Essay on Achieving Synergy In Small Groups

Essay on Achieving Synergy In Small Groups

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Synergy comes from the Greek word sunergos which means “working together” (Morris, 1981). Synergy results from two or more people working together, sharing ideas with open minds and mutual respect, and managing conflict in ways that empower all members. This is the advantage of working in a group: the whole group is greater than the sum of its parts. (Harris and Sherblom, 2005, p.11) Synergy consists of two aspects: problem solving and interpersonal relations. (Adult Learners Guide, p.13) An in-class exercise served to illustrate the concept of synergy and how sharing other peoples ideas and working together produces better ideas to those of any one group member working alone.
The cohort participated in a desert survival simulation, in this simulation the cohort was divided into two groups. Each group was given the same scenario. The scenario involves the two groups being in a plane that has crashed in the desert. My group was asked to determine what we thought our ultimate goal was? Were we going to hike out or stay with the wreckage? Then once that determination was made, we had to rank order a list of items in order of their importance to achieve this goal. At first my group had conflicting notions about what to do. Were we going to stay with the wreckage? Were we going to hike out? Then there was the list of items. Which items were most important to the group? Which item was the least important to the group? But towards the end of the exercise we used synergistic decision making to come up with what we thought would get us to our ultimate goal, which was being seen and being rescued.
In our group there were frequent heated exchanges. Some of these exchanges got pretty intense. At times dur...

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...nergy is a more effective means of accomplishing a goal. Working together as a group is better than attempts by individuals on their own. However, in my own group’s “Desert Survival” case although we made better decisions as a group, we didn’t always make the right decisions. It became extremely apparent to me that the group did poorly on understanding our personal strengths and weaknesses. But in the end I think my group used the synergistic process very well.

Works Cited

Morris, W. (Ed.). (1981). The American Heritage dictionary of the English language.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company

Harris, Thomas E. & Sherblom, John C (2005). Small Group and Team Communication
(3rd). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon

Manhattan College Adult Learners’ Guide (2008). Group and Organizational Dynamics.
Synergistic Decision Making. Centerville, VA: The Drawing Board

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