Description of a group setting
I have been a member of a student group at our college for a while. This group was created in our first year in college to help us in our studies. The group consists of ten members belonging to the same academic level. We discuss several subjects learned in class, we also help each other out socially by coming up with appropriate means of solving personal problems. The group has a leader whose main responsibility is to guide the group however he only makes decisions for the group after consultation.
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Skills, strengths and their benefits
I have positively benefited this group as a result of the skills I possess. The most significant is the fact that I am a good listener. This allows me to make sense of what the group members are saying thus understanding them better. This is beneficial to the group as it helps the members understand the assignments better. It is through this that we achieve whatever is expected of us. It also helps in the resolution of problems among members thus benefiting the group. I am also critical of the concepts put forth within the group setting.
I believe that constructive criticism is important in the propagation of a strong relationship, one which facilitates the solution of our problems. It is worth noting that I ask questions and listen to learn more about how other members of the group understood their roles in the execution of assignments their feelings regarding their performance. Constructive criticism is important and beneficial for a group as it creates a balance between positive and negative feedback. It is also beneficial as it improves performance and increases satisfaction in the group. I have strengths that I bring to the group. An example is a flexibility as seen in my accommodation of views and ideas that do not conform to my school of thought. This is beneficial to the group as it reduces confrontations and disagreements (Fitzgerald, Orey & Branch 2004).
Drawbacks brought about my strengths and skills
Drawbacks exist about these skills and points of strength. For example, listening is a good skill but it has drawbacks when it is exaggerated and the listener doesn’t contribute to the solution of a problem. Some members will simply listen to others talk yet they never contribute to the topic of discussion. As a result, some members may feel used. This feeling brings about disputes in the group. Criticism has drawbacks, an example is seen when it is misdirected thus hurting the feelings of the group members. Group members may not take criticism positively. This may result in quarrels and resentments within the group. Flexibility has its drawbacks as it may result in leaving good ideas to pass by.
Other group member’s strengths and skills
Other group members also have commendable skills and strengths that contribute to the group’s success as seen in the control of emotions. This is helpful to the group as it enables them to discuss and complete assignments based on reasoning as opposed to conforming to emotional control. The skill of persuasion exists within the group Specific members have the capability of persuading the whole group to support their ideas. This has negative effects as the group members in possession of such a skill can mislead other members’. Analytical and planning skills also exist within the group. This has impacted positively on the group as seen in the ability to set goals thus coming up with the most suitable ways of achieving them.
Some skills in our group need to be sharpened and improved. I need to learn the most suitable means of delivering effective and constructive criticism. Group members can do with improvements in their listening and emotional control skills.
To help others become better listeners, I would advise them to pay more attention. They should respond by nodding or even smiling, such people should provide feedback on the subject of discussion furthermore a request should be accorded to them about deferring judgment until the speaker is done, finally, I would advise them to respond appropriately by being candid, honest and open. To help members improve emotional control skills, I would advise them to think of other alternatives of handling a situation, I would also advise them to replay the actual situations vividly thus developing new behavior (Fitzgerald et al. 2004).
The utilization of problem-solving techniques as seen in the identification of a problem entails outlining the description of the problem. Another technique is the identification of the goal. This is done by asking oneself, what do I want to change or achieve at the end? Brainstorming is another technique whereby an individual explores different problem-solving techniques thus choosing an option capable of solving the problem (Adair, 2007).
How these techniques influence groups decisions
These techniques are important in the group since they can help the members improve their decision-making skills about the quality of decisions. This is because making decisions is natural to certain people. An individual who is not a natural decision-maker can use these techniques to make quality assessments necessary to make appropriate decisions. These techniques, therefore, help the members make better decisions that benefit the group.
Other problem-solving techniques
There are other techniques used in making decisions. An example is taking into consideration the consequences of making a particular decision. In this case, one considers all the positive and negative consequences of picking a particular alternative. Another technique is implementing the decision or its alternative. Evaluation of the results is also an important decision-making technique that leads to the solution of problems. In the end, one should find out whether the decision made was appropriate or not (Adair, 2007).
Improving problem-solving techniques
To improve decision-making techniques, one should generate as many ideas as possible and write them down as they come along. Experts in the field advise that one should alter their focus, especially when faced with difficulties. This in turn helps the subconscious mind to analyze the problem while the conscious mind concentrates on daily events. It is also important to journal our ideas for future use. Allowing our ideas to develop and following them through helps in decision making. These skills however take time, determination, and practice to develop.
Adair, J. (2007). Decision-making and problem-solving strategies. London: Kogan Page publishers.
Fitzgerald, A. Orey, M. & Branch, M. (2004). Educational Media and Technology yearbook 2003. Volume 28. Englewood, Colorado: Publisher Libraries Unlimited.