Human Communication Process in the Small Group Context sample essay

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Question #5
How would you rewrite some of Lam’s comments to show how he could have paraphrased what Kelli, Ryan, and Tamika said? “Tyler has been late to meetings, because he has been caring for his sick parents. Because he his late and missing meetings, we are missing his part of our assignment. Let’s just go ahead and get started and try to finish tonight. If we need another meeting, we can meet at my place to give us more room, instead of meeting in this old stuffy room.” It’s good to paraphrase because, it lets to previous speaker know if you understood what was said. If incorrect, the message can then be delivered in another way, so that the listener understands the message the speaker it trying to make (Galanes & Adams, 2010). This allows for effective communication.

Question #6
Which of the eight major categories of nonverbal behaviors are most relevant to this study group? Several of the eight major categories of nonverbal behaviors are expressed in this study group. First of all space and seating play a part because, the group was sitting in a circle, and when Tamika pulled away from the table, it showed that she was upset about Tyler not being present; demonstrating “kinesics.” In addition, Tamika was using “time cues” by complaining that Tyler was late and that 20 minutes had gone by. When Kelli began to pack up her things, her movements expressed that she too was unhappy about the situation. “Paralanguage” was used when the pitch of Tamika’s voice changed as she asked the question “Man, what time is it.” It is evident that there was no “transactional process” within the group as a whole. Tamika and Kelli were expressing how they felt about Tyler on being present at the meetings.

They were clearly sending a “message” throughout the group. As Ryan was demonstrating “paraphrase” by reminding the group the everyone knew that Tyler’s parents was sick and Lam “action-oriented listening” turned everyone’s attention back to the task of completing the project. It is clear that there was plenty of “nonverbal behavior” with this group. Nonverbal behaviors can be interpreted by other in ways not intended. Our text states “nonverbal behaviors can contradict verbal behaviors (Galanes & Adams, 2010).” As we speak to another person or a group, our tone of voice and body language are also speaking for us. It’s important to be aware, so that our actions aren’t taking away from what we are trying to speak. By observing nonverbal ques, we are able to recognize if what we are saying is being taken serious, upsetting someone, confusing or if people are in agreement.

Question #7
How might computer-mediated communication been used by our student group? What precautions might they take should they choose to use it to compensate for absences from meetings? Computer mediated communication could have been used in the form of video conference where every member can see and hear their team member, or a chat room where all team members can post their work and respond to other members work.

They could attach their assigned work to an email and forward the work to all the members of the group; this would have eliminated Tyler missing meets and Tamika being in that stuffy room. The first precaution is making sure each member has a computer or access to one. If the group is going to use the video conference, then the group need to make sure everyone has the proper equipment and software to participate in the group project. Once the group establishes everyone has a computer or access, they need to understand how to upload their work if they decide to use the chat room as a communication channel.

Question #8
Given your understanding of communication principals, including nonverbal messages, what advice would you give to this student group? The group in chapter two should have, communicated differently. Communication is the key to an effective group. You must communicate with your fellow team members, be open about what you are feeling so that way tension does not build and explode making thing much worse than they have to be. Lam could have paraphrased the group feeling when he took control, and decided to start.

If lam would have paraphrased, it would have let the other member’s know that he was listening to their concerns. The group should be more mindful of their nonverbal behavior. Lam did do a great job displaying “action-oriented” listening and getting the team back on track. As a group they should have focused on a solution to get Tyler’s part of the assignment, since they know his pattern with the group. Email and video conferencing are a couple of solutions.


Galanes, G. J., & Adams, K. (2010). Human Communication Process in the Small Group Context. In Effective Group Discussion (pp. 22-47, Chapter 2, pgs. 39 – 46, Chapter 3). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.