COMM001 Study Guide

Unit 3: Group Communication

3a. Identify specific competencies of the interpersonal communication process used in facilitating small group communication

  • Define primary groups and secondary groups. What is the difference between groups and teams?
  • Define the following group communication competencies: cohesiveness, common goals, interaction, interdependence, synergy, and shared norms.
  • What are four typical ways that members make decisions in small groups?

Based on how confident you with the concept of groups and communicating in groups, you review the definition and competencies in Group Communication and Group Problem-Solving Procedures.


3b. Identify the stages of small group development

  • Name and define the five stages of group development in the proper order.

The group development model is a reflection of interpersonal relationship development. For a review of the stages of group development, see Group Formation, Group Communication, and Managing Groups and Teams.


3c. Identify typical setting for small group communication

  • Define the following small group settings: activity groups, learning groups, personal growth groups, problem-solving teams, temporary teams, and virtual groups.
  • What makes these settings differ from one another?

We work and affiliate in groups regularly in our social activities, with family, and at work or school.

To review settings or types of groups we find ourselves in, see Group Communication and Managing Groups and Teams.



3d. Explain the roles of people in small groups

  • Name and define the four types of roles people take on when they participate in group communication and group decision making.
  • Define the following sixteen roles that group members may be described as playing in a group setting: aggressor, blocker, clown, compromiser, devil's advocate, encourager, energizer, facilitator, follower, gatekeeper, information gatherer, opinion gatherer, playboy/girl, recorder, self-confessor, and tension releaser.
  • Define the three types of leadership styles often found in small groups.

Depending on how confident you are with your recall and identification of these roles and functions, review Group Communication and Managing Groups and Teams. You may also review Small Group Roles and Leadership and Making Group-Work Work.


3e. Apply the theories of communication to the small group setting

In addition to the communication theories presented in Unit 1, four theories were presented in this unit that focus on group decision making and group behavior. Define each of the following theories: diamond of participatory decision-making, functional theory, groupthink, and procedural model of problem-solving.

To review decision-making theories and models applied in the group communication process, see Group CommunicationGroup Problem-Solving Procedures, and Groupthink.


3f. Identify ethical and unethical applications of communication in small groups

  • Define ethical behavior for members of small groups and teams.
  • Explain the concepts of conflict of interest and power (power-from-within, power-over, power-with).

Ethical behavior is expected in all our communication transactions. It is especially important during group communication because the decisions we make in groups affect other people and ourselves.

To review, see Group Communication, Managing Groups and Teams, and Making Group-Work Work.