Below is an abbreviated summary of the key takeaways for each section of this chapter.
- Leaders fulfill a group role that is associated with status and power within the group that may be formally or informally recognized by people inside and/or outside of the group. While there are usually only one or two official leaders within a group, all group members can perform leadership functions, which are a complex of beliefs, communication patterns, and behaviors that influence the functioning of a group and move a group toward the completion of its tasks.,
- There are many perspectives on how and why people become leaders whether designated or emergent leaders
- Leaders can adopt a directive, participative, supportive, or achievement-oriented style.
- Leaders and other group members move their groups toward success and/or the completion of their task by tapping into various types of power.
- Task-related group roles and behaviors contribute directly to the group’s completion of a task or the achievement of its goal. These roles typically serve leadership, informational, or procedural functions and include the following: task leader, expediter, information provider, information seeker, gatekeeper, and recorder.
- Maintenance group roles and behaviors function to create and maintain social cohesion and fulfill the interpersonal needs of the group members. To perform these role behaviors, a person needs strong and sensitive interpersonal skills. These roles include social-emotional leader, supporter, tension releaser, harmonizer, and interpreter.
- Negative role behaviors delay or distract the group. Self-centered role behaviors are those that seek to divert the group’s attention to the group member exhibiting the behaviour. These roles include central negative, monopolizer, stage hog, egghead, self-confessor, and insecure compliment seeker. Unproductive role behaviors prevent or make it difficult for the group to make progress. These roles include blocker, withdrawer, aggressor, and doormat.
- Every problem has common components: an undesirable situation, a desired situation, and obstacles between the undesirable and desirable situations. Every problem also has a set of characteristics that vary among problems, including task difficulty, number of possible solutions, group member interest in the problem, group familiarity with the problem, and the need for solution acceptance.
- The group problem-solving process has five steps:
- Define the problem by creating a problem statement that summarizes it.
- Analyze the problem and create a problem question that can guide solution generation.
- Generate possible solutions. Possible solutions should be offered and listed without stopping to evaluate each one.
- Evaluate the solutions based on their credibility, completeness, and worth. Groups should also assess the potential effects of the narrowed list of solutions.
- Implement and assess the solution. Aside from enacting the solution, groups should determine how they will know the solution is working or not.
- Before a group makes a decision, it should brainstorm possible solutions.
- Common decision-making techniques include majority rule, minority rule, and consensus rule.
- Several factors influence the decision-making process: situational factors, personality, and cultural influences.