Decision making skills worksheet xls,software development team leader training,development finance institute training services - 2016 Feature

As I was pondering about my next post for this week, being extremely busy with the writing of my eBook “Pursue Your Destiny with Passion and Purpose” and also giving a new look to my FREE Report I thought about how so very important it is to take our God-given destiny serious and to be able to improve our decision making skills so we will NOT regret our choices.
So, I want to give you 5 crucial components to help you step into your destiny by making decisions that matter. Have you ever wondered why some of the vitamins that you take are so outrageously expensive?
People that pursue their destiny with passion and purpose are people who are willing to sacrifice and pay the price up front in order to cross the finish line with self-respect and honor. The reason they’re unhappy is because God didn’t create people just so they could sit around and do nothing, bearing no good fruit.
Throughout life, God will deal with us and bring areas to light where we need to make choices to improve.
We love to fix things on the surface, like cleaning up our behaviour, trying to be more friendly, more loving and kind.
People can have a root of insecurity that causes them to feel defensive or have a root of bitterness. You can subscribe to The Daily Choice which brings an encouraging message 5 days a week to your inbox. Olga, your articles on making decisions have really changed my way of looking at things; I am so much more alert of how I make my daily choices and when I need to make a decision I consider the principles that you taught in your report. This is a€?Problem Solving and Decision Making in Groupsa€?, section 14.3 from the book A Primer on Communication Studies (v. This content was accessible as of December 29, 2012, and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book. PDF copies of this book were generated using Prince, a great tool for making PDFs out of HTML and CSS. For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. helps people like you help teachers fund their classroom projects, from art supplies to books to calculators. Describe the brainstorming and discussion that should take place before the group makes a decision.
Although the steps of problem solving and decision making that we will discuss next may seem obvious, we often dona€™t think to or choose not to use them. The problem-solving process involves thoughts, discussions, actions, and decisions that occur from the first consideration of a problematic situation to the goal. Discussion of these three elements of a problem helps the group tailor its problem-solving process, as each problem will vary. There are several variations of similar problem-solving models based on US American scholar John Deweya€™s reflective thinking process.Ernest G. During this step a group should analyze the problem and the groupa€™s relationship to the problem.
During this step, solutions can be critically evaluated based on their credibility, completeness, and worth. Decision making is part of the larger process of problem solving and it plays a prominent role in this step.
Implementing the solution requires some advanced planning, and it should not be rushed unless the group is operating under strict time restraints or delay may lead to some kind of harm. Once a solution has been reached and the group has the a€?green lighta€? to implement it, it should proceed deliberately and cautiously, making sure to consider possible consequences and address them as needed.
Certain elements of the solution may need to be delegated out to various people inside and outside the group. Giving a group presentation requires that individual group members and the group as a whole solve many problems and make many decisions. In terms of dividing responsibilities, assigning individual work at the first meeting and then trying to fit it all together before the presentation (which is what many college students do when faced with a group project) is not the recommended method.
Scheduling group meetings is one of the most challenging problems groups face, given peoplea€™s busy lives. Of the three main problems facing group presenters, which do you think is the most challenging and why?
Why do you think people tasked with a group presentation (especially students) prefer to divide the parts up and have members work on them independently before coming back together and integrating each part? We all engage in personal decision making daily, and we all know that some decisions are more difficult than others.
Before groups can make a decision, they need to generate possible solutions to their problem. To make brainstorming more of a decision-making method rather than an idea-generating method, group communication scholars have suggested additional steps that precede and follow brainstorming.John F.
The nominal group techniqueA discussion method that guides decision making through a four-step process that includes idea generation and evaluation and seeks to elicit equal contributions from all group members.
During the first step, have group members work quietly, in the same space, to write down every idea they have to address the task or problem they face.
During the second step, the facilitator goes around the group in a consistent order asking each person to share one idea at a time. During step three, the facilitator should note that group members can now ask for clarification on ideas on the master list.
During the fourth step, members use a voting ballot to rank the acceptability of the ideas on the master list. Some decision-making techniques involve determining a course of action based on the level of agreement among the group members.
Majority ruleA decision-making technique in which a majority of one-half plus one must agree before a decision is made.
Minority ruleA decision-making technique in which a designated authority or expert has final say over a decision and may or may not consider the input of other group members. Consensus ruleA decision-making technique in which all members of the group must agree on the same decision. This decision-making method has been praised because it allows group members to a€?switch gearsa€? in their thinking and allows for role playing, which lets people express ideas more freely. What combinations of hats might be useful if the leader wanted to break the larger group up into pairs and why?
Based on your preferred ways of thinking and your personality, which hat would be the best fit for you? The origin and urgency of a problem are also situational factors that influence decision making. In each of the cases, the need for a decision may be more or less urgent depending on how badly something is going wrong, how high the expectations have been raised, or the degree to which people are fed up with a broken system. The aesthetic decision maker makes decisions based on form and harmony, desiring a solution that is elegant and in sync with the surroundings. The social decision maker emphasizes the personal impact of a decision and sympathizes with those who may be affected by it. The religious decision maker seeks to identify with a larger purpose, works to unify others under that goal, and commits to a viewpoint, often denying one side and being dedicated to the other. In the United States, economic, political, and theoretical decision making tend to be more prevalent decision-making orientations, which likely corresponds to the individualistic cultural orientation with its emphasis on competition and efficiency. The personalities of group members, especially leaders and other active members, affect the climate of the group.
Just like neighborhoods, schools, and countries, small groups vary in terms of their degree of similarity and difference. How much meaning is conveyed through the context surrounding verbal communication can also affect group communication. In any of these cases, an individual from one culture operating in a group with people of a different cultural orientation could adapt to the expectations of the host culture, especially if that person possesses a high degree of intercultural communication competence (ICC). While it is becoming more likely that we will interact in small groups with international diversity, we are guaranteed to interact in groups that are diverse in terms of the cultural identities found within a single country or the subcultures found within a larger cultural group.
Despite the fact that some communication patterns and behaviors related to our typical (and stereotypical) gender socialization affect how we interact in and form perceptions of others in groups, the differences in group communication that used to be attributed to gender in early group communication research seem to be diminishing. Other demographic categories are also influential in group communication and decision making. In terms of age, for the first time since industrialization began, it is common to have three generations of people (and sometimes four) working side by side in an organizational setting. The benefits and challenges that come with diversity of group members are important to consider. Every problem has common components: an undesirable situation, a desired situation, and obstacles between the undesirable and desirable situations. Common decision-making techniques include majority rule, minority rule, and consensus rule. Situational factors include the degree of freedom a group has to make its own decisions, the level of uncertainty facing the group and its task, the size of the group, the groupa€™s access to information, and the origin and urgency of the problem. In terms of situational influences on group problem solving, task difficulty, number of possible solutions, group interest in problem, group familiarity with problem, and need for solution acceptance are five key variables discussed in this chapter.
Getting integrated: Certain decision-making techniques may work better than others in academic, professional, personal, or civic contexts. Group communication researchers have found that heterogeneous groups (composed of diverse members) have advantages over homogenous (more similar) groups.
Let’s say you want to buy a product that is completely new to you – say a cleaner that you could use on your granite countertops without scratching them. In order to know their target audience, the habits and preferences of their customers, companies spend vast amounts of money each year doing research to develop a new product. Particularly the decisions with lifelong ripple effects that will move you toward your Destiny? God’s definition of a dreamer is not someone who sits around with his head in the clouds, but it is someone who sees the possibilities of great things and understands it will take a lot of hard work and determination to see it through to the finish. But how we go about in life, and how much of God’s favour and blessings we experience, will be directly related to how much we decide to follow His directions. When He brings these matters to our attention and if we want to get closer to our destiny, we have to be willing to face the truth about ourselves and take the correction that God brings to us. Perhaps you have been spinning your wheels, going around in circles year after year, and are not really happy. You may have a negative history, but please understand, you don’t have to have a negative future.
The Bible talks about how the iniquity of the fathers can be passed down for three to four generations. See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms. However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed. Instead, we start working on a problem and later realize we are lost and have to backtrack. The problems that groups face are varied, but some common problems include budgeting funds, raising funds, planning events, addressing customer or citizen complaints, creating or adapting products or services to fit needs, supporting members, and raising awareness about issues or causes. Even though it may only be a vague idea, there is a drive to better the undesirable situation. These are things that stand in the way between the current situation and the groupa€™s goal of addressing it.
While these three general elements are present in each problem, the group should also address specific characteristics of the problem.
There are usually multiple ways to solve a problem or complete a task, but some problems have more potential solutions than others.
When group members are interested in the problem, they will be more engaged with the problem-solving process and invested in finding a quality solution.
Some groups encounter a problem regularly, while other problems are more unique or unexpected. In this step, groups must consider how many people the decision will affect and how much a€?buy-ina€? from others the group needs in order for their solution to be successfully implemented. Whereas the first step involved exploring the a€?whata€? related to the problem, this step focuses on the a€?why.a€? At this stage, group members can discuss the potential causes of the difficulty.
While there are several fairly similar models for problem solving, there are many varied decision-making techniques that groups can use. Although some solutions can be implemented immediately, others may take days, months, or years.
Group members may also be assigned to implement a particular part of the solution based on their role in the decision making or because it connects to their area of expertise. Although having more people involved in a presentation increases logistical difficulties and has the potential to create more conflict, a well-prepared and well-delivered group presentation can be more engaging and effective than a typical presentation.
Integrating content and visual aids created by several different people into a seamless final product takes time and effort, and the person a€?stucka€? with this job at the end usually ends up developing some resentment toward his or her group members.
From the beginning, it should be clearly communicated that the group needs to spend considerable time in face-to-face meetings, and group members should know that they may have to make an occasional sacrifice to attend.
While it may be easier for a group to assign each member to create a five-minute segment and then transition from one person to the next, this is definitely not the most engaging method.
When we make decisions in groups, we face some challenges that we do not face in our personal decision making, but we also stand to benefit from some advantages of group decision making.Rodney W. The most commonly used method is brainstorming, although most people dona€™t follow the recommended steps of brainstorming.
Some people are more apprehensive about publicly communicating their ideas than others are, and a warm-up session can help ease apprehension and prime group members for task-related idea generation.
This session shouldna€™t last more than thirty minutes and should follow the four rules of brainstorming mentioned previously. After the brainstorming session is over, group members can eliminate (without evaluating) ideas that are the same or very similar. The methoda€™s popularity lies in its ability to help people get out of habitual ways of thinking and to allow group members to play different roles and see a problem or decision from multiple points of view. Objectivea€”focuses on seeking information such as data and facts and then processes that information in a neutral way. Emotionala€”uses intuition, gut reactions, and feelings to judge information and suggestions. Negativea€”focuses on potential risks, points out possibilities for failure, and evaluates information cautiously and defensively. Positivea€”is optimistic about suggestions and future outcomes, gives constructive and positive feedback, points out benefits and advantages. Philosophicala€”uses metacommunication to organize and reflect on the thinking and communication taking place in the group, facilitates who wears what hat and when group members change hats. For example, the group leader may start off wearing the Blue Hat and suggest that the group start their decision-making process with some a€?White Hat thinkinga€? in order to process through facts and other available information.
For example, what kind of thinking would result from putting Yellow and Red together, Black and White together, or Red and White together, and so on? For example, how might a groupa€™s independence or access to resources affect the decisions they make?

One key situational element is the degree of freedom that the group has to make its own decisions, secure its own resources, and initiate its own actions. As a situation becomes more urgent, it requires more specific decision-making methods and types of communication. Group members must go back to the origins of the situation and walk through and analyze the steps again to decide what can be done differently. Group members that are more dominant act more independently and directly, initiate conversations, take up more space, make more direct eye contact, seek leadership positions, and take control over decision-making processes. Group members on the friendly side of the continuum find a balance between talking and listening, dona€™t try to win at the expense of other group members, are flexible but not weak, and value democratic decision making. Instrumental group members are emotionally neutral, objective, analytical, task-oriented, and committed followers, which leads them to work hard and contribute to the groupa€™s decision making as long as it is orderly and follows agreed-on rules. Demographic changes in the United States and increases in technology that can bring different people together make it more likely that we will be interacting in more and more heterogeneous groups.Brenda J. Group members from individualistic cultures are more likely to value task-oriented, efficient, and direct communication. Some cultures rank higher on power-distance scales, meaning they value hierarchy, make decisions based on status, and believe that people have a set place in society that is fairly unchangeable.
Some cultures have a high-context communication style in which much of the meaning in an interaction is conveyed through context such as nonverbal cues and silence.
Additionally, people with high ICC can also adapt to a group member with a different cultural orientation than the host culture.
For example, the stereotype that women are more nurturing than men may lead group members (both male and female) to expect that women will play the role of supporters or harmonizers within the group. This is likely due to the changing organizational cultures from which much group work emerges, which have now had more than sixty years to adjust to women in the workplace. In general, group members have an easier time communicating when they are more similar than different in terms of race and age. Although four generations often worked together in early factories, they were segregated based on their age group, and a hierarchy existed with older workers at the top and younger workers at the bottom.
Born between 1925 and 1942, currently in their midsixties to mideighties, this is the smallest generation in the workforce right now, as many have retired or left for other reasons.
Born between 1946 and 1964, currently in their late forties to midsixties, this is the largest generation in the workforce right now. Born between 1965 and 1981, currently in their early thirties to midforties, this generation was the first to see technology like cell phones and the Internet make its way into classrooms and our daily lives. Born between 1982 and 2000, a€?Millennialsa€? as they are also called are currently in their late teens up to about thirty years old.
Since we will all work in diverse groups, we should be prepared to address potential challenges in order to reap the benefits.
Every problem also has a set of characteristics that vary among problems, including task difficulty, number of possible solutions, group member interest in the problem, group familiarity with the problem, and the need for solution acceptance. Aside from enacting the solution, groups should determine how they will know the solution is working or not.
With majority rule, only a majority, usually one-half plus one, must agree before a decision is made. For each of the two following scenarios, discuss how the situational context created by these variables might affect the groupa€™s communication climate and the way it goes about addressing its problem.
Task difficulty is high, number of possible solutions is high, group interest in problem is high, group familiarity with problem is low, and need for solution acceptance is high. Task difficulty is low, number of possible solutions is low, group interest in problem is low, group familiarity with problem is high, and need for solution acceptance is low. For each of the following scenarios, identify the decision-making technique that you think would be best and explain why.
A professor asks his or her class to decide whether the final exam should be an in-class or take-home exam.
A group of coworkers must decide which person from their department to nominate for a company-wide award. A family needs to decide how to divide the belongings and estate of a deceased family member who did not leave a will. A local branch of a political party needs to decide what five key issues it wants to include in the national partya€™s platform. If we want to see change in our life, then we need to ask ourselves what choices we can make to change things. God, show me the truth about myself.” Some people say, “I’m depressed because my parents were so depressed”. That means that bad habits, addictions, negativity, wrong mind-sets and other types of iniquities can be passed down. You may also download a PDF copy of this book (291 MB) or just this chapter (19 MB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline). Ia€™m sure wea€™ve all reached a point in a project or task and had the a€?OK, now what?a€? moment. The vague idea may develop into a more precise goal that can be achieved, although solutions are not yet generated.
This component of a problem requires the most work, and it is the part where decision making occurs. Five common and important characteristics to consider are task difficulty, number of possible solutions, group member interest in problem, group member familiarity with problem, and the need for solution acceptance.Katherine Adams and Gloria G. Groups should be prepared to spend time researching and discussing a difficult and complex task in order to develop a shared foundational knowledge.
Groups with high interest in and knowledge about the problem may want more freedom to develop and implement solutions, while groups with low interest may prefer a leader who provides structure and direction. A family who has lived in hurricane alley for decades probably has a better idea of how to prepare its house for a hurricane than does a family that just recently moved from the Midwest.
Group members may also want to begin setting out an agenda or timeline for the groupa€™s problem-solving process, looking forward to the other steps.
The question should be what could we do to address this problem, not what should we do to address it.
Groups that are required to report the rationale for their decision or whose decisions may be subject to public scrutiny would be wise to make a set list of criteria for evaluating each solution. For example, to narrow the list of proposed solutions, group members may decide by majority vote, by weighing the pros and cons, or by discussing them until a consensus is reached. As was noted earlier, it may be beneficial for groups to poll those who will be affected by the solution as to their opinion of it or even to do a pilot test to observe the effectiveness of the solution and how people react to it. Likewise, group members may be tasked with publicizing the solution or a€?sellinga€? it to a particular group of stakeholders. The main problems facing a group giving a presentation are (1) dividing responsibilities, (2) coordinating schedules and time management, and (3) working out the logistics of the presentation delivery.
While ita€™s OK for group members to do work independently outside of group meetings, spend time working together to help set up some standards for content and formatting expectations that will help make later integration of work easier. Creating a master presentation and then assigning individual speakers creates a more fluid and dynamic presentation and allows everyone to become familiar with the content, which can help if a person doesna€™t show up to present and during the question-and-answer section. In what ways might developing a master presentation and then assigning parts to different speakers be better than the more divided method? As youa€™ll recall, brainstorming refers to the quick generation of ideas free of evaluation.
The warm-up can be initiated by anyone in the group and should only go on for a few minutes.
To ensure that the fourth rule is realized, the facilitator could encourage people to piggyback off each othera€™s ideas. Whoever is facilitating the discussion should remind group members to use brainstorming techniques, which means they shouldna€™t evaluate ideas as they are generated.
Keep track of how many times each idea comes up, as that could be an idea that warrants more discussion. To help avoid an unnecessarily long discussion, it may be useful to go from one person to the next to ask which ideas need clarifying and then go to the originator(s) of the idea in question for clarification. The facilitator then takes up the secret ballots and reviews them in a random order, noting the rankings of each idea.
Table 14.1 "Pros and Cons of Agreement-Based Decision-Making Techniques" reviews the pros and cons of each of these methods. A show-of-hands vote, a paper ballot, or an electronic voting system can determine the majority choice.
When a designated expert makes a decision by minority rule, there may be buy-in from others in the group, especially if the members of the group didna€™t have relevant knowledge or expertise. On rare occasions, a decision may be ideal for all group members, which can lead to unanimous agreement without further debate and discussion. The basic idea is that each of the six hats represents a different way of thinking, and when we figuratively switch hats, we switch the way we think.
During this stage, the group could also process through what other groups have done when faced with a similar problem. What potential advantages and disadvantages come with decisions made by groups that are more or less similar in terms of personality and cultural identities? Some groups have to go through multiple approval processes before they can do anything, while others are self-directed, self-governing, and self-sustaining.
Group members can more easily make decisions about a problem when other groups have similarly experienced it. Examplea€”a firehouse crew finds out that half of the building is contaminated with mold and must be closed down.
Examplea€”a firehouse crew finds out that the district they are responsible for is being expanded.
Examplea€”the firehouse crew has to close half the building and must start responding to more calls due to the expanding district.
Examplea€”a firehouse crew has consistently had to work with minimal resources in terms of building space and firefighting tools.
More submissive members are reserved, contribute to the group only when asked to, avoid eye contact, and leave their personal needs and thoughts unvoiced or give into the suggestions of others. Unfriendly group members are disagreeable, indifferent, withdrawn, and selfish, which leads them to either not invest in decision making or direct it in their own interest rather than in the interest of the group. Emotional group members are creative, playful, independent, unpredictable, and expressive, which leads them to make rash decisions, resist group norms or decision-making structures, and switch often from relational to task focus.
This could manifest in behaviors such as dividing up tasks into individual projects before collaboration begins and then openly debating ideas during discussion and decision making.
Group members from high-power-distance cultures would likely appreciate a strong designated leader who exhibits a more directive leadership style and prefer groups in which members have clear and assigned roles.
Group members from high-context cultures may avoid saying something directly, assuming that other group members will understand the intended meaning even if the message is indirect. Even though these cultural orientations connect to values that affect our communication in fairly consistent ways, individuals may exhibit different communication behaviors depending on their own individual communication style and the situation.
Since women have primarily performed secretarial work since the 1900s, it may also be expected that women will play the role of recorder.
It is also due to a more nuanced understanding of gender-based research, which doesna€™t take a stereotypical view from the beginning as many of the early male researchers did. This ease of communication can make group work more efficient, but the homogeneity may sacrifice some creativity. Today, however, generations interact regularly, and it is not uncommon for an older person to have a leader or supervisor who is younger than him or her.Brenda J.
This generation includes people who were born during the Great Depression or the early part of World War II, many of whom later fought in the Korean War.Gerald Clarke, a€?The Silent Generation Revisited,a€? Time, June 29, 1970, 46. Baby boomers are the most populous generation born in US history, and they are working longer than previous generations, which means they will remain the predominant force in organizations for ten to twenty more years. Compared to previous generations, a€?Gen-Xersa€? are more diverse in terms of race, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation and also have a greater appreciation for and understanding of diversity. This generation is not as likely to remember a time without technology such as computers and cell phones. Diverse groups may be wise to coordinate social interactions outside of group time in order to find common ground that can help facilitate interaction and increase group cohesion. In order to guide the idea-generation process and invite equal participation from group members, the group may also elect to use the nominal group technique. With minority rule, a designated authority or expert has final say over a decision, and the input of group members may or may not be invited or considered. It is a good thing to make choices to try to improve, but so often we are not dealing with the real source of the problem. Ia€™ve recently taken up some carpentry projects as a functional hobby, and I have developed a great respect for the importance of advanced planning.
Some examples of obstacles include limited funding, resources, personnel, time, or information. This typically requires individual work outside of the group and frequent group meetings to share information. Many groups that rely on funding have to revisit a budget every year, and in recent years, groups have had to get more creative with budgets as funding has been cut in nearly every sector. At this stage, group members share what they know about the current situation, without proposing solutions or evaluating the information.
To fully analyze the problem, the group can discuss the five common problem variables discussed before. It is perfectly OK for a group member to question another persona€™s idea by asking something like a€?What do you mean?a€? or a€?Could you explain your reasoning more?a€? Discussions at this stage may reveal a need to return to previous steps to better define or more fully analyze a problem. Additionally, solutions can be evaluated based on how well they fit with the groupa€™s charge and the abilities of the group. There are also more complex decision-making models like the a€?six hats method,a€? which we will discuss later.
Before implementation, groups should also determine how and when they would assess the effectiveness of the solution by asking, a€?How will we know if the solution is working or not?a€? Since solution assessment will vary based on whether or not the group is disbanded, groups should also consider the following questions: If the group disbands after implementation, who will be responsible for assessing the solution? Taking the time to complete one part of the presentation together can help set those standards for later individual work.
Consider creating a contract of group guidelines that includes expectations for meeting attendance to increase group membersa€™ commitment. The originator of the term brainstorming said the following four rules must be followed for the technique to be effective:Alex F.
To get things started, a person could ask, a€?If our group formed a band, what would we be called?a€? or a€?What other purposes could a mailbox serve?a€? In the previous examples, the first warm up gets the groupa€™s more abstract creative juices flowing, while the second focuses more on practical and concrete ideas. Ven de Ven, a€?A Group Process Model for Problem Identification and Program Planning,a€? The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 7, no. Ask group members to remain silent once theya€™ve finished their list so they do not distract others. Many decision-making bodies, including the US House of Representatives, Senate, and Supreme Court, use majority rule to make decisions, which shows that it is often associated with democratic decision making, since each person gets one vote and each vote counts equally. When a designated authority makes decisions, buy-in will vary based on group membersa€™ level of respect for the authority.

In this section, we will explore how situational, personality, and cultural influences affect decision making in groups. Even if the problem is complex and serious, the group can learn from other situations and apply what it learns.
Additionally, people from cultures that value individualism are more likely to openly express dissent from a decision, essentially expressing their disagreement with the group.
In a group that is homogenous in terms of having a high-power-distance orientation, members with higher status would be able to openly provide information, and those with lower status may not provide information unless a higher status member explicitly seeks it from them. So if someone disagrees with a proposed course of action, he or she may say, a€?Leta€™s discuss this tomorrow,a€? and mean, a€?I dona€™t think we should do this.a€? Such indirect communication is also a face-saving strategy that is common in collectivistic cultures. In both of these cases, stereotypical notions of gender place women in roles that are typically not as valued in group communication. Now, instead of biological sex being assumed as a factor that creates inherent communication differences, group communication scholars see that men and women both exhibit a range of behaviors that are more or less feminine or masculine.
They are just starting to enter into the workforce and have been greatly affected by the economic crisis of the late 2000s, experiencing significantly high unemployment rates.
We should be sensitive but not let sensitivity create fear of a€?doing something wronga€? that then prevents us from having meaningful interactions.
You are a child of God, so you have the greatest power in the universe on the inside of you.
One of the main ways we can honor God is by taking responsibility for our choices, not blaming our past, not blaming our circumstances.
We’ve heard a lot about the generational curse, but equally important is our generational choice.
One of the first things you must do is recognize what it is, identify it, get it out in the open and deal with it. Ita€™s frustrating to get to a crucial point in building or fixing something only to realize that you have to unscrew a support board that you already screwed in, have to drive back to the hardware store to get something that you didna€™t think to get earlier, or have to completely start over.
Obstacles can also take the form of people who are working against the group, including people resistant to change or people who disagree. For example, designing a new restaurant may entail using some standard solutions but could also entail many different types of innovation with layout and design. When group members arena€™t familiar with a problem, they will need to do background research on what similar groups have done and may also need to bring in outside experts. When a small group is planning on building a new park in a crowded neighborhood or implementing a new policy in a large business, it can be very difficult to develop solutions that will be accepted by all. As you read through the steps in the process, think about how you can apply what we learned regarding the general and specific elements of problems. Here are two examples of questions that the group formed to address ethics violations might ask: Why doesna€™t our city have an ethics reporting mechanism? Since many problems are multifaceted, it is necessary for group members to generate solutions for each part of the problem separately, making sure to have multiple solutions for each part.
Once the final decision is reached, the group leader or facilitator should confirm that the group is in agreement.
In some cases, the group will get to decide if it will stay together and continue working on other tasks or if it will disband. Discuss the roles that various group members will play openly so there isna€™t role confusion. In terms of introductions, figure out if one person will introduce all the speakers at the beginning, if speakers will introduce themselves at the beginning, or if introductions will occur as the presentation progresses.
If it becomes clear that there isna€™t really a foundation to an idea and that it is too vague or abstract and cana€™t be clarified, it may be eliminated. As a note to facilitators, some group members may begin to edit their list or self-censor when asked to provide one of their ideas. The nominal group technique does not carry a group all the way through to the point of decision; rather, it sets the group up for a roundtable discussion or use of some other method to evaluate the merits of the top ideas.
Of course, other individuals and mediated messages can influence a persona€™s vote, but since the voting power is spread out over all group members, it is not easy for one person or party to take control of the decision-making process. For example, decisions made by an elected authority may be more accepted by those who elected him or her than by those who didna€™t.
At the end of a sequence, the Blue Hat would want to summarize what was said and begin a new sequence. In general, groups deal with more uncertainty in decision making than do individuals because of the increased number of variables that comes with adding more people to a situation. Some small groups are more homogenous, meaning the members are more similar, and some are more heterogeneous, meaning the members are more different. Group members from collectivistic cultures are more likely to value relationships over the task at hand.
Low-power-distance cultures do not place as much value and meaning on status and believe that all group members can participate in decision making. Other cultures have a low-context communication style that places more importance on the meaning conveyed through words than through context or nonverbal cues. It is these gendered behaviors, and not a persona€™s gender, that seem to have more of an influence on perceptions of group communication. Reviewing Chapter 8 "Culture and Communication" will give you useful knowledge to help you navigate both international and domestic diversity and increase your communication competence in small groups and elsewhere.
As you do you will see God’s blessings and favour in your life and you will be able to make the decisions that bring you closer and closer to your destiny. In this section, we will discuss the group problem-solving process, methods of decision making, and influences on these processes. In such cases, groups will want to poll those who will be affected by the solution and may want to do a pilot implementation to see how people react.
Some of the following steps are straightforward, and they are things we would logically do when faced with a problem. It may be beneficial to let the group break for a while or even to delay the final decision until a later meeting to allow people time to evaluate it outside of the group context. There could be one point person for keeping track of the groupa€™s progress and schedule, one point person for communication, one point person for content integration, one point person for visual aids, and so on. In terms of transitions, make sure each person has included in his or her speaking notes when presentation duties switch from one person to the next. Group decision making can appear fair and democratic but really only be a gesture that covers up the fact that certain group members or the group leader have already decided. As a caution though, it may be wise to not throw out off-the-wall ideas that are hard to categorize and to instead put them in a miscellaneous or a€?wild and crazya€? category. This method is useful because the procedure involves all group members systematically, which fixes the problem of uneven participation during discussions. To limit a persona€™s apprehension with sharing his or her ideas and to ensure that each idea is shared, I have asked group members to exchange lists with someone else so they can share ideas from the list they receive without fear of being personally judged. In some casesa€”for example, to override a presidential veto or to amend the constitutiona€”a super majority of two-thirds may be required to make a decision.
On the plus side, consensus often leads to high-quality decisions due to the time and effort it takes to get everyone in agreement.
To successfully use this method, the person wearing the Blue Hat should be familiar with different sequences and plan some of the thinking patterns ahead of time based on the problem and the group members.
Individual group members cana€™t know what other group members are thinking, whether or not they are doing their work, and how committed they are to the group.
Access to archives, electronic databases, and individuals with relevant experience is necessary to obtain any relevant information about similar problems or to do research on a new or unique problem. The more group members there are in any extreme of these categories, the more likely that the group climate will also shift to resemble those characteristics. Because of this, they also tend to value conformity and face-saving (often indirect) communication.
Group members from low-power-distance cultures would likely freely speak their mind during a group meeting and prefer a participative leadership style. In terms of leadership, despite notable exceptions, research shows that men fill an overwhelmingly disproportionate amount of leadership positions.
Interestingly, group interactions are still masculinist in that male and female group members prefer a more masculine communication style for task leaders and that both males and females in this role are more likely to adapt to a more masculine communication style.
This will definitely help you improve your decision making skills and to know without a shadow of a doubt how to make good choices in discovering the life you were born to live.
Imposing an excellent solution that doesna€™t have buy-in from stakeholders can still lead to failure. However, taking a deliberate and systematic approach to problem solving has been shown to benefit group functioning and performance.
Once the problem has been analyzed, the group can pose a problem questionA question that will guide the group as it generates possible solutions. For the problem question previously posed, the group would need to generate solutions for all three parts of the problem included in the question. Visual aids have the potential to cause hiccups in a group presentation if they arena€™t fluidly integrated. Group decision making also takes more time than individual decisions and can be burdensome if some group members do not do their assigned work, divert the group with self-centered or unproductive role behaviors, or miss meetings. Since everyone contributes to the discussion, this method can also help reduce instances of social loafing. Unlike majority rule, one person or party can have control over the decision-making process.
Group members are also more likely to be committed to the decision because of their investment in reaching it.
Each round of thinking should be limited to a certain time frame (two to five minutes) to keep the discussion moving. So the size of a group is a powerful situational influence, as it adds to uncertainty and complicates communication. In this regard, group membersa€™ formal and information network connections also become important situational influences. This could manifest in behaviors such as establishing norms that include periods of socializing to build relationships before task-oriented communication like negotiations begin or norms that limit public disagreement in favor of more indirect communication that doesna€™t challenge the face of other group members or the groupa€™s leader. For example, if someone doesna€™t like an idea, they might say, a€?I think we should consider more options. We are socialized to see certain behaviors by men as indicative of leadership abilities, even though they may not be. Conversely, men who take on social-emotional leadership behaviors adopt a more feminine communication style. A deliberate approach is especially beneficial for groups that do not have an established history of working together and will only be able to meet occasionally.
Possible solutions for the first part of the problem (How can citizens report ethical violations?) may include a€?online reporting system, e-mail, in-person, anonymously, on-the-record,a€? and so on. Conversely, though, group decisions are often more informed, since all group members develop a shared understanding of a problem through discussion and debate. On the negative side, the ultimate decision is often one that all group members can live with but not one thata€™s ideal for all members. In a group composed of people from a collectivistic culture, each member would likely play harmonizing roles, looking for signs of conflict and resolving them before they become public. For example, men are often perceived to contribute more to a group because they tend to speak first when asked a question or to fill a silence and are perceived to talk more about task-related matters than relationally oriented matters. Although a group should attend to each step of the process, group leaders or other group members who facilitate problem solving should be cautious not to dogmatically follow each element of the process or force a group along. Possible solutions for the second part of the problem (How will reports be processed?) may include a€?daily by a newly appointed ethics officer, weekly by a nonpartisan nongovernment employee,a€? and so on.
The shared understanding may also be more complex and deep than what an individual would develop, because the group members are exposed to a variety of viewpoints that can broaden their own perspectives. An obvious negative consequence of this method is that the needs or wants of one person can override the needs and wants of the majority.
Additionally, the process of arriving at consensus also includes conflict, as people debate ideas and negotiate the interpersonal tensions that may result. Such a lack of flexibility could limit group member input and negatively affect the groupa€™s cohesion and climate. Possible solutions for the third part of the problem (How will reports be addressed?) may include a€?by a newly appointed ethics commission, by the accuseda€™s supervisor, by the city manager,a€? and so on. Presenters should know how long the whole presentation should be and how long each of their segments should be so that everyone can share the responsibility of keeping time. Group decisions also benefit from synergy, one of the key advantages of group communication that we discussed earlier.
Additionally, when group members have time to get to know each other and competently communicate across their differences, the advantages of diversity include better decision making due to different perspectives.David C.
Men are also socialized to be more competitive and self-congratulatory, meaning that their communication may be seen as dedicated and their behaviors seen as powerful, and that when their work isna€™t noticed they will be more likely to make it known to the group rather than take silent credit.
At the end of this stage, the group should be able to compose a single sentence that summarizes the problem called a problem statementA single sentence that summarizes the problem facing the group..
Most groups do not use a specific method of decision making, perhaps thinking that theya€™ll work things out as they go. The white Afrikaner minority that ruled South Africa for decades instituted apartheid, which was a system of racial segregation that disenfranchised and oppressed the majority population. Thomas, a€?Cultural Diversity and Work Group Effectiveness: An Experimental Study,a€? Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 30, no.
Even though we know that the relational elements of a group are crucial for success, even in high-performance teams, that work is not as valued in our society as the task-related work. You dona€™t want presenters huddled in a corner until ita€™s their turn to speak or trapped behind furniture when their turn comes around. This can lead to unequal participation, social loafing, premature decisions, prolonged discussion, and a host of other negative consequences. The quality of the decision and its fairness really depends on the designated expert or authority.
So in this section we will learn some practices that will prepare us for good decision making and some specific techniques we can use to help us reach a final decision. Unfortunately, groups often operate under time constraints and other pressures that make the possibility for intercultural dialogue and understanding difficult.
The main disadvantage of heterogeneous groups is the possibility for conflict, but given that all groups experience conflict, this isna€™t solely due to the presence of diversity.
We will now look more specifically at how some of the cultural value orientations wea€™ve learned about already in this book can play out in groups with international diversity and how domestic diversity in terms of demographics can also influence group decision making.

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