Communication Strategies for a Group Dynamic
SPC 3425 Group Project
Communication strategies differ depending on the context of the conversation taking place. Group communication which takes place between three or more people can be even harder to get right. This is because all the components of the communication process are multiplied in a group communication. This results in multiple senders and receivers using the same channel such as in the group project assigned where Adobe Connect was the primary channel used. Each sender needs to encode the message they wish to send in a way that can be understood by the other members. The final component of the communication process, the feedback, is especially important in a group dynamic to ensure that the message is understood by everyone involved.
In the group project, decisions were made through consensus. In debating the first scenario, extra clothing was chosen as the most important item from what was salvaged by one of the members. The rest of the group agreed to this choice and moved on to choosing the second item. The decision to place whiskey second on the list was arrived at after discussing its importance and why it would be more useful than the ax and the pistol that the group had previously placed before it. The team members weighed in and agreed that as a result of its importance as a disinfectant and as a fire lighter, it should be second.
The meetings were conducted via Adobe Connect. This was the primary channel of communication used and allowed all members to contribute to the group project. The members were able to share their ideas, vote on the suggestions of others and keep the discussion going via Adobe Connect. The group leader influenced the decisions by starting off the debate and moving the discussion along to ensure no time was wasted. This made the debate objective and cut down the time used on distractions. However, time was still used up for keeping track of the items as they were put in order. Better decisions would have been made if one member was brought into charge of listing the things as they were agreed on by the members. The placing of whiskey took up a lot of time. One member suggested placing it 5th; another wanted it to be 4th before the group finally agreed on putting it second. Such delegation is essential in group communications to ensure that everyone participates and to make communication efficient.
People in the group listened to each other and thus were able to come to a consensus on the order of items. The channel of communication used ensured that everyone could air their views and the rest could give their opinion on it. For instance, a member suggests focusing on combating the cold which provides structure for the discussion. The group members adopt the roles of leader, researcher, and contributors. The team member who starts off the conversation and asks the members to move on to the next question assumes the role of group leader. The members who research the flammability of steel wool, the disinfectant properties of whiskey and the soothing properties of Crisco assume the role of researchers.
The conflict was managed through the taking of votes and consensus. For instance, the placement of rope and water in the second scenario was a contested. A member suggests that oxygen was more critical to their survival and four more members agree, and the order is thus accepted. Turn-taking, the use of consensus and feedback helped the group in achieving its goals (Paul, 2008). The members take turns in giving suggestions and giving feedback and their opinions on the suggestions given. The people were comfortable with the decisions made by the group as a whole. The ordering of items was done when the members agreed to it, and the team only moved on to the next question when everyone was in agreement. Each person seemed relatively satisfied with the decision of the group with the group average being a 7. Many members rated their satisfaction rate as 7 or 8.
This group functions effectively by making good use of the channel of communication employed. The members participate in the discussion, giving their suggestions, opinions and providing facts to help with the decision-making. This is an excellent example of effective group communication and a well-functioning group. If asked to repeat the task, I would choose a time when everyone was available and assign roles to different members so that the final recommendations represented everyone’s views and to ensure the discussion did not take longer than necessary. This exercise is similar to a board meeting at work where decisions on projects had to be made with the information available. It is also similar to a budget-making process at home or at work where factors like the money available and items needed are used to make the final decision. Dynamics such as the channel of communication used and the number of participants influence how effective a communication process is in a group and how reliable the decisions made will be. They also affect how conflict is handled and how members feel about the process at the end of it. In the group project, the process was well handled, and the participants were able to share their views and achieve the goals set out.
Paul, D. (2008). Communication strategies 1 (1st ed.). Singapore: Thomson.