Communication is an important element in human relationships, human beings, by nature, requires interact with others to meet their needs for affection and socialization, this is achieved through various media.
Five Stages of Group Development
When a group is formed it typically develops through different stages. There are five-stages identified in the group-development model that describes the progression of groups as they mature. These five stages are known as "forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning" (Stephen P. Robbins, 2011). Communication is critical in group development. Each member must be prepared to interact with other group members to achieve the task at hand.
The forming stage is the first stage in which there is hesitation in the group. In this stage, group members determine the purpose each group member. After the group has accepted the purpose, structure and need for leadership in the group, the stage is complete.
The next stage is the storming stage. This stage may demonstrate some conflict, as control is established by a group member. Members come to term with the loss of individuality. Upon the completion of this stage, the purpose of each member is more evident.
The norming stage is the third stage. The members have developed a rapport with one another, and the group comes together at this stage. Once the group can agree on a common set of goals and expectations the norming stage is complete.
The fourth stage of group development is the performing stage. This stage in which the members have come together and truly function as a group. Each member has accepted a role and the group is working together to achieve a common goal. If the group were a permanent working group, this would be the last stage of group development. However, if this is just a temporary work group, there is one stage left.
For temporary work groups, the final stage is the adjourning stage. In the adjourning stage, the task has been completed and the group members prepare to part ways.
A group moving on to the norming stage indicates that the group has spent enough time with each other to build trust. As any other relationship, trust is an important aspect that needs to be present when a group is aiming to achieve a common goal. At this stage, group members have had enough experience and communication that there is a clear understanding of what each member expects from each other. It is important that a group communicates with each other the expectations needed so that everyone coincides. A group on the verge of completing the norming stage will show that all group members know every ones roles and the norms of the group. Once a group has gotten past the norming stage, the group members have achieved a common goal and understand what needs to be done to achieve it. Therefore, group member can start performing the task at hand.
The communication process is not easy and mistakes can be made at all stages of the process. We need to be aware of this in our role of facilitator training to communicate as effectively as possible with peers. Anything that blocks the meaning of what is being communicated or to prevent the recipient understands what is considered a barrier in communication. These barriers can be classified into two main categories:
Internal communication barriers:
• Cultural differences or gender between sender and receiver, because we live in a pluralistic society, cultural differences and gender in our attitude towards certain things, gestures and time can make the process more complicated communication.
• No listening. The receiver is not interested in what are communicating, and therefore do not pay attention, just listen to what they want to hear and ignore the nonverbal cues.
• Judgments. Stereotypes, prejudices or preconceptions about the issuer or the information being exchanged block