The small in-class groups were composed of social work graduate students taking Advanced Groups class. Our in-class small groups represented formed groups because we came together “through some outside influence or intervention.... for a particular purpose” (Toseland & Rivas, 2012, p. 13). The purpose of our groups which “identifies the reasons for bringing members together” (Toseland & Rivas, 2012, p. 13) was to accomplish a task assigned to us by our professor. I participated in several task groups, where “the overriding purpose is to accomplish a goal that is neither intrinsically nor immediately linked to the needs of the members of the group” (Toseland & Rivas, 2012, p. 13).
When the group is forming, members look to others to provide guidance, information, and feedback about what interpersonal and task behaviors are acceptable in the group. While storming, members attempt to express their individuality and resist the formation of group structures. During norming, members accept the group and the characteristics of other members and begin to interact agreeably and openly to avoid conflict. In the performing stage, members complete the group task (Hardcastle, Powers, & Wenocur, 2004). All of these stages, however very briefly because of time constraints, were also noticeable in my groups. - UNFINISHED SENTENCE!
Although we had some freedom in choosing group members, we were advised to work with different persons each time, while having this in-class activity lasting about 15 minutes.
We had assigned content to explore, summarize, and share with other small groups in our class, which was our task. The content directly related to our homework assignments - readings reviews. Through group dis...
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...luded termination stage during which we summarized the readings and field experiences. Effects of our group’s cohesion were especially evident in areas of perseverance toward goals and taking responsibility for group functioning (Toseland & Rivas, 2012). Fortunately, we did not experience the “group think” phenomenon where “groups become close minded and the pressure for conformity limits methodical search and appraisal procedures” (Toseland & Rivas, 2012, p. 80).
To summarize, there was no need to employ the division of labor to our tasks (Toseland & Rivas, 2012) due to time restrains preventing in-depth exploration of particular aspects of assigned tasks. Although, “groups tend to be more effective than individuals on difficult and complex tasks requiring high levels of creativity” (Toseland & Rivas, 2012, p. 19), our tasks were relatively easy to accomplish.
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