Communication in Group Behaviour

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Communication is a vital part to the success of any group. However, functional and dysfunctional behaviours exist reflecting the respective effectiveness of the communicated message. For this essay, two groups that I am a formal member of were considered and studied in regards to understanding the functional and dysfunctional behaviours of communication in each. In order to achieve this, the way messages are communicated; the support networks employed in each and the ‘set-up’ of the communication network for both groups will be explored. Finally, the similarities and differences between the two groups will be compared to understand how their group dynamics entwine.

The first group selected for this study is my flight training school, the Australian Airline Pilot Academy based in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. The group consists of students, namely cadet pilots for Regional Express Airlines (Rex) and Air Arabia albeit a few private students; and the instructors consisting of the necessary Civil Aviation Safety Authority required structure, headed by a Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) or a Flight Operations Manager (FOM). Being a part of the Rex Group, the CFI or FOM answer directly to Rex management based in Sydney. As a member of this group, I was a cadet pilot who was undertaking my flight training towards a Commercial Pilot Licence. My group of cadets consisted of nine Rex cadets, and two private students. Three other groups of cadets were also undertaking training at the academy, two of which were of Middle Eastern, Indian or European heritage and a part of the Air Arabia cadet program; and the final group of cadets being another Rex cadet group, in the program ahead of mine. Each group was at different stages of training.

The second group considered in this study is my current living arrangement in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales which consists of five university students all aged around 21. I am the only student studying via distance education, while the other four are studying through Charles Sturt University. Two of the young adults living in this residence are males, and are studying film and television; while the other two are females and they are studying animal/veterinary sciences. I, on the other hand, am studying aviation through Griffith University. I am currently living with my girlfriend who is one of the students studying animal/veterinary sciences, whilst the other female student and one of the male students are single and the other male student is in a new relationship. All of those living in the residence are from similar decadency; however we are all from a different socio-economic status and have different religious and spiritual beliefs. There is however, a mutual respect regarding these different beliefs, with no attempts at conversion or put-downs.

Both groups which are a part of this study have shown functional and dysfunctional behaviours, however they are very different due to the simple fact that the AAPA flight school group follows the definition and classification of a formal command group, whereas the living group could be classified as more of a friendship group based on the evidence that we all live together harmoniously and have formed a friendship.

This study will have a prime focus on communication and how it impacts on group dynamics in the sense of functional and dysfunctional behaviours. With communication being one of the prime activities untaken by humankind each and every day, it forms an incredibly important part of group dynamics. Effective communication enables all participants to have clarity of information, eliminates misinformation and therefore friction and misunderstanding and can resolve conflict.

Communication functionality in the first group was fairly limited despite being a formal command group. As students, we were hoping to receive important information in order to improve our knowledge and skills regarding flying and the aviation industry in general.

With...
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