Communication is an important tool in the delivery of services whereby it plays a critical role in establishing interactions and relationships. It has also been defined as a process of passing information from one individual to the next. Locker and Kienzler (2008) define it as a process of sharing information by using a set of common rules. The transfer of information from one individual to the other at times may be interfered with by distractions such as differences in perspectives, situational pressure, differences in the levels of professionalism, and inappropriate communication channels or responses. Moreover, communication is important as it helps in strengthening the knowledge base of people, helps in the demonstration of a given skill, reinforcing attitude and behavior, and also creating awareness about a given situation (Hubaux, 2010).
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Definition of Group Communication
Group communication refers to the use of many communication styles in a group and therefore goes beyond a one-to-one communication or a one-to-many mode of communication – multicast communication (Hubaux, 2010). For group communication to be effective, it is important that the reliability of the messages sent from the source to the members of the team is guaranteed. In addition, the communication style, among other things, is very important in determining the effectiveness of the communication. However, group communication is seldom used in large organizations and when used, it is mostly to disseminate a very important message despite it being the major form of communication in the small scale organization (Hubaux, 2010).
The Differences between Group Communication and Individual Communication
Individual communication is also referred to as intrapersonal communication and refers to the inner beliefs, feelings, thoughts, and inner talks regarding the issues affecting an individual (More Business, 2007). Group communication on the other hand refers to using different modes of communication to pass a piece of information to a group of individuals (Hubaux, 2010). While group communication employs different modes of communication, individual communication uses only a single mode of communication. Group communication also involves a large number of people, unlike individual communication which involves a single individual. Normally, group communication is aimed at solving an issue that affects a large number of people, i.e. it helps in solving societal, communal, or general public issues while individual communication aims at solving an individual’s problems. Lastly, group communication in a number of cases involves the message feedback mechanism, meaning that the speaker is able to get a response from the group members whereas individual communication is normally one way and the sender of the message does not get any feedback.
Strategies for Promoting Individual and Group Communication
Effective communication is normally an important part of any organization’s success and it is, therefore, crucial that it becomes an endeavor of every organization to promote it. Communication enables the members to know what the company expects from them and what the organization will give them in return, it also enables the members of an organization to know the principles of the company they need to work with. In order to have the company enjoy the benefits of effective communication, it may be important that the goal of communication be in line with the business goals. Moreover, it is important to consider an efficient channel to pass the information across.
Some of the important strategies for promoting group communication and individual communication include the utilization of basic communication techniques. Indeed, the members of the organization should be encouraged to participate in conversations concerning the issues in the organization. It is important to have a clear chain of command in the organization as it will prevent unnecessary conflicts arising from personal interactions between the members of the group. Moreover, the organization should develop a strong team spirit that will encourage the members of the group to collaborate in performing most of the tasks in the organization, a result of which will be the promotion of communication in the organization.
Information in the charter on dispute resolution
The section in the charter on dispute resolution does have enough information on the possible causes of conflict that may arise between the members of the group. It does have information too on the possible solutions to the problems. For instance; they have divided the workload to all the members so as to prevent the feeling by some of the members that they are being overworked. They have also endeavored to schedule their meetings in such a way that it does not conflict with members’ work schedules or time zones. The learners have grouped themselves with those having personalities and characters that are similar to theirs; this is, therefore, likely to prevent any conflicts arising from personality differences.
Finding lasting solutions to persistent problems that tend to arise in such kinds of groups is important and therefore it will suffice to propose a division of the project portions to each of the members of the group such that any member who fails to complete his or her portion of the task stands to lose marks. This will tend to create a sense of responsibility in all the members as well as advocate for the allocation of groups to the learners in accordance with their region of origin. In addition, this will help in solving the problem of lateness arising from the difference in time zones. It may not be practical to have the teams set up the meetings within each of the member’s schedules and thus the best solution to such a problem may be to space out the meetings, for instance, once in a month or once a week and ensure that during such a time all the issues are discussed extensively; the rest can then be done through emails or phone calls and texts.
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Team strategies for fostering good team communication
The team indeed has very good strategies for fostering team spirit. This is because according to their agreement, all the team members are given the assignment to take charge of the team in addition to a provision to have the members unable to complete their portion of the assignment helped by the other members to do so. The group has also ensured that it has all the information concerning all the members, and at least it has tried to take into account the differences in all the members in terms of their work schedules and the time zone they are in.
Examples of how to use these strategies
The group has used the strategy of team spirit by dividing the assignment into portions, with each person assigned a portion of the assignment. The team has also used the strategy of using various modes of basic communication such as text messages, phone calls, emails, and conversations. The team has also used the strategy of having a clear chain of command in which everyone heading a given portion of the assignment is answerable to all members with regards to the assignment they handle. The members have also agreed upon the professor being the overall authority and all of them reporting to him.
Technologies that Might be Used to Facilitate Group Communication
The three technologies that can be used to facilitate group communication are phones, e-mails, and web pages. Members of a group can use their phones to texts and contact one another concerning activities of the group. They can also interact with one another through emails or an interactive web page being set up for them to interact with one another.
Advantages and disadvantages of using these technologies
Phone calls have the advantage of being easily accessible despite being likely to get misused for the passage of unofficial information which is likely to interfere with the activities of the group. Both the e-mails and the web pages are important because they are fast and efficient and they also allow the sending of elaborate information. Just like phones, they can be misused for personal interaction in expense group activities.
Communication is a very important tool in the management of any organization. It is therefore important to ensure that it is effective so as to enhance the success of the organization. The message being passed can always be misinterpreted as a result of distractions during transmission it is therefore important to exercise care in order to prevent such distractions.
Hubaux, J. (2010). What is Group Communication?
Locker, K. and Kienzler, D. (2008). Business and Administrative Communication. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
More Business. (2007). Internal Communication Strategies for Your Business. Web.