Key to any group is the communication of its members. Realizing that we would be working together for a full quarter, the team members were quick to exchange cell phone numbers and email addresses. The cell phone numbers were key as texting proved to be the most efficient method to ask and answer quick questions from other group members while we were on the go and dealing with other aspects of our lives.
According to Kirst-Ashman, four aspects characterize positive verbal behavior in effective task groups. These are an open communication structure, seeking feedback from each other and those outside the group, providing practical and useful feedback to one another to achieve group goals, and the ability to put to use the feedback received (2007, p. 62). Our group was very encouraging of one another to present their ideas to the task group. Feedback was sought from and received from one another as well as the instructor, and it was structured so as to be useful and respectful of the receiver. Finally, any feedback received was generally integrated into the work of the task group depending on group consensus and the nature of the feedback.
Interpersonal interaction is a result of “verbal and non-verbal communication, expressed emotions and attitudes, and behavior between or among persons” (Kirst-Ashman, 2007, p. 67).
The group took some time over the weeks of the quarter to learn to “read” one another’s body language and to understand each other’s subtexts. For example, in the early weeks of our working together one group member was demonstrating with his or her body language (slumped shoulders, body slightly turned away from the group) and lack of eye contact some nervousness whenever...
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...ntle sticking points and continue working toward our goals.
Our group proved to be productive and a bonding experience. We created together, we stressed together, we laughed together, and the group gave itself group “air hugs” when we felt we had done a good job. For the rest of my BASW education I will feel closer to these individuals than I do with the rest of the cohort. Our time together provided us the opportunity to reach greater understandings and appreciations of one another.
Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2007). Human Behavior, Communities, Organizations, and Groups in the Macro Social Environment: An Empowerment Approach (2 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.
Schriver, J. M. (2003). Human Behavior and the Social Environment: Shifting Paradigms in Essential Knowledge for Social Work Practice, Fourth Edition (4 ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
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