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What prerequisites help groups make good decisions and solve problems?

  • Whereas decision making refers to the passing of judgment or making up your mind, problem solving is a complex process in which groups make multiple decisions while trying to solve a problem.
  • Groups should take steps to prevent groupthink, which results in the deterioration of group effectiveness as a consequence of in-group pressure.
  • The first and most important task for all groups is to make sure that all members understand and support the group’s common goal. Group members should determine whether they are trying to answer a question of fact, conjecture, value, or policy.
  • In addition to being well-informed, groups need clear procedures that specify how they will make decisions and solve problems.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of various decision-making methods?

  • Although voting is the easiest way to make a group decision, some members win while others lose when a vote is taken.
  • Consensus requires that all members agree to support a decision. Groups should look for and prevent false consensus.
  • Authority rule occurs when a single person or someone outside the group makes the final decision.
  • Different decision-making styles—rational, intuitive, dependent, avoidant, and spontaneous—have the potential to improve or impair group decision making.

What communication strategies and skills help resolve interpersonal conflicts?

  • Conflict can be constructive or destructive depending on your intentions and how well you communicate.
  • There are five conflict styles: avoidance, accommodation, competition, compromise, and collaboration.
  • The A-E-I-O-U model and the six-step model can help you resolve conflicts.

How can you plan and conduct an effective group meeting?

  • Brainstorming works well when members are comfortable with the rules.
  • The decreasing options technique (DOT) helps groups reduce and refine a large number of suggestions or ideas into a manageable set of options.
  • The standard agenda divides problem solving into a series of ordered steps.
  • An agenda—the outline of items to be discussed and the tasks to be accomplished at a meeting—should be prepared and delivered to all group members in advance of a meeting.