Communicating in Groups

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In society, individuals have been socialised to work within groups. A group is a collection of people with common characteristics or purpose (What are Groups and Team, n.d.). In the business world, workplaces employ groups because they are effective, creative and efficient at contributing and solving problems to achieve success. However, potential conflicts can arise as the number of participants increase. This paper will discuss and describe the role of groups and their influence on group communication in the workplace. Furthermore the issues of group attributes, decision making skills and their relationships in meetings will also be discussed.

Group attributes that contribute of the success of groups include size, age, diversity, openness and cohesion. It is important to know how these attributes affect group outcomes. An efficient group size requires at least three members and up to nine to be effective (Keyton, J., 2006). As the size of a group increase, the complexity is also increased several levels. This affects the way members interact, as well as the dynamics of the group in terms of decision-making. Group size affects the level of cooperation in the workplace. Smaller groups tend to work together more interdependently on task than larger groups. Larger groups show less cooperation, task effectiveness, increased conflicts and poorer accomplishment of goals (Managing Groups, n.d, p2). Age diversity has become apparent in today’s organisation. It offers a great opportunity for businesses as they can provide the added benefit of insight from a different generation and thus utilise the unique attributes each age group brings to the table (Goessl, 2009). However, as varying ages have different life experiences, these differences can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications in the workplace. Age differences can also lead to conflict, loss of productivity and other workplace problems (Greenwood, n.d.).

Other diversity occurs in areas such as



References: Goessl, L, 2009, Benefits of age diversity in the workplace, Helium, viewed 16th March 2013, Huitt, G, W., 1992, ‘Problem solving and decision making: Consideration of individual differences using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator’ Keyton, J., 2006, Communicating in Groups: Building Relationships for Groups Effectiveness, Oxford University Press, U.K.

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