Masthead header

In Small Group Decision Making Means Reaching Agreement

If something is cohesive, it stays together and cohesion within a group helps to create a general group climate. Group climateThe relatively persistent tone and quality of group interaction, experienced in the same way by the group members. refers to the relatively sustainable tone and quality of group action experienced in a similar way by the group members. To better understand cohesion and climate, we can study two types of cohesion: the task and the social. Kroon, M.B., Van Kreveld, D., Rabbie, J.M. (1992). Group decision-making in the individual: the impact of responsibility and gender on group thinking. Small Group Research, 23 (4), 427-458. In summary, the most important conclusion of the brainstorming literature is that the technique is less effective than expected, because the group members have to do other things in addition to their creativity. However, this does not necessarily mean that brainstorming is not useful overall, and changes in original brainstorming methods have proven to be very effective in producing creative thinking in groups. Techniques that use initial individual thinking, followed by a group debate, are the best approaches for brainstorming and group creativity.

If you are in a group that needs to make a decision, you can use that knowledge. Ask the group members to spend some time thinking about their own ideas and writing them down before the group begins their discussion. Myers, D. G. (1982). Polarizing effects of social interaction. In H. Brandstatter, J. H. Davis, G.

Stocher-Kreichgauer (Eds.), Contemporary problems in group decision(p. 125-161). New York, NY: The Academic Press. The primary and secondary tensions that occur in each group are relevant to this type of conflict. Ernest G. Bormann and Nancy C. Borman, Effective Small Group Communication, 4th ed. (Santa Rosa, CA: Burgess Publishing, 1988), 72. When the group meets for the first time, members experience a primary tension group tension based on uncertainty, which is a natural part of initial interactions, which is stress-based tension, which is a natural part of the initial interactions. It is only when the group members begin to “break the ice” and get to know each other that the tension can be addressed and the group members can continue with the group development training phase. Small conversations and courtesy help group members deal with primary tensions, and there is a relatively high threshold for these conflicts, because we have all experienced such insecurity when we meet people for the first time, and many of us are optimistic that a little time and effort will allow us to overcome tensions.

As some people feel more comfortable starting conversations than others, it is important that more extroverted group members include less talkative members. The deliberate or unintentional exclusion of individuals during the negotiation of primary tensions may eventually lead to unexpected secondary tensions. At this point, people are also less directly in their communication, with more hedges and vague language that they become later in the group process. Indirect communication and the small conversations that characterize this part of the group`s development are not a waste of time, as they help manage primary tensions and lay the groundwork for future interactions that can lead to more substantial conflicts.