I don’t know about you, but I dread the class where the instructor says, “We are going to divide everyone up into groups of 3 and you need to find your partner.” This has always been the hard part for me because I am the quiet and shy one. Working in groups and teams can be both intimidating and a challenge. It is not easy to work in groups and teams when everyone doesn’t really know each other well. It becomes complicated when you put people of all different personalities into one group or team. However, this can also be the most interesting part of project. When you work with people you don’t know well you can bring in different perspectives that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own. Everyone has their own personality and everyone fits into different roles when they starting working in groups with other people. “Every group has roles that need to be filled in order for the group to function effectively” (Argosy, 2012). Once these roles are established it is extremely important for everyone to communicate with each other.
There are many different roles that people can fall into. I will begin with the role that I generally fall into myself. I like this role because I am naturally good at it and it makes me feel like I am doing something productive for the group. I am the Orienter. The orienter “reviews and clarifies the group's position. Provides a summary of what has been accomplished, notes where the group has veered off course, and suggests how to get back on target” (Benne & Sheats, 2007). The good thing about this role is that there can be more than one person doing this role and it can be done by a person doing another role, like the leader. The leader is a great person to keep the group on task as well. I like to stay on task and keep the goal in mind and in focus during the entire project. If we can all just stay focused and not get distracted by other things. There are roles that people bring to the group that will be distracters. For example: the “disrupter is the one who distracts everyone with jokes or changing the topic to be completely off topic from the groups purpose. (Benne & Sheats, 2007). Everyone has experienced this individual’s role at some point when working in a group or team.
Every group needs to have a leader. The leader is the glue that holds the entire group or team together. The leader is the main individual who “proposes” ideas to the group and discusses options for ways they can go about accomplishing their goal. The leader starts all the discussions and provides topics for everyone to keep the group moving forward in reach of their final goal. (Benne & Sheats, 2007). This person is essential to the group for task initiation and completion. However, it usually best if there is only one person in this role. This is where there can be problems if there is more than one. If two people are trying to lead the group it could end up with the group separating into different groups with each of the leaders being a leader.
When you put all sorts of different personalities into one group and ask them to work together, you will usually always have problems. One role that will cause a problem is the dominator. The dominator takes over every task and tells everyone what they need to do. Basically the dominator becomes the “boss” of the group. The dominator brags about being and knowing more than they actually do on the topic. (Benne & Sheats, 2007). This role is the most annoying because some of the stuff they are proving is true and they do contribute useful information to the group, but they come across in an unproductive way that makes everyone feel annoyed with this person. More than one person can definitely be the dominator. However it would be very difficult if say the leader of the group was also the dominator, because the group may not respect the position the leader is in and the flow of the group may not flow well to get the project...
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