Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Topic: Small-Group Discussion (2)

10-second review: Roles in Working with Small Groups: Task Roles and Self-Serving Roles

Title: “Small-Group Discussion.” Raymond Stopper. Xlibris, 2004, pp. 299-303.

Assuming clearly expressed goals, maintenance roles are positive in helping the group to achieve its goals. So are the “Task roles.” Not so, the “Self-serving roles.”

Task Roles

1. Initiating: Proposing tasks or goals; defining a group problem; suggesting a procedure.

2. Information or opinion seeking: Requesting facts; asking for suggestions and ideas.

3. Information or opinion giving: Offering facts; stating a belief; giving suggestions or ideas.

4. Clarifying or elaborating: Interpreting or reflecting ideas and suggestions; clearing up confusion; indicating alternatives before the group; giving examples.

5. Summarizing. Pulling together related ideas; restating suggestions after the group has discussed them; offering a decision for the group to accept or reject.

6. Consensus testing. Checking with the group to see how much agreement has been reached.

Self-Serving Roles

1. Dominator: Interrupts, embarks on long monologues; is overpositive; tries to lead group; asserts authority; is autocratic; monopolizes.

2. Blocker: Interferes with the progress of the group by rejecting ideas; takes negative attitude on all suggestions; argues unduly; is pessimistic; refuses to cooperate.

3. Deserter: Withdraws in some way; is indifferent; aloof; excessively formal; daydreams; doodles; whispers to others; wanders from subject.

4. Aggressor. Struggles for status; boasts; criticizes; deflates ego or status of others.

5. Recognition-seeker. Exaggerated attempt to get attention by boasting or claiming long experience or great accomplishments. [Been there, done that. RayS.]

6. Playboy type: Displays a lack of involvement in the group process by horseplay; inappropriate humor; or cynicism.

Comment: Discussion of these roles is always interesting. RayS.

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