Managerial Communication Assessment Task 2:
Group Communication Analysis
Managerial communication theory can be observed in everyday real-life interpersonal dynamics. Whether it be at the workplace or even in undertaking basic activities with family and friends, communication skills can be the difference between success and failure or the difference between a good or bad experience. The notion communication theory in everyday life became evident when we participated in group activities at university. The two activities were the smaller group Zin Obleisk activity and the larger group activity Prisoner Dilemma. Reflecting on both experiences it was important to note the strengths of the groups, but also the occasional shortcoming that impeded progress towards our goals as a group. Concentrating on both the positive and the negative attributes of the group communication skill set, allows us to take a step back and look at the big picture. It enables us to consider restructuring communication techniques in a team, group or even a partnership environment that could ultimately increase the enjoyment of being involved in such a team, and allow the realisation of goals altogether.
In our first group activity Zin Obleisk, evidence of the theory of Belbin’s team roles became immediately apparent (Belbin, 1997). I became the driver and the rest of the team, Ben, Ebony, Sam and Allison were either supporters, finishers or monitor-evaluators (Belbin, 1997). I chose initially to step back and see if anyone would step up and start coordinating the group, predominately looking towards Allison or Ben who both categorised themselves as drivers, but after some waiting and consideration I briefed the group and took my position as the note taker (Belbin, 1997). As the sole note taker I was charged with summarizing information from each group member’s verbal information. As a result, the flow of information communicated between the group members was controlled by me as we tried to come to an understanding of the activity and our goal, answering the question, “on which day was the Obelisk built?” (Littlejohn & Foss, 2005). The acceptance of my leadership was the first important step in us becoming an effective group. As the driver I effectively steered the group conversation for note summary (Belbin, 1997). Before we began the activity itself the group was physically sitting in a position where some members could not see others, subsequently I made the recommendation that we position ourselves in a circle like formation to encourage better group discussions. Later, as the leader, I set our first sub goal to simplify the task at hand and create a foreseeable way forward (Giambatista & Bhappu, 2010). I encouraged the group to engage in active listening, and around the group circle each team member assessed their cards. One by one I invited them to share facts with the group to prevent everyone engaging in shouting match. By introducing early a system where one person was to speak and present their facts and ideas at a time to the group, it enabled us to engage in constructive, respectful verbal discussion where we learnt facts for the game (Giambatista & Bhappu, 2010). Our collective willingness to co-operate and listen to each other was a group strength along with the fact that each group member seemed to approve of me being the chair person. As a group we were generally effective because we had a clear goal, an established communication process, clear leadership and a small and manageable group size. The lack of conflict but presence good active listening allowed simple yet effective verbal communication to take place that brought us closer to our goal (Knippen & Green, 1994).
On the other hand, as the activity progressed a number of apparent weaknesses within the group became apparent (Littlejohn & Foss, 2005). In general the group seemed motivated and engaged by the...