Spring 2017  - Group Discussion        


               – Likes – Dislikes – Circumstances - Attitides- Need_to_Know - 

( supplement to chapters 1 & 2 )(done via double fishbowls & Discussion Board/Forum #1)

<Items listed in no particular order>

part 1

Our Top 5 Things we Enjoy/Dislike about Working in Groups

 via General Discussion on

  things we like:      

-Divided work - Ability to delegate work. ( i.e.   Lighter workload? )

-Split up work according to people's strengths- strategic roles

-Networking - opportunity to get acquainted with people you normally wouldn't encounter- (i.e. Meet new people?)

-Generating ideas-  The ability to bounce ideas of each other./ "2 heads are always better than 1"-

-Opportunity to develop friendships  - bonding while working on common goals



 (Top) 5 things we dislike:  {The discusssion did not actually rank/evaluate the items}

      - Personality conflicts  - individualistic attitudes,trouble working with others

- Working with slackers  if someone "slacks" it hurts the group both in TASK & in MAINTENANCE

- Lack of balanced teamwork    uneven distribution of workload,

-Scheduling conflicts - It's difficult to coordinate time schedules so people can meet face-to-face.

-Dealing with close minded people       Personality  & ideological clashes -


Some Additional insights about how groups work: ( from current  & past semesters)  via online Discussion Board/Forum #1

- There's an expectation that people are put in groups to learn something – the "socialization effect"

- Motivating the performance of others IS a major part of working in groups

- You have to be TAUGHT how to work in groups – it's not innate for all cultures

- Despite the U.S. cultural norms, not all group participants behave in high-utterance, talkative ways. It's important to understand there are stylistic differences & "ALLOW" space for the contributions of quieter participants. At the same time, all participants should be willing to speak up when necessary/appropriate, 


- Working in a group means all participants need to adapt to be able to accept others ideas and not be in full control even though the grade is on the line.


- Everyone has his/her own role -- as in a sports team or a construction project

- Sometimes, there can be poor communication between members.

-  Sometimes there are "slackers" whose behaviors can affect everyone else’s mood and/or grades

-   Expect ( & welcome) different opinions due to different backgrounds.

  - Group norms tend to encourage more organized work behaviors from everybody

- not everyone knows how to give & recieve criticism CONSTRUCTIVELY

- Also, shy individual(s) may not like working in groups

 - A WIDE spectrum of communication effectiveness is needed (incl. Listening, Responding, Critical Thinking)

- Groups that are more effective usually are better at accomplishing COLLABORATION & SHARED RESPONSIBILITY

- Exercise Patience






part 2 

What are task/Communication factors where Working-in-Groups is better than working individually?  What  common problems inherent in Working-In-Groups?

 via Group #1 ( Leader: Michael / Recorder: Joe)

original Question: What are things that groups do well/poorly?

 a asset / Grps Do Well  a deficit  /  Grps Do Poorly
  mental synergy  enables slackers
 opportunity to communicate/interact enables dominators
resource management time management
 specific, shared focus/goal  sense of partnership & commitment  
 specialization (roles/ fulfill your expertise) task details "falling between the cracks
pushes participants toward progress  
brainstorming/generation of ideas  
  1. Studying
  2. Multi-faceted problems
  3. Research / Data Collection
  4. Presentations
  5. Theater / Entertainment Performance


part 3 

What are the most important skills necessary for successful (&amicable) Working In Groups? ( i.e. what do we need to learn?) 

  via Group #2 ( Leader: Aubrey / Recorder: Dante)

> Communication Skills:   Ability to understand and to be understood /Listening and Response skills

> Task Management / Reliability

>  Respect

> Have a Cooperative Attitude / Sacrifice for the good of the group

> Deter Hidden Agendas


Some Leftover thoughts from previous semester:

1.     In certain education settings: e.g. Long-term projects in a semester can be worked on as a group because everyone could have a different perspective on what was taught by the teacher and the lessons that were taught in the class and the project can be finished with better knowledge of the subject.


2.     Public presentations are another way that we found working in groups much easier than working alone because you can break down topics into sections that each member of a group is more knowledgeable about and also,  it would make it easier to  answer questions that the audience might have.



3.     Forming study groups with other members in your class or other friends help make it easier to understand different topics in the class that you currently have trouble understanding.



4.     Starting a marketing campaign for a business or a product is easier working in groups because one person can focus on television advertising, another can focus on print advertising, someone else can focus on making sales pitches to distributors, and a group member can work on the graphic design.


5.     Teaching can be used more efficiently as a group as a team exercise because the teacher can explain the lesson for the class then the students can work in a group to accomplish the work the needs to be finished with the teacher answering questions that the group has trouble figuring out on its own.  


1.different research( different views) < i.e. something that benefits from "360 degree" type examination >

4. Specialization < i.e. task requires multiple  specialized skills>   


1.Planning large scale projects--- because you can break down the task into smaller parts  [ via Madison]



Some leftover contexts characterized by GROUP structures:

*    Sports

*    Social Work/Volunteer

*    Work Presentations

*    Family Units

*    Friends




part 4 

What are the most important skills necessary for successful (&amicable) Working In Groups?

 via General  Discussion  about : ...like going to ____________-