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"Communication Matters"

Chapter 18
Interactions: Concerns of morality, Communication, and Power
Griffin cites Pooles theory of interaction saying, “Group members are 'skilled and knowledgeable actors who reflexively monitor their activities as they navigate a continuous flow of intentionality'” (239). I remember dialogue being defined as, intentional interaction and communication with another person. So group dialogue is an essential way of guaging patterns. We use reciprocity and symmetry in groups just as much as we do in one on one communication interactions. I notice that when I am in a group, I tend to take the leader position, because I am comfortable with that. But if I notice people feeling uncomfortable about that, or someone else wanting to step-up, I usually back down. In other cases, I have seen a need and desire for equilibrium among members. I try to reflect and provide those needs by using turn-taking and non-verbal language cues to show active listening, as well as respect. I like how Griffin also uses the word “navigate” (239) to describe group members interacting. Other people's nonverbal and verbal language help us to steer our communication in a favorable and smooth direction. The more cohesive navigation among members, the better the outcome. Intention has a lot to do with that, because most everyone in a group most likely wants to be there, so their desire for smooth navigation is shared. Predictability is unattainable in group settings unless you hear the dialogue, as Griffin says, “Communication matters” (239).

1 comment:

  1. Poole's theory depends a lot on intentionality and reflexivity. Group members must be aware of their interactions and monitor their own and others' contributions. There is some research that suggests group communication is often mindless--not just habitual, but making an effort to ignore or suppress analysis, evaluation, and dissenting views. Cohesiveness is a bit tricky as well. There's a curvilinear relationship between cohesiveness and productivity in groups. Too likely cohesiveness and the group has a difficult time accomplishing tasks. Too much cohesiveness and group members spend more time bonding and having fun than getting any work done.