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Human beings are social animals. Striving forward and achieving reasonable success has become an integral part of society. Today success is measured by one’s constant dealing with a society which is related to his or her personal and professional life. Being a part of the group dynamics class, I felt it was extremely unique and so important for people coming from different courses and backgrounds to become a single unit and further enhance their communication skills as well as adapt with various types of individuals. For me, it was very essential to understand what it is to be part of a group and gradually flourish when I understood the key aspect of interpersonal skills and interactions that go into the creation of a dynamic and progressive group. Currently pursuing a degree course in “Public Relations” I felt that this course is just the perfect base for me to start learning and adapting with various people and sharpen my communication and performing skills going forward.
In the initial stages of this class, I had a certain level of stage fright (Beebe & Masterson, 2016, 3.7.2). I quickly realized this class required a great level of enthusiasm and there were so many roles in this class to showcase our group’s ability in the execution of the required tasks and hence, the interaction between groups would eventually decide the failure or the success of that group’s ability in its overall performance. All the requirements for this course helped in forcing my group and me all beyond our comfort zones in being creative and always taking a few points to look back and learn from the previous rotations. During my groups first meeting together, we had a great level of connectivity and warmth. We were very well synced with each other’s company and quickly were able to get acquainted (Beebe and Masterson, 2016, 4.1.1). I felt that this was the first step we all took in being on the right path to achieve the same goal and establish a strong foundation stone among ourselves going ahead in the upcoming rotations. We all easily could identify each one’s strengths and use it to the best of our abilities in performing. I always since the beginning have been an keen observer, so seeing the various inputs of ideas, motives and new agendas being established I learned on how to organize a proper outline for coming up with a solution to any issue we faced while trying to execute a certain task and play a key role in constantly motivating each group member to be included in the groups meeting and always try to change the groups climate (Beebe & Masterson, 2016, 6.6). learning more about group dynamics in the upcoming weeks I started to realize individuals likely are to be affected by the groups to which they belong. It might affect their behavior in a certain way, may it be in the form of conformity to group norms, group cohesiveness, group participation, group competition and group problem solving which is found in both formal and informal group it most likely is always linked with the behavior of the individuals which make a big difference in a group. With my group, the most relatable thing I saw with each member was that there was a certain fear of failing but there was also the willingness and an effort of not giving up, which truly was the main aspect which made us go the extra mile in determining the result of our group’s effort.
Over time this course only became more informative and so much more relatable to the outside world as I remember very clearly my dad telling me that in today’s current day and age building bridges are what will make the difference in one’s ability to move ahead and establish himself. That thought of building bridges only became more relatable and relevant with each session in the class going by as I started to identify as an individual where my strengths play to my advantage and which parts I need improvement on and always kept in mind what rapport I build with the members of my group and the class overall, may it be teaching a lesson or introducing a game I always felt there should be an instant connect with my audience and see that they are clearly interested in what I have to present or say with the right amount of motivation surrounding me which automatically came as everyone in this class felt and knew that it was not easy in presenting, conducting or evaluating the rest of the class, but it didn’t take long for each and every one of us to get comforted with the class’s atmosphere as it was so welcoming and everyone was there to support and look out for each other’s shortcomings and back them up by only providing extra encouragement which clearly was reflected in each groups performance in the next rotation. Seeing the personal strengths I had as a group member before this class, I was only extremely grateful that I got to enhance them even more. I had a good knowledge of the trait perspectives of a leader (Beebe & Masterson, 2016, 9.2). For me, leadership is extremely important for groups to progress. There should be a fair distribution of work, a sense of fairness, no plans for partiality and compensation should be swift and worry of the effort. I felt these aspects were necessary for me to implement as a leader, and when I was the leader the thing that made me the happiest and graceful to my team members was when they applauded me saying that I had the ability to gauge and take the lead and set an example for them. I was proud that I could earn the respect of my team members and could realize the value of encouragement and support a team provides as it made me feel a sense of belongingness and deep joy. Another strength which I had was too acknowledge how important it was to understand the positive and negative forces that act in any team, in trying to put supporting forces together in always easing out the negative energies that emerge in any team, so that the team succeeds ultimately (Beebe and Masterson, 2016, 8.5.2). Going forward in this class I think my group and most of us in this class started to realize why the existence and importance of groups are so vital. I have come across many views that groups are good because they satisfy the higher order needs such as affection, recognition, and self-esteem which I completely agree with but more so, I feel that Groups provide the means and the platform to get things done through mutual interactions that a person can never achieve if done individually. The intention of the group dynamics class I felt was not to highlight that work should be done in groups or individual responsibility is bad, but to showcase that being social animals we are sure to fail if we try to do everything ourselves as individual importance nowadays has become so prominent that many have failed to realize the value of group decisions, collective problem solving or interaction with others, hence with the introduction of the group dynamics class, one was exposed to collaborative learning in small groups that cooperated to achieve common goals which surely was a breakthrough for many people resulting directly in the value of collaboration with aspect of fostering interaction and innovation of new ideas among a group.
While going through this journey of constantly presenting and doing the various team roles we were assigned, I would look back and reflect upon where I need improvement on going further as this class has made me embrace a lot of essential life skills which are a lifelong lesson for me to apply while facing the world. Knowing that several people are contributing ideas and efforts, it helped me as an individual to feel secure in making suggestions. I was sometimes very reluctant to put across my viewpoint always being in the notion what might my teammates think of my suggestions (Beebe & Masterson,2016, 3.2.2). I quickly realized from my teammates that no solution is the result of one person alone, and no one is expected to complete the entire task on their own so, in the same respect group members won’t hold each other accountable and feel that if they are to fail at something the group members would hold each other accountable. On realizing this fact, the biggest personal improvement, I need to make is to try in being more involved in the discussion period of the group, to take a firmer stand in putting across my ideas without feeling the restraint on what others will perceive about my thoughts or ideas. I also need to harness my creativity skills after this class. I saw and learned that there is so much creativity and innovation to flow freely within us seeing the various creative skills everyone contributed with his or her uniqueness. Hence, I am eager to learn about more ways to enhance my creativity without feeling any notion of being held back (Beebe & Masterson,2016, 12.4.1). lastly but certainly not the least an area which I need personal improvement is to become a good reflective thinker (Beebe & Masterson,2016, 11.3). I feel I must be smarter in analyzing and understanding what has happened, why it happened and what change would have made the situation different. In my opinion, I feel to have a good sense of reflective thinking is so pivotal in today’s time as it’s the best way in making us successful and most of all in making us realize our past mistakes and for me, there is no better teacher than the past. I must be able to learn and adapt to each circumstance especially with a group or organization as only then will I be on the path of being recognized and most importantly be able to operate with others successfully in amplifying the desire for each member to want to work in harmony and strive forward in becoming more rounded individuals. The two main elements that have made me a better individual and members of my team and also what future teams should keep in mind is, firstly is breaking down the barriers to creativity and have the free flow of communicating ideas. Groups cohesiveness is the most prominent feature a group should always imbibe and build step by step going forward (Craig & Kelly,1999, p.245). For me during the course of the five rotations in this class, my team kept evolving and realizing each aspect of how a groups bond gets stronger and I also feel most of the part on realizing just how important group cohesiveness is came through self-realization on how important it was to work together and be part of a positive atmosphere. Secondly, is to adapt to the various personality differences within a group. To be self-aware of a team’s collective strengths and development needs are very important, to make sure ones keeps his or her individual differences aside and be focused on the common goal which the group seeks to achieve (Hodson & Sorrentino, 1997, p.144). Groups need to have a clear vision and a detailed understanding of how a team must collaborate as only then a group’s progress can be determined.
In conclusion, my awareness of how important this class of group dynamics is and why it was so essential for me was because, upon joining and becoming a part of a group, I felt nowadays groups play such an integral part of our lives as it gives us the opportunity to explore diverse opinions which provide different points of view in working together, solving problems and accomplishing a common goal. It has really been so effective for me to analyze my group skills by taking this class as each element taught in this class has contributed to my personal development in some way or the other, may it have been teaching, evaluating, or changing the atmosphere off the class with a fun-filled activity, it has truly been an enriching experience. I really enjoyed the unique style this class incorporated and wish educators would inculcate something more like this in the teaching system. Preparation, analysis of teaching, an action plan, problem-solving for assessment and most of all change, an initiation to bring about change within yourself in the best way possible will always be for me the underlying moral for this class.
- Craig, T. Y., & Kelly, J. R. (1999). Group Cohesiveness and Creative Performance. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, And Practice, 3(4), 243-256. http://web.a.ebscohost.com.eztest.ocls.ca/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=8661deeb-d4bd-4d16-be5f-171465b8b374%40sessionmgr4006
- Hodson, G., & Sorrentino, R. M. (1997). Groupthink and Uncertainty Orientation: Personality Differences in Reactivity to the Group Situation. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, And Practice, 1(2), 144 155. http://web.b.ebscohost.com.eztest.ocls.ca/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=25a70ebe-d6e4-4432-b755-dbb8fbc92964%40sessionmgr104
- Beebe, S. A., & Masterson, J. T. (2016). Communicating in small groups: Principles and practices.
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