Within this essay I will reflect upon a specific issue of group dynamics that was experienced during a group exercise. Gibbs (1988) reflective model (Jasper, 2003. p. 77) will be used to reflect upon the issue effectively and to set out the structure of reflection. Confidentiality and the GSCC code of practice will be kept to and maintained throughout this essay. The names of the people within the issues explained will be made up due to confidentiality. Group dynamics is that field which studies the behaviour of individuals in small groups, such as decision making groups, T-groups, friendships, work groups and so forth. Hoggs & Abrams ,1990 p. 95) Description After getting into groups of around six, a trigger was given in which we had to look at the psycho social aspects around that trigger. With the information collected and researched a presentation was made in which we would present our findings to the class. Before we had done the presentation there was problems with one group member, Mary, who was not participating as much as others. The main issue that affected the group was that on the day she did not show up.
As the information which was given to us from this person was very limited this affected the group as well as the presentation. The group then had to try and present the work on which we had not researched and knew little about. This became difficult as it was hard to talk about something that we had little knowledge on. As a result of this one of the group members had to read out the limited information off the board which made the audience become uninterested and made it appear as if we had not done the proper research.
My part in this presentation was to put everyone’s research and work together in an order which made it fit as well as keep people interested. As a result on the day the group worked together to keep the information that Mary had given short and also try and fit it in with the other topics researched. Half way through the presentation Mary turned up and seemed to be annoyed that the presentation had taken place without her. Overall the presentation could have gone better but I feel the group worked together really well to overcome this problem.
Feelings When first forming the group it was exciting due to the new faces and new ideas. However, at the same time it caused a degree of stress as you did not know other peoples work styles, how we were going to work together within a group and how the communication barriers if any where going to be overcome. (Brown, 1998) My feelings on the day of the presentation were mixed between relief and anger. In a way I felt relieved that Mary had not turned up as she would have done no work and got away with it by adding her input with minimum effort.
Anger was felt due to Mary not turning up to extra meetings organised by the group and only producing a couple of slides which were very brief. By people making varying efforts within the group there soon became a divide. Mary, although not on purpose, started to annoy the group due to the amount of time they were putting in to the presentation and the lack of response they gained back from Mary During the presentation the rest of the group and I were very annoyed that Mary hadn’t turned up. She walked in half way through and was annoyed at the fact we had not waited for her.
This bothered us because of the time we’d spent trying to sort out the work she had done in the presentation and how we could include it into the research found on the different psycho social aspects, and feel she didn’t appreciate the effort we had put in. After the presentation I was disappointed as the presentation could have gone a lot better if we had known that Mary was going to be late in advance. In which case we would have had time to change the presentation or even have asked to present a bit later on in the day.
Evaluation By looking back at this issue which affected the presentation I can see that good and bad experiences were gained through it. Even though there were difficulties I have gained more skills on how to present and form a presentation within a group. Also I learnt how to find ways in which if not all members of the group are participating then how to go about trying to change this. For example, giving everyone a deadline to get a draft of their work in so we can all be at the same pace and get help if needed.
The main key to working within a group as I have learnt is communication. If there is a lack of communication then it is likely that the group will not work well together. (Sampson & Marthas, 1990) This was a big problem between the rest of the group and Mary as she was hard to get hold of when needing to talk to. She also became very distant from the group due to the work issues. There was a huge communication barrier which did affect the group quite a bit (http://www. coachingachievement. o. uk/overcoming_communication_barriers. htm, no date) I felt the mistakes made within the presentation brought the team closer together in a quicker time too as we all had the same experience happening to us but at the same time had to overcome it by working together. We managed to do this without too many mistakes which might not have been the case if we were not a close group. A bad experience from this is that our presentation was not very good as some slides were just read off the board.
It made the audience think we had not done the work properly but also without realising you start to talk in a monotone which is very dull and boring to listen to. Analysis I felt I did well as at the last minute I was able to put together the presentation to help it make more sense which I felt was a big role within the group. This was a must do due to problems of communication between the group and Mary but also to keep the presentation interesting and easily understandable.
The group did well by presenting the work that Mary had come up with without knowing much about the subject, but also by working together and meeting in our own time to get the work completed and practiced for the day of the presentation. As said before, I thought the part that could have been better was the actual presentation which was a shame due to all the work put into it. However, I have learnt from this and gained a good experience out of it so although this was a bad experience it actually worked out for the better.
Next time I will be ready for any problems that may pop up again which are similar. A way to get around this may be giving each group member a role in which they play to keep the group organised which is what I feel was our mistake at the beginning. (http://uoleadership. uoregon. edu/tip_sheets/org_develop/developing, no date) Conclusion After evaluating what happened it is clear how the event could have been avoided but at the same time has giving me skills on how to deal with this situation should it arise again.
If at the beginning we had set roles within the group and had set deadlines in which the group had to do the work by then the group dynamics could have worked out very different. Although Mary did not turn up or participate as much I feel the whole group needs to take responsibility as we could have pushed it more in a sense of getting the work from her or helping her to create her slides if she was struggling. Instead we pushed her away as we were getting bothered by her lack of interest and did not really give her a chance by going to talk to her about this.
At the end of the event I feel we should have met up again for the last time to discuss what went well and what did not by reflecting on the experience. (Redmond, 2006) This would have been good in order to see other people’s thoughts on the end result as well as Mary’s feelings about the group continuing without her. Action Plan Within another group I will act differently from the moment we first get together. I will give ourselves roles in which we will play whilst in the group to help get the presentation sorted and practiced on time for the day.
Also, if I was to feel someone was not participating as much as others I will voice my opinion on this and talk to them as by using communication. This way it is more likely that these barriers will be overcome and the group will work together more effectively. After the meeting I will also try and organise a meeting with the group to get everyone’s opinion on how it went for them and what they would have changed so I can reflect on my actions within the group and learn more skills around team and group work.