Showing posts with label conversations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label conversations. Show all posts

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).

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Learning the Art of Negotiation

Negotiation is something we do every day of our lives but we may not be overtly aware of it. We often think of negotiating contracts, wages and other business related concepts but we also negotiate for many small things like household chores and car maintenance. Learning negotiation skills in college or through your own personal reading can make a large difference in helping you get what you want while not compromising your values.

American society doesn’t provide enough daily experience negotiating like you might find in Europe or other parts of the world. People that go to the grocery story may negotiate the price, find deals, and look for other ways to save money. Even though just about anything can be negotiated Americans don’t often see it this way; the stated price is the only price. This is partly the problem with a nation accustomed to large department stores.

Despite 66% of people trying to negotiate big ticket items in the past 6-months, negotiation skills are still underdeveloped (Carrell & Manchise, 2011). Colleges typically don’t teach negotiation skills within their curriculum. Occasionally the topic may be included in a broader communication course but these fail to provide even the fundamentals.

Americans do engage in teamwork negotiations during the course of their employment and education that provides them with entry level platforms for work. Business graduates often learn negotiation by engaging in group assignments that require them to interact and create terms with others (Lawrence, 2002). There are some limitations on this negotiation learning if they have not been provided a level of information that helps them reflect on their negotiation styles.

Negotiation skills are necessary whether you are looking for a raise, lowering the cost on home repair, or seeking equality in a relationship. Americans don't have the same opportunities to engage in negotiation in recent decades as much as people from other nationalities. Negotiation skills can be improved by following a few tips that can help in solidifying your positions:

-Understand Your Initial and Final Position: Everyone has something they want and in an ideal situation they can get. However, this isn't likely to happen often. Knowing your initial position and your red line position will tell you when to start and stop negotiating. 

-Understand Your Goals: Understand what you want to accomplish in your work, life, or relationships. Having goals when entering negotiations will help you stay on track when things get confusing.

-Try Power With versus Power Over: There are times when power over is the only way to negotiate but this often leads to encampment and stubbornness of both powers. When both parties can horse trade to get what they want or compromise they are likely to soften their positions. 

-Use Your Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication Skills: When negotiating people watch each other and look for clues and signs in the speech and impressions of others. Using strong verbal and non-verbal communication skills will improve upon the whole process of making breakthroughs and sewing a deal.

Carrell, M. & Manchise, L. (2011). Developing bartering skills: real world exercise for a negotiation course. Business Education Innovation Journal, 3 (2). 

Lawrence, C. (2002). Integrating writing and negotiation skills. Business Communication Quarterly, 65 (2).