Looking Back At Small Group Communications

1653 words - 7 pages

Public Speaking or Small Group Communications? That was the question during class registration of my spring semester. Neither sounded intriguing. The thought of speaking in front of an audience did not sit well with me. After a mental debate on whether I preferred to stand up in front of an audience by myself or with a group of students, the group scenario won. Truthfully, the reason behind this debate and my participation in any communications class was simply because it was a required course that needed to be completed. I had no idea what this class had in store for me. The quality and necessity of the information provided throughout the course were unknown to me at the time. Looking ...view middle of the document...

This is how I met with three new students and got reunited with my friend from high school, Leonella Fursova. Our group consisted of five members; myself, Keeli Long, Catt Olson, Leonella Fursova, and Austin Ring. The first assignment we had to do was to come up with a team name. Keeli recommended brainstorming a list of unique names and then voting on the best one. We did just that and came up with Sour Patch Blasters.
As a team we had some general tasks we had to accomplish throughout the semester. Every few weeks we had team chapter quizzes, which allowed us to work together for our answers and help each other understand difficult concepts. We also completed a Gantt Chart, which assisted us in planning out future projects and reassuring us that we accomplish them in a timely manner. The three main projects were the Social Activity Experience, the Team Workshop, and the Problem-Solving assignment. All these projects expanded our understanding of the relationship between both the task and social dimensions in a decision-making group. According to our textbook Rothwell defined the task dimension as the work performed by the group and the social dimensions as the relationships that form between members in a group.
“All teams are groups, but not all groups are teams” (((Cite pg.193). When I first heard this statement, I was dumbfounded. I had always assumed that the words team and group were interconnected synonyms. Upon further interest, I reread the section on how teams differ from groups and was fascinated by what I learned. The textbook discusses four principle characteristics that underlie the key differences between groups and teams. The first is level of cooperation. Teams usually have a higher level of cooperation in comparison to standard groups. In fact, groups tend to oppose each other instead of working towards a common goal. The second characteristic is the diversity of skills. According to Rothwell, teams usually have a more abundance and range of skills in comparison to standard groups. The third characteristic is team identity. Team members have a sense of cohesiveness that is not evident in groups. The fourth characteristic is commitment to the team. All in all, the author concluded that small groups can become teams, but only if they assume the four characteristics of teams. After fully understanding the difference between a group and a team, I pondered would the Sour Patch Blasters in fact be considered a team? Yes! Not just a team, we are a successful team.
Our team achieved communication competence because we learned how to interact in ways that were both effective and appropriate. We also experienced synergy. Synergy occurs when group performance exceeds expectations based on perceived abilities and skills of individual members. But, all of these things did not happen on the first day we met. Like any other group we went through the stages of developing our group. Primary tension was evident during the course of the...

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