Working in Groups

Introduction to Group Communication (Chapter 1)

Succeeding in Groups

"Working in groups may be the most important skill you learn in college" (Engleberg & Wynn, 2013, p. 3).

-Employers rank "teamwork skills and the ability to collaborate with others in diverse groups settings" as an essential learning outcome/skill.


Engleberg, I. N., & Wynn, D. (2013). Working in groups, 6th. Pearson Education, Inc.

Key Elements of Group Communication

1) Three or More Members- A third person can change the dynamics in a group; a third person can act as the listener (while the other two group members talk) and offer alternatives.

*As the size of a group increases the number of possible interactions (and potential misunderstandings) increases even faster. For example, a group with five members has the potential for 90 different types of interaction; a group with seven members has the potential for 96 different types of interaction.

2) Interaction- Sharing information/messages (verbal & nonverbal), opinions, making decisions and developing interpersonal relationships.

3) Interdependence- Each group member is affected and influenced by the actions of other members. Every member is responsible for their part. The failure of a group member can adversely affect the entire group.

4) Working- The physical or mental effort you use when trying to accomplish something. Joining others in a productive and motivating experience in which members combine their talents.

We cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together. -Bill Richardson

Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together. - Paul Ryan

An ideal group succeeds because it achieves balance.

Balance describes a state of equilibrium in which no significant factor dominates of interferes with other factors. Effective groups balance factors such as the group's task and social functions, individual and group needs, and the responsibilities of leadership and followership.

Group Assignments

Group Communication Competencies Survey (p.23)

*You will now complete the above mentioned survey.

*Once you have completed the survey in groups of 5-7, you will identify five items that you feel are the most important skills in group communication and describe why. I will provide chart paper for this activity. Please be prepared to share with the class :)

Happy Friday!!! Great job class!