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Group Roles. Small Group Communication. Task Roles. The group's task is the job to be done. People who are concerned with the task tend to: 1. make suggestions as to the best way to proceed or deal with a problem;

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group roles

Group Roles

Small Group Communication

task roles
Task Roles

The group's task is the job to be done. People who are concerned with the task tend to:

  • 1. make suggestions as to the best way to proceed or deal with a problem;
  • 2. attempt to summarize what has been covered or what has been going on in the group;
  • 3. give or ask for facts, ideas, opinions, feelings, feedback, or search for alternatives;
  • 4. keep the group on target; prevent going off on tangents.
relationship roles
Relationship Roles

Relationships means how well people in the group work together. People who are concerned with relationships tend to:

  • 1. be more concerned with how people feel than how much they know;
  • 2. help others get into the discussion;
  • 3. try to reconcile disagreements;
  • 4. encourage people with friendly remarks and gestures.
3 types of roles
3 Types of Roles
  • Behavior in the group can be of 3 types:
    • 1. that which helps the group accomplish its task;
    • 2. that which helps group members get along better (relationships); and
    • 3. self oriented behavior which contributes to neither group task nor group relationships.
  • Examples of these types of behavior, called roles, are:
task roles1
Task Roles
  • 1. Initiating:
    • proposing tasks or goals; defining a group problem; suggesting ways to solve a problem.
  • 2. Seeking information or opinions:
    • requesting facts; asking for expressions of feeling; requesting a statement or estimate; seeking suggestions and ideas.
  • 3. Giving information or opinion:
    • offering facts; providing relevant information; stating an opinion; giving suggestions and ideas.
task roles cont
Task Roles (cont.)
  • 4. Clarifyingand elaborating:
    • interpreting ideas or suggestions; clearing up confusion; defining terms; indicating alternatives and issues before the group.
  • 5. Summarizing:
    • pulling together related ideas; restating suggestions after the group has discussed them; offering a decision or conclusion for the group to accept or reject.
  • 6. Consensustesting:
    • asking if the group is nearing a decision; taking a straw vote."
relationship roles1
Relationship Roles
  • 1. Harmonizing:
    • attempting to reconcile disagreements; reducing tension; getting people to explore differences.
  • 2. Gate keeping:
    • helping to keep communication channels open; facilitating the participation of others; suggesting procedures that permit sharing remarks.
relationship roles cont
Relationship Roles (cont.)
  • 3. Encouraging:
    • being friendly, warm, and responsive to others; indicating by facial expression or remarks the acceptance of others' contributions.
  • 4. Compromising:
    • when one's own idea or status is involved in a conflict, offering a compromise which yields status; admitting error; modifying one's position in the interest of group cohesion or growth.
self oriented roles
Self-Oriented Roles
  • 1. Dominator:
    • interrupts others; launches on long monologues; is over-positive and over- dogmatic; tries to lead group and assert authority; is generally autocratic.
  • 2. Negativist:
    • rejects ideas suggested by others; takes a negative attitude on issues; argues frequently and unnecessarily; is pessimistic, refuses to cooperate; pouts.
self oriented roles cont
Self-Oriented Roles (cont.)
  • 3. Aggressor:
    • tries to achieve importance in group; boasts; criticizes or blames others; tries to get attention; shows anger or irritation against group or individuals; deflates importance or position of others in group.
  • 4. Playboy:
    • is not interested in the group except as it can help him or her to have a good time.
self oriented roles cont1
Self-Oriented Roles (cont.)
  • 5. Storyteller:
    • likes to tell long "fishing stories" which are not relevant to the group; gets off on long tangents.
  • 6. Interrupter:
    • talks over others; engages in side conversations; whispers to neighbor.
  • 7. Poor me:
    • tries to get the group's attention to deal with own personal concerns, discomfort, bad luck, etc
your group roles
Your Group Roles

A group member who can play a variety of task and relationship roles and can avoid self oriented roles will be most helpful to the group.