The symposium- forum– Consists of two parts: a symposium with prepared speeches, and aforum, with questions from the audience and responses by thespeaker.– A leader introduces the speakers, and moderates the question-and-answer session.
Interpersonal CommunicationSmall groups Online• Virtual groups are groups that rarely meet face-to-face, butinstead carry on their work through computer- mediatedcommunication.• Can communicate without travel expenses or office space formeetings• Can work around entire globe• Some members may not feel as connected to the group.
Interpersonal CommunicationSmall Group Culture• Group norms are rules or standards of behavioridentifying which behaviors are considered appropriateand which are considered inappropriate.• Can be explicit– They are clearly stated in company policy or contract• Differ from one society to another• Role expectations– Norms that regulate a particular group’s members’ behavior– Identify what each person in an organization is expected todo• Cohesiveness– Means that you and the other members are closelyconnected, are attracted to one another, and depend on oneanother to meet your needs.
Interpersonal CommunicationPower in the Small Group• Power is what enables one person to control the behaviors of others.• Legitimate power– Is having power over another person when this person believes you have aright by virtue of your position to influence his or her behavior• Referent power– Is having power over another person when that person wishes to be like youor identified with you• Reward power– Is having the power to give a person rewards either material (money,promotions, jewelry) or social (love, friendship, respect)• Coercive power– Is having the power to remove rewards, or administer punishments• Expert power– You possess expert power if group members regard you as having expertiseor knowledge• Information or persuasion power– Is being seen as someone who can communicate logically and persuasively.
Interpersonal CommunicationIdea Generation Groups• Idea generation groups are small groups that exist solely togenerate ideas and often follow a formula calledbrainstorming.• Brainstorming is a technique for bombarding a problem andgenerating as many ideas as possible.
Interpersonal CommunicationInformation- Sharing Groups• The purpose of information- sharing groups is to enablemembers to acquire new information or skills through asharing of knowledge.
Interpersonal CommunicationUnit 11 - Members and Leaders
Interpersonal CommunicationMembers Roles In Small Group Communication• Group task roles are those that help the group focus morespecifically on achieving its goals.• Group building and maintenance roles: the group and itsmembers need the same kind of support that individuals need.• Individual roles are counterproductive; they hinder thegroups’ productivity and member satisfaction, largely becausethey focus on serving the individual rather than the group.
Interpersonal CommunicationLeaders In Small Group Communication• Leadership is defined in two different ways in research andtheory.– Leadership is the process of influencing the thoughts, feelings, andbehaviors of group members and establishing the direction that othersfollow; leadership and influence are parts of the same skill.– Leadership is the process of empowering others; the leader is theperson who helps others to maximize their potential and to take controlof their lives.
Interpersonal CommunicationApproaches to Leadership• Traits Approach– Argues leaders must possess certain qualities if they’re tofunction effectively. (intelligence, dominance, honesty,sociability, etc.)• Functional approach– Focuses on what the leader should do in a given situation.• Transformational approach– The leader elevates the group’s members, enabling them notonly to accomplish the group task, but also to emerge as moreempowered individuals.• Situational approach– Focuses on two major responsibilities of the leader-accomplishing the task at hand and ensuring the satisfaction ofthe members.
Interpersonal CommunicationUnit 13 - Interpersonal and Small Group Conflict
Interpersonal CommunicationConflict• Conflict occurs when…– People are interdependent; what one person does has an effect on theother person.– People perceive their goals to be incompatible; if one person’s isachieved, the other’s cannot be.– People see each other as interfering with the attainment of their owngoals.• Conflict is part of every interpersonal relationship
Interpersonal CommunicationTypes of Conflict• Conflict may occur in many situations but it is important tounderstand the difference between content and relationshipconflict, online and workplace conflict, and individual conflictstyles.
Interpersonal CommunicationContent and Relationship Conflicts• Content conflicts center on objects, events, andpersons in the world that are usually, though notalways, external to the parties involved in the conflict.– Everyday issues such as the value of a particular movie,what to watch on television, the fairness of the lastexamination, or job promotion.• Relationship conflicts are equally numerous andinclude such situations as a younger brother who doesnot obey his older brother, group members who allwant the final say in what the group decides, and themother and daughter who each want to have the finalword concerning the daughter’s lifestyle.
Interpersonal CommunicationOnline and Workplace Conflict• Online conflicts often include junk and spam mail.– Leads to slower internet, can cost money, and is counterproductive• In the workplace there are procedural conflicts and peopleconflicts.– Procedural conflicts involve disagreements over who is in charge, whatagenda or task of the group should be, and how the group shouldconduct its business.– People conflicts occur when one member dominates the group, whenseveral members battle for control, or when some members refuse toparticipate.
Interpersonal CommunicationConflict styles• Competing– Shows great concern for yourself with an “I win, you lose” attitude• Avoiding– Does little to address the needs with little communication and an “Ilose, you lose” attitude• Accommodating– Sacrifice your needs for the other person with an “I lose you win”mindset• Collaboration– Focuses on both sides’ needs with an “I win, you win” philosophy• Compromising– Some concern for your needs and some concern for the others’ needswith an “I win and lose, and you win and lose” outcome