Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Importance of Simple Communication in Group Development

Group interaction and discussion has an important function in socializing and creating networks of people. When interaction is present groups begin to form around important core shared beliefs and values. Sometimes these groups are formed with a very specific purpose like product development or they are more general directed such as political parties. All groups follow similar patterns as all first start with a discussion.

Society is a group that develops off of the conversations that people partake. Whether you are discussing a group of friends, workplace or a nation, at the very core of its identity are the shared ideas and beliefs among its people. Groups that discuss and communicate begin to create agreement around shared values that form their identity. Separated groups form their own identity.

One of the first things we should understand about group discussions is that not everything that is said has value for education or research. Most information discussed is shared information while very little is unique (Reimer, et. al., 2010). People seem to engage more in social necessities than actual meaningful discussion. 

This could infer that informal groups are more for social purposes than product groups. The same could be said even for voluntary groups around hobbies and other life events. Most people repeat shared information because it helps solidify the group. It is a way of interrelating with one another and finding a place.

Group discussion is not passive enough though much of the information passed among group members is social by nature it has the goal of understanding each other and finding an order among events. It becomes a process socialization that offers familiarity of thought and concerted action.

When people are together longer than a short period of time they will move through stages until new rules are adopted. Usually there is also someone(s) that come to lead that group through the quality of their discussion and charisma. Once rules and norms are developed the group becomes goal directed in its behavior and more functional than informal groups.

When they develop a shared understanding, find a leader and have direction the maintenance of such groups becomes easier. Each member already knows the value systems, can express their needs in the group, and can receive support from the group. Steering group beliefs through influencing the conversation during the storming stage leads its lasting impact on its identity.
Reimer, T., Reimer, A. & Czienskowski, U. (2010). Decision-making a groups attenuate the discussion bias in favor of shared information: a meta-analysis. Communication Monographs, 77 (1).

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