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Small Group Communications

The class was Small Group Communications and I entered it scrupulously. I was one of the first students to enter the classroom and take a seat. As a short amount of time passed, the professor vivaciously made her grand entrance. Hi everybody, Im Puvana Ganesan, and I am your Com230 professor, shouted the stalwart, yet petite stature. Well, quickly the chairs began to fill up, and four young gentlemen, much like myself, joined me. Salutations were made, but not much more than that was said from those sitting at the table, which was different from the other tables around.

Then, after it was time for class to begin, the teacher informed everyone that in two weeks we would be getting together in permanent groups for the semester. So, she suggested we choose who we group with carefully. Two weeks later, we were now decided and in our permanent groups for the remainder of the semester. We were given the excruciating task of deciding a team name over the next few classes. After considerable discussion we came to a conclusion. Dont touch my Nuts was now the forever lasting ingenious name of these 5 extraordinary gentlemen.

Those men go by the names, Dan, Shane, Todd, Jorge, and of course Tim. After a serious discussion we also decided that we were going to accept Jesus Christ into our group to play the role of praise giver. Furthermore, all of these guys are wonderful people, being especially important, they are also all laid back and easy going. The Norms The fun hadnt started just yet. We were now given the task of setting the guidelines or rules, if you will, for our group. We were taught through painstaking lectures what those types of rules were, and how they should be implemented to be most beneficial to our group.

Yes I know, this sounds fairly simple, but what must be truly understood is that we were dictating our own lives, and deciding our own futures. We are now are own governors, fantastic! We got straight down to business, and took a look at what exactly it was we needed to do. We had two kinds of Norms, as these rules are referred to: Explicit, meaning fully and clearly expressed or well known, and implicit, meaning implied or understood without direct explanations. We started off with the explicit, and our first rule was a given.

Everyone knew there would be absolutely No Singing! Next, we decided it would be fair if we made rule number 2, Keep everyone in check, just to avoid any problems later on. Accordingly, No making fish faces landed the list at smooth 3rd position. Incidentally, our fourth Norm became Dont touch my nuts following up and keeping the tradition of our ingenious group name. Alas, our last and final Explicit Norm was a tough one to decide as we had a few options, but nevertheless we prevailed. When walking a dog, always use a leash became our bottom line. However, now we mustnt try to escape the furies of Implicit Norms, and be enlightened on the issues at hand.

First! implied norm happens to be the relentless, Dont touch my nuts, and followed by a short second, Dont talk too much. Now for the most important rule of all and easily implied, Dont commit suicide because this would cause a disaster. How might one finish a group project if the group isnt any longer complete, so please, dont be so selfish? Moving on to norm number 4, Dont Bitch! this too is a very significant norm. We cant have any bitching going on around here. Lastly, we come the completion of our Norms with the all-infamous Implicit Norm, Keep the funk alive.

The Roles Our group had previously assigned roles for each person to follow. We obviously have not been following those roles too closely throughout the semester. Originally we had given roles out to who we thought would be the best person for the part, but now we can see that we each have different roles. We can start off by talking about each particular role we each have come to fit into. Tim was the main person that came up with any ideas when the group has stalled and did not really know where to start. Tims ideas can sometimes be good ideas and sometimes not so good. Tim gave the group the idea of having the name of Dont touch my nuts.

He was also the type of group member that will tell you exactly what he thinks and not hold anything back. He can pretty much come up with anything that he wants and is one main reason that we dont get stuck on any certain project at task. The most important thing that Tim did for the group was keeping everyone laughing. Dan played a strong role in our group as well. When it came down to it, he was the main decision maker. He might not have always be the one that came up with every idea but, after the group has talked about it and thought about it, he was the one that gave the go or no go with the idea.

He also kept the group organized so that when we have certain deadlines or any assignments that needed to get turned in, we would have it done. He, like everyone else, wanted to get a good grade in the class and had taken the role of making sure that little thing got done right and on time. Jorge also had a strong impact on how our group ran. I think that Jorge was willing to go extra mile for our group. He was willing to bring all the football gear in for our presentation. The rest of our group would not have done anything like what he did.

He even went around asking the cheerleaders if they would come in for our presentation. When it came down to it he was the main one that did the dirty work and actually got things done for us. Jorge also helped keep the group in line whenever we were trying to come up with an idea or plan. Todd was always ready for the next challenge or project that we might of had. When the pressure was on and we needed to get something done quickly and efficiently Todd would come through for us. Todd is the main reason that we won the egg toss and the tallest tower with toothpicks competitions.

It was his idea to use a parachute and to make the tower stick to the ceiling. On both of these projects the groups had been timed and needed to come up with something quickly. This is why Todd is the one that would come through for us when the pressure was on. Shane had somewhat of a significant role as a part of the group. For the most part he did whatever writing is necessary, or whatever research is necessary for any project that was needed. For the most part he was willing to do whatever is needed to get a good grade. Leadership Dynamics

Leadership is a quality that at least one person in every small group needs in order for that group to be successful in what ever it is that they do. Without leadership the group will never get anything done, communication within the group will be chaotic and there will be no motivation. Within our own group we have more than one person who takes a leader role. Leadership is given depending on the goal that must be achieved. In each situation different people in the group would be the leader, in writing group essays like this one Dan or Tim would usually take charge in organizing who does what.

In class activities such as building the tower or the egg drop activity Todd would take lead, as said before, he comes up with the best ideas and we always win and with our presentation George would take lead because he knew the most about the topic which was Football. The leadership role is something that can be easily passed around, it is subconsciously given by the others not always assigned to one self. We had never chosen a designated leader and no one in our group had ever declared himself the leader.

In the film The Dream Team the character Henry places himself as the leader of the group and announces it to the other mental patients; however throughout their adventure Billy naturally evolves into the true leader taking charge of the situation. Leadership in our group had been like that of Billys. A leader naturally stood up when the circumstances are something he is more talented at than the others. No one in our group had ever been designated leader nor had anyone declared himself leader in our group, we think that is one reason why our group works so well and smoothly together.

Conflict Management When a small group of people come together to work conflicts within the group will most likely occur. When people work in partnership things do not always go smoothly. Ideas and goals of each individual will clash with the others. However if the individuals in the group are chosen wisely conflicts can almost be avoided. People with similar attitudes, beliefs, and goals should be selected to work together; just like the group we had been a part of. All of us seem to have pretty laid back and easy going personalities and like and dislike the same kind of music, movies, and sports.

Everyone in the group is somewhat quiet in class and do not really talk too much and so even though we were in a communications course we did not really communicate all too much. When we worked on a project with in class all the groups around us were busy jabbering away discussing what they should do and yelling out ideas to each other. We simply stared at each silently until one of us speaks up and says, So what should we do? then we all usually answer back, I dont know then silence again until someone comes up with an idea and we all always agree on it.

We then quickly get to work and finish before any of the other groups and we usually do whatever project it is better than everyone else, We feel that the other groups in class might have too much communication. So, because of our no conflict relationship we had with one another choices that we made with our group were made quickly and smoothly. For example, the subject of for our class presentation was made in less than a minute. One Thursday, when finally the entire group was present in class we asked each other what are interests were.

George went first and he told us that he played football for MCC. Then we suddenly decided that was it. No more talking, we already knew we were going to do football, it is an easy subject to research on and we all quickly agreed on it and came up with positions ourselves for each person. Dan did the history of football; George went over the rules and strategies of the game and brought in football gear to show the class; Todd did the statistics and business revenues of the NFL; Shane talked about the AFL, NCAA, and other alternative leagues, and Tim spoke about cheerleaders.

What our group Dont Touch My Nuts has shown ourselves is that with well chosen group members it is possible that work can be accomplished smoothly, quickly, and with out conflict. Decision Making Through the length that our group has been together, all of us have gotten along very well. Like we said before the decision making was very easy in our group and because of this there has never been a conflict between our members. It has worked out very well that all the members in our group are all guys. We have all had adjusted well to all of the problems that our group had came across.

Everyone in our group has had a very open mind and I feel that this aspect of our group is one of the best things about it. The one problem we had in the beginning is the fact that it took our group a while to decide on a topic for our presentation. This created a problem in the beginning because right off the bat we were a little behind and had to make up for lost time. This problem occurred for a few reasons; one being that all the members in our group had very different personalities. The other reason being that in our group we dont have a chosen leader or way of leadership.

Our way has always been we agree upon things and go with what was agreed upon. Our group had always been about the majority vote. In our group with all of us members being so easygoing this has been the best way to make decisions as a group and I feel that this has worked out well. An example of how well this has worked for our group would be the egg drop activity. In this activity we all put all of our ideas together and singled out the ones that all the members disagreed with and all the other ideas that we all agreed upon, we went with and the conclusion of the activity was that we were the winners.

The other group activity that we did in class was done the exact same way and all of our members put the ideas together and in the end everything worked out well and our group was also very successful once again. To conclude with the decision making process of our group, this has never been a problem for our group and in the few cases it did create a problem we resolved it quickly and moved on to other things. In the long run everything in our group had gone very smoothly. I feel that we had accomplished a lot and the work we have done has been very well done especially for a group with all boys.

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