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The title of this book, Communicating in Groups: Building Relationships for Effective Decision Making , speaks to two fundamental components of group interaction: building relationships and making good decisions. In this text, students will discover the unique dynamics of group communication, the essential skills that lead to success, and the group roles, tasks, and processes that pave the way for effective group work. By examining groups from each of these viewpoints, students come to understand the dynamic capacity of each group and learn to treat each group as a unique communication opportunity. To be competent in group communication, as this text emphasizes, students must learn to identify each group situation as unique, assess what skills are needed, and effectively apply the appropriate skills and procedures. In essence, the goal of this text is to provide a toolbox from which students can draw in any group situation whether planning a function with a social club on campus or participating in a task oriented project in an academic or business context. To start this process, students must first become aware of their own communicating in groups and the ways in which it can be improved to enhance group dynamics. The emphasis here is on critical thinking, skills assessment, and practice.
Table of Contents
Each chapter ends with a Summary and Discussion Questions and Exercises. 1. GETTING STARTED Your Experience with Groups What Is a Group? How Do Groups Communicate? What Do Groups Do? Evaluating Group Member Fit 2. COMMUNICATING WITHIN GROUPS Verbal Communication Nonverbal Communication The Listening Process 3. STRUCTURING THE GROUP Group Member Roles Communication Networks Membership Changes in Groups Group Member Socialization How Groups Develop 4. IDENTIFYING TYPES OF GROUPS AND GROUP ACTIVITIES Types of Groups The Group's Charge Types of Group Tasks and Activities Analyzing a Group Task Task and Activity Constraints Evaluating Group Task and Activity Outcomes / Bona Fide Groups 5. BUILDING GROUP COMMUNICATION COMPETENCE Your Group Interaction Style Interpersonal Needs Communication Competence Communication Apprehension Communicator Style Ethical Group Membership 6. BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS IN GROUPS Relating to Other Group Members Group Communication Climate Group Cohesiveness Group Member Satisfaction Equity Trust 7. COMMUNICATING IN DIVERSE GROUPS The Advantages of Diversity Gender Diversity in Groups Cultural Diversity in Groups The Diversity Mix Overcoming Diversity Problems 8. SOLVING PROBLEMS AND MAKING DECISIONS Characteristics of Group Decision Making Why Group Are Better at Making Decisions Advice From Functional Theory Using Decision-Making Procedures 9. ASSESSING AND IMPLEMENTING DECISIONS Monitoring Decision-Making Performance Challenges to Decision-Making Effectiveness The Role of Critical Advisor in Helping Groups Make Effective Decisions Implementing Decisions Monitoring and Evaluating Decision Outcomes 10. PROVIDING LEADERSHIP IN GROUPS Defining Leadership Becoming a Leader A Communication Competency Approach to Leadership Leadership Styles Enhancing Your Leadership Ability 11. MANAGING CONFLICT IN GROUPS Defining Conflict Types and Sources of Conflict Power Conflict Between Groups Conflict Management Strategies 12. MANAGING GROUP MEETINGS Formal Meeting Planning Developing A Group Charter and A Code of Conduct Overcoming Obstacles Successful Meeting Management 13. MAKING OBSERVATIONS AND GIVING FEEDBACK What Is Feedback? Why Groups Need Feedback? Levels and Types of Feedback Questionnaires and Surveys as Feedback Other Feedback Techniques Starting a Group Feedback System Appendix: Creating and Delivering Group Presentations Glossary References Author Index Subject Index