Observation paper

Observation paper - Michels 1 Megan Michels COMS 217...

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Michels 1 Megan Michels COMS 217 Zeuschner 06/02/10 Observation Paper Approaching the Small Group Communication course, I knew that there would be several benefits to learning the material. The concepts are extremely applicable in both professional and social situations. In this class, we were able to explore the dynamics of small group communication through two projects with different small groups. The first project was a game presentation, and the second one was presenting key concepts in an assigned movie. Throughout both of these experiences, the terms from the textbook were illuminated in real life situations. While both groups were successful in achieving the goal of a well thought out presentation, there are several critiques to take away from each experience. Both groups that I was in demonstrated the Tuckman stages of group development, utilized a collaborative conflict style, and created group member roles. The one thing that I noticed the most, that disadvantaged both groups, was the idea of invincibility, and that because we were doing the project as a group, we could procrastinate more than if we were doing it alone. This ended up hurting both of my groups in the long run. Ultimately, the group presentations allowed me to explore the dynamics of small group communications in a real life setting where the lectures, book material, and games from class truly applied. Both of the groups that I participated in undoubtedly reflected Tuckman’s group development stages (Engleberg 29). To begin with, we entered the forming stage, where the primary tension came into existence (Engleberg 30). There was a lot of shyness and stiffness
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Michels 2 among most of the members, as no one wanted to come off as too bossy or overly confident. What really helped us to become more comfortable with each other were the games that we played in class that were led by the instructor. Through the games that required teamwork and cohesion, we began to depend on each other and learn about each other’s personalities. This definitely pushed us along into to the storming stage. Once we were all more comfortable with each other, the storming stage naturally occurred. We applied the concepts about brainstorming and remembered not to criticize any points brought up during the storming phase, and to consider everyone’s perspectives. Ultimately, this brought us a huge list of ideas to draw from. It was well rounded and everyone felt comfortable participating. In my first group, Emily took the coordinator-chairperson role in the sense that she encouraged everyone that brainstorming was necessary to come up with ideas for our presentation (Engleberg 58). I took the encourager-supporter role as I helped and praised members for their contributions (Engleberg 60). Having a task-oriented role and a maintenance role within our group really helped during the storming phase because we were able to encourage member participation without making people feel uncomfortable or pressured to have “only good” ideas. All of our group members felt comfortable expressing their contributions during
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