My group is a youth group that has twelve members and we mainly focus on doing community work such as visiting both adults and children homes and cleaning among many others. In our group, one can ask what makes our group effective in its functions and conducting its affairs. Some of the factors that fosters the effectiveness of our group includes effective communication among our members, well and clearly defined goals, commitment to the group's mission, good leadership and committed members. With the above mentioned factors the group has been a success. Other factors include the relationships developed among the group members which are positive and this encourage the people to work together and sound decision making process where every person is involved.
Though all these factors contribute to the effectiveness of the functioning of the group, the most important of all is communication because it can be clearly seen that without communication and most likely effective communication, the set goals could not be laid down and implemented due to a hindrance or barrier which is communication. Without it, it would be difficult to unite the members and also communicate the objectives of the group. With effective communication, it has been observed that unity in the group has been cemented and this has allowed the growth of the group as the individuals who make up the group have established meaningful relations all as a result of effective communication (Johnson, & Johnson 2009).
From this, we can strongly conclude that for effective functionality, performance and continuity of any group, the most important determinant factor is effective communication.
Group communication can be defined as the sending of a message by a group member to one or more receivers with the conscious intent of affecting the receivers' behavior (Johnson, 2006) for instance when a group member asks how the finances are being used thus prompting the treasure to respond. Effective communication can be explained as where the receivers interpret the sender's message in the same way the sender intended it (Johnson, 2006).
In our group, communication is of great value as through it we foster our goals and objectives and also achieve them. When communicating to the members, an interactive session is encouraged as this allows the members to ask questions which allow the speaker to clarify their information. An interactive session also allows for the group members to get to discuss on issues facing the group and therefore through such a discussion, solutions do arise which some are implemented. Both verbal and non-verbal communication is of interest to the group as these help to tell a lot about the members during the conveying of the messages.
The use of charts and graphs to demonstrate the requirements for the group is also used as this allows for the better understanding of the information being conveyed to the members. The members also take notes which they can use to refer to later for better understanding of the information that was being conveyed.
To further the effectiveness of the group, through communication, it is ensured that all the members understand what they and the others need to do to accomplish an assignment, and also know their individual positions in the functioning of the group. Therefore, I can say that with effective communication, our group becomes more effective in its mandate.
The definition of the roles and responsibilities of the group members is an important way that is used to ensure that the group is well coordinated and appropriately functioning. In this case, each member is given a particular task and it is clearly laid down what it is they are to achieve. For instance, in my group when it is assigned to one member the duty of ensuring that they will conduct the next meeting, it is then explained to you what you will be required to discuss about in the meeting and how long you should take. This therefore allows the member to prepare in advance for their duty and through this system of defining ones role, I have observed that meetings are conducted quite professionally and they are very time conscious.
According to Kennet, (2008), defining of roles has also been effective in the management of the group as the leaders have clearly defined roles which enable one to fully concentrate on their duty. The case of delegation of duties has eased the workload in the group which has in turn increased the efficiency of performance of the group. For example, appointing a secretary has enabled the group to have only one person in particular handling the writing of letters, signing of documents and also in charge of sending messages to members of upcoming events.
This process of defining a member's role has effectively curbed the issue of conflict among the members because it is the members who choose whom they deem appropriate to conduct a certain activity (Kennet, 2008). Also, with well defined roles, one cannot interfere with the work of a different member as every person given a duty is responsible for the results. When it comes to the leadership of the group, the role of the chairperson is to oversee the running of the group and hold it together. The role of the treasurer is to keep a check on the clubs finances and also come up with innovative ways of raising funds. Activities such as indoor games, hiking or visiting the museum bring the members close to each other and such activities help to foster the clubs effectiveness.
In conclusion, the effectiveness of our group mainly depends on how good our communication is among the members, how well our roles are defined and the task we do that bring us close to each other therefore a better understanding of our group and its objectives.