Communications Assignment

Question

Every group, whether social or professional, has roles that need to be filled in order for the group to function effectively. Sometimes, people choose the role they want to play. At other times, people may naturally fall into a role without even realizing it. Research group roles or group dynamics Write an essay on the topic. Address the following:
1. What types of group roles are there? Name and describe at least six different roles. Also, note that similar roles are known by different names, for example, leader and facilitator. What you call a role is not as important as doing a good job of explaining the purpose and duties of each role. 
2. Can some roles have more than one person in that role in one group? If so, which roles are they? Which roles, if any, cannot have more than one person in the role in one group? Why? 

3. Can you rank the roles in order of importance? If yes, do so and explain your ranking. If you could not rank the roles, explain why. Is it because all roles are equally important? 

4. What role do you tend to play in groups? Is it a role you choose because you enjoy it or because you are just naturally good at it? 

5. We have all had to struggle with some roles we were required to play. Describe such an experience from your personal or professional life. Explain the difficulty and how you solved it. 

6. In a summary paragraph, discuss the value or constraint that you find with group roles. Discuss how knowledge of group roles will help a group communicate and work together. Apply APA standards for writing style to your work. Include a References page for any articles and websites used in your research.

Answer

Putting the Puzzle Together

The success of a team or a group in achieving its mission is determined by how the members interact and relate to each other. How the people behave varies, and each person in the group has a role to play (Benne & Sheats, 2010). The various roles that typically need to be filled within a group include coordinator, shaper, implementer, team worker, specialist, and plants. This paper sets out to explain these roles and to describe various experiences relating to group dynamics.

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To begin with, the coordinator role entails efforts by the coordinator to guide or steer the activities of the group towards what its members recognize as its goals and objectives. Coordinators are often portray maturity and have excellent listening skills. They are also proficient at allocating duties, though they may perpetuate their interests while steering the group towards what they identify to be its goals.

On the other hand, the shaper role is normally played by individuals who upholds a positive attitude towards members and who thrive to discover the best ways to overcome the challenges being faced by the group. It is often played by individuals who are dynamic and take pleasure in confronting challenges. Their main role is to motivate other group members.

In contrast, implementers transform the thoughts and the ideas of the group into actual plans that can be executed. Their role is played by persons who normally get things done easily within in the group. They are normally conservative by nature, hence they tend to be rigid and slow in accepting change within the group. They may be compared with those individuals who play the team worker’s role. The latter are essentially the people who make sure the group remains united. Their objective is to resolve conflicts or issues affecting the group’s dynamics. Typically, team workers are very supportive of other group members; thus, they tend to be the most famous individuals within the group.

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Besides, a typical groups tends to have members who play the specialist role, meaning that they tend to have expert knowledge of a particular field. Their contributions to the team are restricted to their respective areas of specialization. In most cases, they are primarily concerned with maintaining their professional standards, and their expert knowledge makes them indispensable in the group. They are unlike their counterparts who play the plants role. Individuals who occupy the latter position tend to be the most inventive members of a group. Their role is usually to come up with new techniques and ideas that assist the group in overcoming challenges or solving problems (Benne & Sheats, 2010). These personalities are introverts in nature and have poor communication skills.

In a team or a group, some roles can be played by more than one individual while others can only be handled by one person at a go. Examples of the roles that can be played more than one person include the team worker role, implementer role, specialist role, shaper role, and plants role. These are the roles whereby the selected individuals can complement each other and the duties involved can be shared among the role players (Kvlighan & Miles, 2007). For example, in the specialist role, there can be several individuals with competencies in different areas, hence both can assume the same role. On the other hand, there are some roles that cannot have more than one person at a go in a group. For instance, the role of a coordinator cannot be played by more than two people because this can bring about conflict.

Although some roles can be ranked according to their importance, at times it is very challenging to do so because the group members’ objective is not to compete but rather, to work interdependently towards a common objective. As a result, it is very hard to match the importance of one role against another (Kivlighan & Miles, 2007). Meanwhile one may argue that the role that is of the greatest importance is that of the coordinator or leader of a group while all the other roles are more or less equally important.

In the majority of the groups I have been a member, I tend to assume the role of a team worker. Most of the time, I find myself playing the role not because I am selected, but because I am good at resolving conflicts and I like working in a cohesive environment. Whenever I am in a group, I normally contribute immensely to cohesion and everyone’s contribution to decision-making.

In various groups, people find ourselves struggling with some of the roles they are required to assume. For instance, one day, I struggled a lot with the role of the team worker after being assigned to it during a team-building trip. The team comprised employees of a company where I was doing my placement practice. It was challenging because I realized that the staff had personal differences which they had been concealing all along. What made it harder for me to unite them was the fact that all the other team members were older than me, hence they underrated my ability to resolve conflicts and to create cohesion among them. I managed to execute the role well due to my commitment to excellence in decision-making and impartiality. Consequently, I won their trust and was able to maintain cohesion within the group.

In summary, group roles are a critical component of group dynamics. They determine how the members relate with one another. This interaction among the members dictates whether a group will be successful in meeting its aims and objectives. Knowledge of group roles creates an understanding and cohesiveness among members, thereby enabling them to improve communication while creating a favorable working environment.

References

Benne, K., & Sheats, P. (2010). Functional roles of group members. Journal of Social Issues, 4(2), 41-49.

Kivlighan, D. & Miles, J. (2007). Content themes in group dynamics: Theory, research, and practice, 1997-2002. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice11(3), 129-139.

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