Groups I involved in and the experiences
Groups are commonplace not only in contemporary workplaces but also in any other everyday undertakings in life. As an individual, I have been involved in different group activities within the community, in the church, and in learning institutions. Some of the models described in the text about the group behavior are typical of what actually occurs and that I experienced in the group activities.
People can achieve more when they work as a group than when they work individually (Jex & Britt, 2008, p.339). There is a sense of motivation associated with group work. The groups comprise individuals with different abilities that may come up with creative ideas for some tasks. Besides, there are certain tasks that can just be accomplished through combined force. For instance, the success in fighting a fire that has broken out in the village estate requires many people.
Similarly, group work enables an individual to develop socially and psychologically. It has been observed that individuals that have not associated with others for a long period experience difficulties in psychological adjustment (Jex & Britt, 2008, p.340). Groups also enable individuals to develop high bargaining power. A class activity performed as a group can be supported by the administration as compared to individual initiative.
On the other hand, working in a group has challenges. Firstly, the diversity within the group negatively influences the decision-making process in the group. Settling on an appropriate course of action in a group setting may not be easy, as there emerge different conflicting ideas. Similarly, in the group activities, there are individuals who are often dormant/ inactive, lowering the overall output of the team. Some individuals do not take part actively in the activities involved in group projects in class.
Management of groupthink in the learning project team
A typical group has certain characteristics that distinguish it from other collections of individuals. A group is largely characterized by interdependence among the individuals. Social interaction, perception of being a group, and commonality of purpose are the other key defining characteristics of groups (Jex & Britt, 2008, p.342). The effectiveness of a group will be determined by the extent to which the characteristics are expressed in the group. It also relies on the composition of the team, the nature of the task, and the attention provided by the authorities attached to the group.
One of the concepts that arise in group dynamics is groupthink. Groupthink is a situation characterized by reduced mentality efficiency and the ability to make a moral judgment (Jex & Britt, 2008, p.391). This emerges from the team composition, one of the determinants of the effectiveness of a team. It is necessary that the decision-making process be quick in the group set up, and the factors that may lower the process need to be eliminated.
However, the whole process may not be considered effective if all the members of a group unanimously agree upon a course of action, often due to group pressure. As such, the team may not be very sensitive to the required change (Jex & Britt, 2008, p.391). A creative idea can be lost because the bearer wanted to be loyal to the team leader and the majority. Such an individual gradually experiences reduced mental abilities.
The management of groupthink in a school project is not a difficult task. An individual who can experience such problems is noticeable from his/her participation in the initial stages of the group activities. Assigning a role to each member will enable every individual to be alert and alive towards the project objectives. For instance, if the project was conducting some research on some behavior patterns, each of the individuals needs to be involved in an interactive exercise like data collection.
Jex, S., & Britt, T., 2008. Organizational Psychology. Second edition. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. Print.