Effective Business Communications 

Table of Contents

Introduction

Annotated Bibliography

Reflection

Conclusion

Recommendations

References

1.0 Introduction

Small group communication/Team Communication refers to the interaction that takes place among three or more members, who share common interests and purpose, common goals or objectives or belong to same field (Harris, and Sherblom, 2018). Small groups and teams are formed with a purpose. The small teams and groups help in easing the task completion and achieving bigger objectives by dividing the tasks into various small tasks and assigning each small task to each small group. The small grouping helps people in making social relationships, make them aware of their self. Small teams play an important role in any organization and help in the attainment of large goals and objectives (Lacerenza et al, 2018). However, effective strategies are needed in managing small group communication.

The major aim of this report is to discuss key factors and strategies that contribute to the success of small group communication. Towards this end, the report will evaluate previous literature and studies that have already been conducted in the area of small group communications. This is followed by a reflection which is essentially a discussion about the positive and negative group experiences. According to this, negative group dynamics results in non- effective communication and hence resulting in confusions and chaos while positive group dynamics leads to effective communication process and helps in attainment of the team objective. This report also includes annotated bibliography which is mainly a summary of the main articles employed in this discussion. The paper then finalizes with a conclusion, and recommendations, followed by appendices.

2.0 Annotated Bibliography

Butchibabu, A., Sparano-Huiban, C., Sonenberg, L., & Shah, J. (2016). Implicit coordination strategies for effective team communication. Journal of Human factors, 58(4), 595-610.

The article by Butchibabu et al (2016) is a study investigating implicit communication strategies for team performance of tasks that carry different level of complexities. The strategies followed by the teams that succeeded in their tasks are compared to the strategies used by the teams that could not perform up to the mark in their tasks. The performances are evaluated according to the communication strategies followed and communication types used during the tasks. The top performing teams communicate by taking into account the needs of their team mates and the goal they want to achieve. The more complex tasks require more complex communication strategies to be followed and hence the teams should be selective in choosing the communication type and strategy in the task.

Gervits, F., Eberhard, K., & Scheutz, M. (2016). Team communication as a collaborative process. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 3, 62.

Communication channels are the major representatives of effectiveness of a team. The effectiveness of teams is measured by considering various factors like strategies used, team mates’ coordination, mutual understanding etc. The teams that work in performance setting are relevant for this study such as medical teams, construction teams, military etc. The objective of this paper is to investigate the interaction of these factors with team members and the effects of these factors to attain better understanding of effective communication. Gervits et al (2016) informs team leaders to be very careful in ensuring that they use the relevant and correct channel when passing information to their teams. The communication channel used determines whether the information will reach the relevant parties and if it will be clear to them. Furthermore, the authors note that the speaker’s way of communicating, the language use, the dialogue features, the effectiveness of team members and the time used in communication plays a crucial role in enhancing the efficacy of the communication.

Yang, H. (2019). A critical reflection on improving effective team communication. Frontiers of Nursing, 6(1), 13-18.

Reflecting on past experience is an important aspect for a professional to understand his weaknesses and strength in particular field. These experiences help in improving the performance of an individual in future. In this article, a critical reflection is provided on the basis of studies conducted by analyzing the works of team members of a small group. The analysis is based on the questions of “why” and “how”. It includes why effective communication is important and how it can be achieve at workplace. The two questions are answered by deep analysis of the situations at workplace. The various methods are presented to attain high degree of effectiveness in communication process.

Lacerenza, C., Marlow, S., Tannenbaum, S., Salas, E. (2018). Team Development Interventions: Evidence-Based Approaches for Improving Teamwork. Journal of American Psychologist, 73, (4), 517–531, Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/amp0000295

This article by Lacerenza et al. (2018) explores the relevant interventions necessary in enhancing the effectiveness of teamwork. The authors note that to realize the desired outcomes, team members need to demonstrate proven effective processes. In this regard, the authors advocate for team development interventions (TDIs) which include team debriefing, team building, leadership training, and team training. These interventions according to these authors have a positive impact on team dynamics including the success of communication processes. These authors also observe the necessity of training leaders on how to handle communication matters as well team members on matters pertaining to deducing meaning on communication, giving feedback, supporting one another, engaging the management, and their expectations.

Jahng, N., S. (2012). A systematic review of small-group communication in post-secondary online courses. Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning,16l, 2, [26–40].

In this article, the author undertake a systematic review of peer reviewed journals which are aimed at understanding research tends as well as research outcomes pertaining to small group communications within post secondary e-courses. The findings presented in this article indicate that factors such as gender differences, individual characteristics, and instructional design/communication approach, communication tools, social context, facilitation effect, social interaction and collaboration played an important role in enhancing communication. The authors not that groups that harbored a stronger personal and social interactions exhibited higher level of dialogue compared to those that had weak personal and social links. This again calls for leaders to work on team building initiative and ensure that they include members with the right characteristics or in other words those who fit with the group dynamics and objectives.

3.0 Reflection on Small Group/Team Communication

Group dynamics refers to the organization of attitudes, psychology and behavior of people belonging to a group. The dynamics can be inter-group dynamics, that deals with the members of the same group and intra-group dynamics that deals with the members of different groups. Group Dynamics is a complex process. Like every other process, it also has two aspects: positive aspects as well as negative aspects (Levi, 2015).

Positive Aspects of Group Dynamics

In my opinion, positive aspects of group dynamics motivate the group to work as a whole. These aspects improve productivity by motivating the group members to work together as a whole group and attain more productivity and efficiency than he/she can attain alone. The aspects help the team to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the people in the group. Then according to the strength of an individual, the field in which he/she is expert, the task is assigned to him. In this way all team members get the tasks they are proficient in and hence the overall effectiveness is achieved.

For example, consider a group that is expected to do a business research project. In such a case, some member may be good at writing reports, someone can do statistics well. An individual may be there who is good in proofreading documents and other who is expert in mathematics. In such situation, every team member can be relegated sub tasks of their competency and the goal of the team will be achieved with maximum efficiency. As established by Forsyth (2018), positive group dynamics direct the groups towards success and improvement.

While undertaking this project, our team leader was careful in ensuring that every member has an understanding of his or her responsibilities as well as the target to be achieved. In light of this, I realized that it is the prerogative of the leader to create awareness of the related goals, objectives and expectations on each of the team member. In other words, the higher the level of the members understanding of their expectations, the clearer is the communication. This therefore warrants explicit training of the teams prior to commencement of the actual coordinated project for the participants to gain context, understand their team mates and their needs accordingly. This will facilitate coordination processes, reduce possible conflicts and make it easy for the members to understand the relayed information.

Negative Group Dynamics

From my experience in this project, I noted that negative group dynamics lead to confusions and chaos in groups and result in failure. When we didn’t cooperate as required, most of the time we were not successful in our individual responsibilities and in meeting the target. The members of our groups kept playing the blame game. They always keep on blaming other members for not accomplishing a particular task. As such, the members in these groups became demotivated power hungry people who only want to become team leaders. The team leader of this group was also not competent enough. This made the management of our group to be a bit difficult. In these groups, the people only focus on individual profit rather than the groups’ goal. They do not cooperate, nor do they want to. Still another negative aspect of the group is the situation where no one is going to agree on a decision due to ego issues, resulting in no-decision situation.

I also noted that our leader did not listen to others concerns or queries. Yang (2016) claim that prior to commencement of a team’s responsibility; it is important to begin with professional socialization. This entails establishing interpersonal relationship, understanding one another in terms of diversity, differences, commonalities and even personalities. Furthermore, for any communication to be effective within the team, it is important to maintain collaboration, trust, respect and equality. It means that all members need to be valued and treated equally and respected throughout the work process. However, this was not the case in our situation as the leader simply assembled the team members and did not give us time to know each other.

4.0 Conclusion on Small Group/Team Communication

It can be concluded that to achieve effective communication, proper strategies are needed for any group to be successful in its objectives. Apart from this cooperation among team members and mutual understanding and trust are two other factors. This report presents an analysis of peer reviewed articles on strategies to effective manage group communications. This review is presented in form of annotated bibliography where key resources are explored. Accordingly, this report finds that in order to succeed in small group communications, the communicators have to take into account the needs of individual team members, and ensure that they have a common understanding at it regards their responsibilities and goals. In addition, team cohesion and interpersonal relationship is also found to be a crucial factor as it facilitates communication processes within teams. It is important to implement team development interventions (TDIs) which include team debriefing, team building, leadership training, and team training for a positive team dynamic including a streamlined communication system. The subsequent section is a reflection about the positive and negative group dynamics. In this section, the introduction of group dynamics is provided and positive and negative aspects of group dynamics are discussed. According to this, negative group dynamics results in non- effective communication and hence resulting in confusions and chaos while positive group dynamics leads to effective communication process and helps in attainment of the team objective.

5.0 Recommendations on Small Group/Team Communication

I would recommend two necessary actions that can be undertaken in order to promote successful team processes. These are:

Due Appreciation

Behind every successful project, there are coordinated efforts of the group’s team members working on the project. So, in order to direct a team towards attainment of objective, there should be motivation factors to motivate the members towards common goal. The team members should be appreciated in some forms, like incentives, bonuses, promotions etc. whenever they achieve small goals. Motivating them while attaining smaller goals, leads them to work more efficiently and effectively, with more dedication to achieve bigger goals and objectives.

Proper Communication Strategy

In order to be successful in any project, every team should have application of effective communication within the group and among the group members to avoid confusions and chaos within the group. Team leader should be clear while communicating things to the group members, about the assignment of tasks, the benefits associated with the task as well as the form of appreciation they could receive by completing that particular task, everything should be clearly communicated to the group members. Proper communication will help in building social relationships among group members, promote mutual understanding and trust among them that are very important factors for team members to work together as a team.

References for Small Group/Team Communication

Butchibabu, A., Sparano-Huiban, C., Sonenberg, L., & Shah, J. (2016). Implicit coordination strategies for effective team communication. Journal of Human factors, 58(4), 595-610.

Forsyth, D. R. (2018). Group dynamics. Cengage Learning.

Gervits, F., Eberhard, K., & Scheutz, M. (2016). Team communication as a collaborative process. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 3, 62.

Jahng, N., S. (2012). A systematic review of small-group communication in post-secondary online courses. Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning,16l, 2, [26–40].

Lacerenza, C., Marlow, S., Tannenbaum, S., Salas, E. (2018). Team Development

Interventions: Evidence-Based Approaches for Improving Teamwork. Journal of American Psychologist, 73, (4), 517–531, Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/amp0000295

Levi, D. (2015). Group dynamics for teams. Sage Publications.

Yang, H. (2019). A critical reflection on improving effective team communication. Frontiers of Nursing, 6(1), 13-18.

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Business Communications Assignment Help

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