Well, this is it, guys. This journey through the teachings of small group communications (or digital collaborations, whichever you choose to call it) has finally come to its last stop. We’ve learned a throughout this adventure, though, haven’t we? As we read through A Systems Approach to Small Group Interaction, we developed a lot of skills to be able to handle any future situation where we might work in a group or team setting. Granted, that’s going to happen a lot, whether we are looking forward to it or not. We live in a society that has realized the power of groups and the advantages of working towards a team’s goals rather than the individual’s. Let’s take a look at some of those ideas again, shall we?
I started way back at the beginning of the semester discussing the concepts of subgroups working within larger groups to accomplish a larger task, applying that to the work I did while working at Bojangles’. As time progressed, I reflected on how “I talked with my eyes,” while discussing the different forms of communication. Later on, I became enthralled by the idea of the Six Thinking Hats, because it’s just such an interesting way to brainstorm. I will probably be using that method in much future brainstorming sessions. Shortly after that I had a great time revisiting the theory of The Prisoner’s Dilemma, because I hadn’t really had to apply its concepts since I was in game design courses a few years ago. While these are only a handful of the lessons I learned over this semester, they stand out as the things that resonated with me.
My classmates expressed many grand ideas as well as we went through this course together. For example, Jack started an entire mini-series of blog posts dedicated to followership; I loved this a lot, because you never really see anyone talk about how to be a good follower. It’s always about how to be a good leader, but no one acknowledges that without the followers, the leader wouldn’t have anyone to lead. Courtney, as a “List Lover”, made many nice blog posts that were filled with lists of information, including her posts on the Myers-Briggs Personality Test and Social Loafing. Pat was constantly amazed at the content we were learning from the textbook, and while her posts ran the entire gambit of information from each chapter, they served as a good summary for all the things we learned, an example being her post on “thinking styles”. Tommy did a good job with making blog posts that made me think about another perspective on the subjects that we discussed that I hadn’t previously considered, such as in his post on physical space and people with disabilities. Everyone in the class had great ideas and experiences that really helped with my understanding of the subject matter.
As a small group communicator, I see myself being able to take these ideas and use them to better any future groups that I might potentially be in. I will have the skills to be able to see the background factors that exist in my group and analyze how those might relate to any conflicts of ideas or feelings that may occur and then use skills of conflict management to help steer the group towards working together as a unified team. I’m a valuable asset for any team situation now.