Fromthe start of the meeting, the intent of the discussion was veryclear. Before the actual meeting, the group was already discussingthe meeting. Every team member knew that the study intended toanalyze the "Politics of Sociology" and "Planning aPlayground" videos. Every member of the group was well preparedfor the discussion. During the preparation, every member watched thevideos and clearly understood what they were expected to learn fromthem. All the members of the group gave equal contributions to thediscussion. No one was just listened to the opinions of otherswithout making any comments and giving own points. The members wereopen to new ideas and points of views. No group member insisted on aparticular view but gave thought to the views presented by others. Noone showed any disrespect or contempt for the ideas of other teammembers. In the places where some members disagreed with an idea,they respectfully gave their contrary opinions and were ready tochange their minds upon clarification. The discussion was not heatedsince everyone agreed with what was being discussed. The members hadalmost similar opinions about the things that were being reviewed bythe group (Engleberg& Wynn, 2000).All views were based on what was on the video and not the opinions ofthe group members. Considering the agreement reached, the groupwas productive. All team members arrived in time and immediately seton discussing the issue at hand. No unnecessary delays were made.There was an efficient use of time as all members remained attentiveand committed the whole time. Giving time restrictions on thedifferent areas of the discussion can be a very good strategy forensuring that all the discussion areas are given appropriateattention. This can also help members to remain attentive to thediscussion. It can also help every member to learn time managementskills. From the proceedings and outcomes of the meeting,it was clear that the group was cohesive enough. It was wise to adopta collective information gathering instead of individual research toimprove on the cohesiveness of the group. It is also good to employthe use of communication mechanisms like emails, messages and phonecalls to keep the members connected even when not on any discussion.
VideoAnalysis: Planning a Playground
Issuesin the video
Thevideo is about a group of residents in a community who have cometogether to hold discussions about fund-raising for a playgroundwithin the neighborhood. Five residents of the community are themembers of the committee. Some of the community members are attendingthe meeting for the first time. The major issue being addressed bythe board is the project for the financing and coordination of theconstruction of a playground for the neighborhood. The question askedby the chairperson was about how the members were familiar with theerecting of a new playground. The Chairperson also enquired about thetotal funds that would be required. Many people in the group do notknow anything about the funding requirements. A woman who is possiblyeducated decided to search the revenues for purchasing playgroundequipment that has different prices. She also suggested that it wasreasonable and fair to start at $35,000. Two opposing reactionsensued from her claims. A member said it was wise for the company tolook at a price range lower than the one quoted by the woman. Anothermember proposed that the most costly equipment were safer and were,therefore, more desirable. Finally, a consensus was reached, and thegroup decided to go with the woman`s suggestions. The next problemdiscussed was how the funds were to be raised, which was presented bythe chairperson. A middle-aged woman, who was timid at first, offersto host a bake sale as a method of raising the funds.
Howwell the community members performed as a group Thecommunity members did well as a group by overcoming the challenge ofnot being familiar with one another. All the team members were alsocool and contained, and were patient to introduce themselves to theothers for the sake of familiarity. They kept an active mindthroughout the meeting. The diversity in the group did not influencethe communication and, therefore, productivity (Engleberg& Wynn, 2000).The group also did well by getting quickly into the agenda of themeeting. The way they solved the disagreement about the type and costof equipment to go for was also excellent. The group members withdiverse points of view readily made compromises for the sake of thecommon goal. There was a substantive procedural conflict during themeeting, with members expressing different points of view concerningdifferent ideas, issues and decisions. However, the members managedto come to a middle ground where they could both agree. At the end ofthe meeting, the members had agreed on the cost of the playground anda method for raising the required money.
Constructiveand destructive conflicts occurring in the group Therewere many conflicts identified in the meeting. Some of theseconflicts assisted the meeting while some hindered its effectiveness(Engleberg& Wynn, 2000).The first types of conflicts identified were the constructiveconflicts. By disagreeing on the funding project, the members wereable to discuss and come up with a better solution (Nitsun, 2009). Anexample was the two opposing views on the suggestion to pursue a$35,000 budget. The two men who had opposing views about the projectdisagreed and argued with one another. However, they finallycompromised, and the group agreed on a more affordable option. Thedisagreements on the procedures of raising money were another sourceof conflict. The conflict that arose was destructive as the bake salethat was proposed by the White middle-aged woman (Betty) wasimmediately disqualified. The disqualification was because there wasthe need for outside help like using foundations in getting themoney. Some members even went as far as laughing off the ideaproposed by Betty. The group’s performance could have been affectedby the marginalization of the opinion of a group member withoutrespecting the member (Engleberg& Wynn, 2000).
Howto handle the situation differently Thefirst step in effectively managing the group is to outline theobjectives of the meeting in the beginning (Aas & Vavik, 2015). Iwould also have issued an agenda form to all the community membersbefore the meeting. This would help in informing some of the groupmembers who had no idea about the financial requirements for aplayground. All group members could do their research and come upwith the required ideas, thus not being surprised about the detailsduring the meeting (Aas & Vavik, 2015).Anothermethod is to promote all ideas of the group members, acting withoutany partiality. This could have encouraged all the group members tobe open and give their contributions (Engleberg& Wynn, 2000),which could have given the group more alternatives to choose from(Nitsun, 2009).
“ThePolitics of Sociology”- Video Analysis
Issuesin the meeting Inthe video, the members of a local college, from the department ofsociology are discussing the next semester’s course offerings. Thediscussion here is on which courses should be added or cut so thatthe curriculum can be improved while maintaining a balance with thenumber of enrolments. The group is composed of five members. Three ofthem are men. There is a heated exchange of ideas, and the groupleader is straining to control the members. In attempting to obtain afruitful communication, he urges the members to respect the positionsof each member. His attempts to keep the discussion on the specificgoals of the group are also thwarted by some members who keepdeviating from the topic.
Whatthe members did well as a group Thegroup members had different opinions and ideas. They were, however,able to explore all the ideas to come up with common solutions. Thechairperson was skillful in letting all the members to give theirviews before making any decisions (Engleberg& Wynn, 2000).At some point, the group got stuck on an issue but he was able todemocratically regroup them. In particular, the Philippine woman wasable to bring the group to harmony, contrary to the Caucasian womanwho could have easily caused a conflict in the group with her words.In the end, the team decided that the college should bring in morestudents. A member agreed that enrollment should not be dictated overthe courses offered.
Typesof conflict seen in the video Inthis video, there were majorly destructive conflicts. Members werevery rowdy and strongly opposed each other’s ideas and decisions.Other members tried to use force in getting their points across. Mostof the members got too excited about the topics and perspectives and,had it not been for the skilled chairperson, a physical fight couldhave ensued. An example is when Trevor was explaining about howcourse offerings should not dictate enrollment. A female memberimmediately and strongly opposed his opinion. As a result, the groupwas divided on a heated debate which was only calmed by thechairperson. A constructive conflict is only seen when the leaderuses the consensus approach in which each member expresses ownopinions (Engleberg& Wynn, 2000).The views are then assessed and their pros and cons identified (Aas &Vavik, 2015).
Whatthe group leader can do to be a better leader Theleader in this discussion is the chairperson. His attempts to calmthe group members and lead them in the discussion were astounding. Inmany cases, he was successful. His approach was great especially ingetting the members to calm down. As a democratic leader, he letmembers share their opinions. This was effective in letting themembers feel that their opinions were valued. However, using theLaissez-faire approach in his leadership, he could have easily causeddestructive conflicts. A leader should avoid using body language thatis not easy to understand like defensive gestures, eye rolling andshrugging (Nitsun, 2009).
Handlingthe situation differently Consideringthe rowdy nature of the group members, it could have been a challengemanaging the situation any better than the chairperson did. Allmembers are trying to express themselves without any order. Sinceevery member is sensitive to his or her opinion, the situation istough. The first thing that can be done is sending out an agenda toall members communicating the order in which each member would beallowed to talk (Engleberg& Wynn, 2000).Restricting body language could have also helped ease the tension abit. Identifying and correcting inappropriate behavior without anydelay could have assisted in setting the context and theme of themeeting (Engleberg& Wynn, 2000).
Aas,M. & Vavik, M. (2015). Group coaching: a new way of constructingleadership identity? SchoolLeadership & Management,35(3),251-265. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13632434.2014.962497
Engleberg,I. N., & Wynn, D. (2000). Workingin groups: Communication principles and strategies.Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Nitsun,M. (2009). Authority and Revolt: The Challenges of Group Leadership.GroupAnalysis,42(4),325-348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0533316409346949