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Small Group Dynamics - Procedures & Techniques - 6 / 2 / 2002
  Procedures & Techniques
leading small group discussions
        group is best run with two leaders
            both aware of content
    leaders should have knowledge of small group dynamics
        ensure session runs smoothly
        encourage everyone to participate
        get others' ideas out for consideration
        watch time, so can cover discussion questions of most interest
        summarize important points
        allow time for "wrap-up"
    size of group
        no smaller then five, no larger then eight
    arrange group so they are sitting close together, can see each other
        keep in mind maturity of group
        may not want to deal with behaviours in group
        each session will need to be kept short
            keep group on subject
        aproximately one hour in length
    number / frequency of sessions
        number/frequency of sessions can vary
        with smaller groups, sessions can be covered more quickly
    existing beliefs
        watch members that have strong existing beliefs
            negative belief systems
group skills
    managerial skills
    interpersonal skills
self-managing unit
accelerating development of group
    group facilitator
        continually draw groups' attention to the group process
        suggest structures & practices to support & enhance group skills
focus of group
active communication
        restatement of ideas
        written record
        sign posting
            where group came from
            where group is at
            where group should be going
            criticism must be neutral
            acknowledge those doing well
                reenforces commendable action
                mitigates negative feedback
    the mouse
    the loud-mouth
handling failure
    failure should be explored by group
        no blame
        avoid repetiton
handling deadlock
    action must be taken
    debate from other's view-point to better understand it
    seek common ground
        middle or alternative strategy
    relative importance of point
avoid single solutions
    first idea rarely best
group techniques
    techniques to use when appropriate
    common forms of presentations
            oral presentation of organized thoughts and ideas by a speaker
            formal presentation by several platform speakers
        panel discussion
            presentation by several persons
            discuss a topic in which they have a special knowledge
            presentation of a problem by members of audience
            discussed by a group of experts
                may ask questions or make comments regarding presentation
small group discussion techniques
    co-leaders in group discussions
        team approach of two or more persons in leading discussion
    huddle group / buzz group
        group of 3-7 persons who discuss problem or issue
        then report to larger group
    leadership team
        group of four persons to conduct a discussion
            discussion leader
            process observer
            resource person
    listening team
        two to four persons who listen, evaluate
        then pose questions to persons who have made a presentation
    role playing
        persons who act out a situation 
        promote additional insights or deeper emotional feelings
        free expression for creative thinking without influence of judicial reasoning
        pairs to interview each other or clarify their own ideas
    round-robin sharing
        each group member in turn
        briefly share ideas, opinions, suggestions
        or concerns in response to question raised 
special techniques to improve meetings
    stop session
        take a break when things get heated or bogged down
        focus on dynamics of group
    verbal or written reports
        should present all sides of an issue
    study committee
        formed to gather information and/or make recommendations
    negative voting
        eliminate solutions which majority of group cannot accept
if the group wants to… / use…
    give information lecture / panel discussion, written, or verbal report
    generate ideas / brainstorming session
    determine opinion or get input / round-robin sharing
    investigate, study or gather information; study committee
    define and/or solve a problem / small group discussion using the problem solving process
    reach group consensus / negative voting
    formalize a group discussion vote / parliamentary procedure
    gossip, joke, complain or be entertained / social hour or luncheon
    see a problem from someone else's viewpoint / role playing
    train members to lead committees or leadership team / co-leaders in group discussions
Groups that Work - Gerard M. Blair

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