Identifying Group Roles
The purpose of this paper was to apply Cragan and Wright’s major group roles model to a college classroom group.
The first major group role identified by Cragan and Wright was Task Leader. Cragan and Wright defined Task Leader as “a mature person who has good problem-solving ability and has had training in leadership skills”. (p. 191) This role was present. For example, at the first meeting, Harry broke the silence by suggesting that they take turns and introduce themselves. At the third meeting, Harry was absent and Felicia assumed the role of Task Leader.
The second major group role identified by Cragan and Wright was Social-Emotional Leader. Cragan and Wright defined Social-Emotional Leader as a likeable person with good people skills. (p. 191) This role was present. For example, during the second meeting, Felicia diffuses the tension caused by Juan’s comment toward Bill’s idea. During the third meeting, Felicia smoothes over Donna’s remarks about Bill being late. At the fourth meeting, Angela fills the role of Social-Emotional Leader by calming down Harry’s attitude about selecting another topic. Felicia again balances the seventh meeting when she suggested that Sue might have legitimate reasons for being absent.
The third major group role identified by Cragan and Wright was Tension Releaser. Cragan and Wright defined Tension Releaser as a person who “has the ability to be funny but also is aware of the sensibilities of the group in given work assignments”. (p. 192) Cragan and Wright also suggested that the “tension releaser is always on call to break up debilitating interpersonal tension in the group and to smooth over those awkward moments at first meetings”. (p. 192) This role was present. For example, at the first meeting, Juan suggested that they call themselves the chain gang. Juan was also sensitive to Sue’s family situation. In the second meeting, Juan breaks the ice by commenting that there was a missing link in the...
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