Interpersonal and Group Communication Experiences essay

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Introduction (2 marks)The process of communication is essentially a continuous interactive process as seen in different forms of human level interaction. Its application has consequently been seen in different contextual arrangements in addition to group specific experiences. For instance, in a group setting different situations are bound to arise with regard to event specific actions and relevant situational circumstances. The study aims at analyzing different interpersonal and group communications aspects that arise in developing and planning for a proactive group oral presentation. In this particular setting, my role as a group member was to ensure that all members were actively involved in the group activity through delivery of the assigned tasks. In as much as I was also assigned tasks like every other group member, my major role was to ascertain that every member was proactively handling and handing the agreed deliverables in the stipulated timeframe. This essentially meant that I was compiling information being hand in by each member of the group and organizing group meetings. The topic of discussion was 'gender roles and their effects on development.'Various theories have been formulated through contemporary research initiatives in regard to the development of adequate group presentation skills. This paper therefore aims at presenting, analyzing, and evaluating the different components of group involvement that serve to initiate developmental approaches in a group setting. While focusing on the group setting, this paper specifically tackles contextual effects on the adopted communication model, group chemistry and bonding effects on communication, participatory mechanisms and their effect on communication, individual knowledge levels and its effect on communication model, and finally, role definition and its effect on group communication fundamentals.Group FundamentalsThe group consists of 6 members belonging or undertaking similar course modules. The gender composition essentially consists of 4 females and 2 males. Each group member was assigned similar tasks in terms of complexity with due consideration of the individual disparities in terms of competency. Each of the group members were meant to submit individual based reports of the respective tasks to my. The meeting schedule was done regularly after every 3 days in order to ascertain the progress which every member had made, consolidate all the results, and develop the relevant theoretical aspects of the topic. In addition, other key roles entailed formulation of strategies of communication, choosing correct context for presentation, keying in data into the computer, preparation of presentation slides, and streamlining of group presentation objectives with regard to actual oral presentation format to be followed. I believe the composition of the group was essentially proportional in regard to gender composition, and role definition. Furthermore, the agenda of streamlining presentation objectives appears to be a well places agenda with regard to ensuring everyone delivers his or her part. "Effective interpersonal communication is characterized by five qualities of openness, empathy, being supportive and positive" (Narula 2006).Stages of group development
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In the formation stage, this entailed choosing members without any stringent formulation First, group members were chosen into the team without any formulation of stringent mechanisms with the objective being the efficient tackling of the presentation topic suggested. The members properly described themselves to each of the group members by not only giving details of their names but also an aspect of knowledge background, previous experiences in other groups, previous involvement in group formation as a beginner, cultural aspects, gender concerns, and technical approaches. This was necessary in order to develop a working mechanism through which all elements will be incorporated into the group operational framework.In the storming stage, members had to decide on the respective roles to be given to each of the members. Here the mechanism used, was essentially, the voting mechanism which entailed members meeting voting secretly for their preferred choice. The eventual winner was then required to delegate duties to individual members through a consultative approach. This entailed doing a background preview of each member's subject of competency. "Communication takes place in many settings, and some of those settings have special protocols with respect to the communication process" (Bjorkquist, 2004). I therefore support the fact that the process was justified with regard to establishing a special mechanism for group formulation.In the norming stage, the group leader proposed a tentative operational framework through which members were essentially supposed to operate without affecting other project deliverables. The goals here were to achieve maximum efficiency in producing the desired results. Furthermore, an outline was adopted to guide the division of roles and tasks to respective members.In the performance stage, all the members were required to come up with a work plan that would effectively be used in attaining the desired goals and objectives. Members were to make copies of their work plan and provide this to the leader who then come up set a target for meeting them.Conflict resolutionThere came a time when member could not go along professionally due to emerging differences. Here conflict resolution approaches were applied with an aim of solving the arising issues in an amicable manner. "Individual differences and group composition are treated as input variables (variables that exist prior to group interaction) and include such social characteristics as group members; sex/gender and cultural background" (Haslett & Ruebrush, 1999).

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Persuasive speakingPersuasive speaking focused on the assessment of individual inputs going by the respective tasks originally assigned to each member. Since, my role was to ascertain tasks completion before arranging the next meeting, this was specialised duty. All members were required to make topic presentations, which based in scholarly and recognised material. In addition, all factual entities were required, for instance, in case a member quoted someone's work without mentioning them, this would impact negatively during the actual presentation. "Source credibility is important point for effective communication both for interpersonal and mass media. Source is seen as possessing or lacking credibility for its messages and interactions" (Narula, 2006). Other elements critical with regard to persuasive speaking included inclusivity of the audience by considering gender characteristics and the proper use of speech elements.Non-verbal communicationA case instance was the presentation of a topic during one of the group presentations in which the member in focus presented his topic using all relevant non-verbal communication elements, for instance, he primarily used hand gestures, and facial expressions to get the member's attention. "Both types of message, verbal and non-verbal, can be effective methods of communication. When they are used in combination to complement one another, then the messages they convey become stronger" (Bjorkquist, 2004).The participatory framework for achieving key group objective entailed the achievement of key decision making fundamentals. Decision making was essentially a guided activity in which the leader had the final say but after thorough consultation in order to subjectively include all members in the group process. In as much as this was the case, no member had an overriding authority over other members.Care was taken during the group presentations not delve so much into aspects that would bring suspicion regarding the criterion for gender. For instance, the group leader ensured that all members participated equally regardless of the gender involved.Cross Cultural CommunicationMembers came from distinct cultural backgrounds; therefore, all members were essentially required to project views that were sensitive on cultural borderlines. For instance, during one of the presentations a member (name withheld) made reference to 'Jewish women.' He had forgotten the fact that one of the members was indeed a Jew and this notion had to be corrected as the group leader objected. "Supportive environment facilitates the open and empathetic communication and it becomes effective...Equally important is having positive feelings about the other persons" (Narula, 2006).During the group performance several aspects came into the limelight, especially with regard to the delivery if content and streamlining group objectives in line with the processes. In addition, there was noted difference in terms of the participation seen in males participation and female participation. In one instance, the group had met for its recitals on the topic presentations. Here it was noted that males participated more proactively yet there was a significant difference in their numbers. "Other research shows that, in mixed-sex groups, women demonstrate lower rates of participation, are less satisfied, and perform at a lower level than men when males are the majority" (Haslett & Ruebrush, 1999). This was essentially evidently supported in our group setting in which women participated more proactively, a factor that could be attributed to their numbers going by our group ration of 2 males to 4 females.Furthermore other aspects emerged regarding the factor of context and individual competencies. The fact that I played a key role in the group, this put at a strategic point of assessing individual assignments and correlate the contents significantly. "Task Competence becomes legitimized as the source of status in such groups, and individuals compete with one another in terms of task competence" (Haslett & Ruebrush, 1999). Group members were constantly competing against each other to have the best presentations regardless of group cohesion and knowledge background.Another aspect that came lively is the issue of conflict resolution. The group mechanism formulated served its destined function strategically resulting in less conflicts during group sessions. "To solve problem s and build and maintain harmonious relationships in groups, effective communication among members is crucial. Ideas must be expressed and subsequently evaluated for high-quality group decisions to emerge" (Haslett & Ruebrush, 1999). I acknowledge that this formed a key driving factor for our group as members were free to express themselves without the occurrence of significant control.There is need to develop an 'predictory' framework that would serve to illustrate group fundamentals with regard to choosing group members through application of a choice which is not only based on topic competency but also includes an element of passion. This primarily affects presentation of the speech as elements of topical enthusiasm lack significantly. According to Feldberg's model of communication, among the main aspects influencing the sender and receiver communication mechanism entails the consideration of needs, perceptions, goals, background, external pressures, expectations, reactions, and feedback (Emmitt & Gorse, 2003).The participation framework of the group reflected significant success in terms of the members participating especially with regard to solving gender variables. Males and females were essentially assigned equal roles from the beginning of formulation of key presentation objectives. Although there was success observed at certain critical stages, this was not the case when it came to cultural co-existence. Members tended to segregate themselves along these lines. In fact, by nature of the research topic members provided content based on their cultural upbringing subsequently ignoring other key cultural entities. Research has also shown that significant success can be attained in the domain of professional involvement during group processes as it provides an aspect of supervision. "Communication studies have identified the importance of network structures and the role of individuals within networks who mat act as gatekeepers to the flow of information during interpersonal communication" (Emmitt & Gorse, 2003)

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