Unformatted text preview: Roles in Groups Every member of a group plays a certain role within that group. Some roles relate to the task aspect of the group, while others promote social interaction. A third set of roles are self-centered and can be destructive for the group. Task-Oriented Researchers Benne and Sheats identified several roles which relate to the completion of the group's task: Roles Initiator-contributor: Proposes ideas, solutions or suggestions. Information-seeker: Asks for relevant information from the group about the task. Opinion-seeker: Asks for input (opinion/beliefs) from the group about its values. Information-giver: Offers facts or generalization to the group. Opinion-giver: States his or her beliefs about a group issue. Elaborator: Explains and expands upon ideas within the group, offers examples to clarify ideas. Coordinator: Clarifies the relationships among ideas and contributions. Orienter/Summarizer: Reviews and identifies themes, and shifts the direction of the group's discussion. Evaluator-critic: Measures group's actions against some objective standard. Constructive analysis. Energizer: Stimulates the group to a higher level of activity. Invigorates or enthuses group for task. Procedural-technician: Performs logistical functions for the group. Attends to seating, equipment, etc. Recorder/Secretary: Keeps a record of group actions and distributes meeting notes. Social or Maintenance Roles Groups also have members who play certain social roles: Supporter/Encourager: Praises the ideas of others. Warmth and recognition given freely. Harmonizer: Mediates interpersonal conflicts and reduces tension among group members. Conciliator/Compromiser: Offers options if his/her ideas are creating conflict. Maintains cohesion. Gatekeeper/expediter: Keeps communication channels open. Encourages interaction. Feeling expresser: Makes feelings/moods of group and self explicit. Follower: Goes along with the group and accepts the group's ideas. Individualistic Roles These roles place the individual group member above the group and are destructive to productive interactions. Aggressor: Aggressively questions others' motive or competence. Blocker: Prevents progress by raising objections constantly. Recognition seeker: Calls attention to himself or herself by boasting or bragging inappropriately. Self-confessor: Seeks to disclose non-group related feelings or opinions. Dominator: Asserts control over the group by interrupting or monopolizing interactions. Deserter: Refuses to participate, take a stand or respond to others. Joker: Shows lack of involvement by clowning or joking in excess. Cynic: Shoots down ideas, discounts chances for success without offering viable alternatives. ...
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- Fall '11