What is a group? Adams and Galanes describe a group as three or more individuals, who have a common purpose, interact with each other, influence each other, and are interdependent (P. 11). I think their definition assembles the unwritten requirements of what groups’ ambitions and attitude should replicate. Unfortunately, I firmly believe our group lacks the commitment and drive in regards to earning a good grade and succeeding well in Small Group Communications 230. The lack of devotion in my group, The Enthusiasts, is causing our grade to derail and in order to fix this; necessary improvements shall be implemented. After my group and I presented, I left the front of the classroom filled with embarrassment. I am a very independent person. Therefore, I have group hate, and am very pessimistic about working with people (P. 9). I have never had a good group experience in any college class. It seems to me, everyone leaves work untouched until they are verbally asked to complete it, someone else picks up the slack or everyone is left in a stressful, procrastination mode; which leaves them inadequately and frantically trying to finish before the due date. I thought our speech was going to be high quality, interesting and exciting.
However, what we portrayed to the audience was in my eyes, pitiful. Adam and Galanes describe my feeling as having a problem, “the difference between what exists presently and what you expect or want” (P. 196). The Enthusiasts didn’t even carry the basic public speaking techniques such as, eye contact, keeping the message concise and being prepared. Prior to our presentation, we had met in the library over a couple of times. I had written and structured the outline for everyone. I even wrote our introduction and conclusion word for word, which wasn’t even my part. When we ran through everyone’s part briefly, it seemed to be flowing fantastically. We all verbally agreed to continue practicing outside of class. I thought and felt confident that we were ready to snatch this A from Patrick and recover from the C we received for our policy proposal. While I was standing at the front of the class during our presentation about legalizing physician-assisted suicide, I could clearly see barely anyone in my group rehearsed their lines and some, even changed what we agreed with. I am just very frustrated and unhappy with our performance.
I believe our poor performance has to do with having no specific leader, not practicing enough and not communicating with one another. My group has a problem coming to a consensus about anything. I believe the majority of the group is still in the primary tension, and still shifting towards the secondary tension. No one in my group carries a loud and strong enough voice to decide on a decision. I feel as if no one wants to be judged or looked at negatively for bluntly, and quickly making a decision. I think we waste a lot of time with the unimportant little details such as PowerPoint colors rather than looking at the details of our speech. I feel the reason we have a hard time speaking up and coming to a consensus is due to individualistic culture. “Individualistic culture is valuing individual needs and goals more than group needs and goals” (P. 132).
Other than coming to a consensus, my group has a hard time finding a time to get together to meet. We are all very focused on our lives. Through sociology, I learned and agree that it’s individuals’ instinct to naturally put them first. However, in my eyes, making sure to be at a group meeting would be beneficial in putting their self first because it would help boost their grade. In order to excel for our next presentation we need to reevaluate and implement our group’s goal. I think our biggest struggle is communication. We still have a group member who never talks. This group member never participates with group effort inside and outside of class.
As for the rest of the group, we have started constantly texting and trying to work around everyone’s busy schedules. I feel though that we are all still shy and not willing to tell a group member their idea is not suited well enough for a specific solution. I also feel like we need to practice a lot more. Although, the group verbally agreed to practice, I felt as though they didn’t take it seriously and felt they could wing their part on presentation day. To me, it was disappointing. Lastly, I feel we need a leader.
I think we need someone to take charge and almost boss the others around. We need someone who is stern, who is an organizer, who is guiding everyone with specific parts and over looking every one. Although I believe my group and I performed very poorly, I do think there are some things we did well on. We did start communicating a lot more since our first week of meeting and my group but we did get of to a late start, which put us emotionally behind other groups. Having said that, I feel we need to communicate even better, practice a ton more for the upcoming presentation and reevaluate our goals.
Adams, K. & Galanes, G. J. (2012). Small Group Communication. Boston: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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