In this paper I will be highlighting five topics that were covered in the Group and Organizational Behavior class. The concept of Group and Organizational Behavior is defined as the study and application of knowledge about how people, individuals and groups act in organizations. First I will be discussing group vs. individual decision making and the results from the Desert Survival situation in week one.
I will then describe the concept of Group Interaction Roles and compare my findings with the Desert Survival situation. Third I will discuss the concept of a Group Maintenance Role with class room examples. Next I will move to my personal findings in the Personality System Analysis or D.I.S.C. that was taken in the week three class. The last topic of discussion will be on conflict and the Conflict Mode Instrument test taken in class.
Synergistic Decision Making Synergistic decision making is broken in to two important concepts: problem solving and interpersonal relations. Problem solving is the way a person or group develop rational questions that lead to a best answer for the problem at hand. Interpersonal relations are the way the group acts and reacts to others in the group in their problem solving style. The relationships of the participants can directly relate to the success of group. Even if one member has the correct answer for a problem but fails to communicate their idea to the group effectively the concept can be lost.
The first night in class we were broken up in to four groups of five and asked to complete the desert survival challenge. My group, group two consisted of Sarah, Peter, Edith, David and I. Since this was our first class and first day of class it made the situation a bit more real as if we were all just on a plane that crashed. We didn't know each other or communication styles. When first grouped we naturally decided on a deciding process. After debate it was majority rule with compromise. Meaning if someone felt real strongly on a particular items order the group would listen to that individual a bit more. It was a give and take with each member. That I felt worked well in getting along with new people.
We began to analyze the situation and went over the parameters of the situation and setup our objective which was to be rescued. We each had taken the situation prior individually and had an idea of what items were important to each of us individually but now it was time to relay those ideas to the rest of the group.
Next was to develop a course of action. We had all decided to leave the plane and take everything with us and head for civilization. Not one person in the group disagreed with this decision. After reflecting back on this, I realize the benefit of considering both sides and weighing them both out. The one decision that was not debated was probably the most costly.
The group and our interpersonal process I think was very respectful and we all had an open ear willing to listen to each others ideas. Each of us had come from different backgrounds and could offer different skills. Not only did we have to survive the situation but we had to find out who is who and what skills would help the situation best. We had an ex-marine in the group so I personally weighed his opinion a bit more because of his training to the others. Now in confronting and differing this could be a mistake by making the assumption that he is well trained to survive life and death situations like this one.
He could have been trained in knitting and I would not have really known because I didn't confront and clarify what his training consisted of.
The cumulative results of the class were as follows:
As the grid illustrates all the teams did better as a team than they did as individuals. I feel as if our group, group 2 did an outstanding job of performing well together as we had a 30% positive change. This was more than any other group.
Group Interaction Roles Group Interaction Roles can be categorized in to three sections: Group task roles, group building and maintenance roles and individual roles. Participants can represent one or more roles at any one time and are not bound by any one role. Group task roles are present when the goal is to select, define or solve problems.
These roles can be broken down in to 12 different personalities. Initiator-Contributor this person is most likely to suggest new ideas to the group. Or to get ideas flowing from other members. Information Seeker will want to seek out more detail on ideas that are presented. Opinion Seeker looks for values involved in an idea made. Information Giver gives ideas based on ones personal experience. Opinion Giver will do just that and submit their belief or opinion on an idea.
Elaborator will go in to more depth on a presented idea. Coordinator works with others to pull ideas from others together. Orienter wants to guild in the group in the direction that it was intended. Evaluator Critic wants to evaluate the logic, facts, or the procedure of an idea. Energizer will try and stimulate a group's ideas and activities. Procedural Technician is the hands on person with getting the physical needs for the group accomplished. Recorder writes or records thoughts and ideas.
In a classroom environment I find myself leaning more towards the role of an Information Seeker and looking for someone playing Information Giver. Especially in a SPS class situation. Other students tend to be older than I and in some interesting fields of work. I am able to tap in to a resource that is not normally presented to me.
Such as I described earlier in the Desert Survival Guide with the ex-marine in the group I also like to be an Elaborator/Coordinator when I hear an idea that I feel is really good. Some people have the idea but don't fully explore it and I like to ask more questions and draw it out of them and the others in the group. Group Maintenance Roles
Group building and maintenance roles are different than task roles because they revolve around building or maintaining a group and its behavior. They can fall in to one or more of the following seven categories. Encourager offers praise and accepts contribution from others. Harmonizer acts as a mediator to the groups differences. Compromiser will offer a compromise as a solution.
Gate-Keeper and Expediter wants to maintain an even flow of communication within the group. Standard Setter or Ego Ideal sets the standard for the group process Group-Observer and Commentator writes and records the various processes of the group. Follower passive and goes with the flow of the rest of the groups ideas.
I personally feel I fit in to a few of these categories at several times. I think in every class activity we did almost everyone started as a Follower for what I think is due to the newness of the class and not wanting to press on anyone to early. But soon as we got over the uncomfortable part we could move on. In the Desert Survival Guide I found myself and the group being a Compromiser several times when trying to get the items I wanted rated higher.
I will give you this if you give me that type on thing. In the Quiz game kind of had to be an Encourager/Gate-Keeper and Expediter because the group was very stagnant at first. Then it lead to trying to be a Standard Setter because the group wanted to say that the other groups answers were always wrong no matter what and I was just the opposite and try and have them win no matter what. And as it turns out we were competing against our own team just in another group. Needless to say we did not win the quiz game. The Personality System / D.I.S.C
The Personality System /D.I.S.C is a series of 24 questions test that can help estimate a profile of a persons personality and behavior in most situations in to four categories. Dominant / Driver direct, high ego, risk taker
Influencing / Inspiring enthusiastic, trusting, persuasive, impulsive Compliant / Correct accurate, careful, fact-finder, high standards Stable / Steady good listener, Positive, team player, steady Here is how I scored on the DISC test:
The second part of the test was to graph the results. In graph one this was my mask, public self. Witch is my behavior expected by others. I scored highest in the S or stable category. In graph two, my core, private self or my instinctive response to pressure I scored highest as a C or Compliant.
Then in the last graph, my mirror, perceived self. This is my self image or self identity I scored highest in the I or Influencing category. What does all this mean? According to the test this means I could be an Assessor. Both my I and C are above the midline and D and S are below of graph three. An Assessor observant of details as well as the unique value of people and they can be counted on to do a good job. Which I feel is true. It also says that I am competitive with myself and push myself to do better to avoid criticism. Also true. Conflict
There are many definitions for conflict, mainly they mean the same thing but are directed to their subject context. My favorite was in The American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary: " struggle between opposing or incompatible impulses, desires, or tendencies".
Week five, the class takes the Conflict Mode Instrument test. The test consists of 30 questions of choose the best answer between A or B. Actually there are only about five statements, but they are rearranged as your "best choice" for A and B. This is how I scored.
The second part was to graph these in to the conflict-handling model. My highest score was in compromising. I am the proverbial Fox. It is an intermediate of assertiveness and cooperativeness. Which I guess is true in my case. I do seek to split things down the middle or a middle ground when conflict comes in to my life.
I have just discussed five topics that were discussed in the Group and Organizational Behavior class. I felt that this was an excellent class to re-begin my educational journey. I found that the class has made and immediate impact in my way of thinking and seeing group situations a bit differently. I now notice myself looking to see who is playing what role in a group conversation. I have been trying to change my personal language to be more positive and not say, "No problem" when someone says "Thank you". I found myself sharing the different tests with friends and family to see how they would handle conflict or survive a desert crash.