Participation Essay, Research Paper

Chapter 9- Effective Participation (Wilson 253-255)


I will go through each of the five categories under effective participation and tell what I observed on our group for each one.

First- I think each member of our group was committed to do their best as time and resources allowed. Each contributed to the group in meetings and in presentations. Keith often was the leader behind our group presentations. I would say that he always was but I’m not sure that my memory is accurate. He came up with the ideas for the presentations that we ended up using, he coordinated them, made sure that everyone knew what they were doing and that they were going to do their part and be there on the day of the presentation. Charley did his part well and helped contribute ideas and suggestions for ways of presenting. Jessica and Salena came through and completed every assignment that they were given. When given parts to do for presentations they did them.

Second- In our group members had differing goals that they wanted to accomplish. Though as it became closer to the due date of the final I think those goals became more the same but because of these differences it is difficult to determine for sure if every group member was committed to the good of the group or not. Over all I think the common goal of the group especially towards the end was to complete the final. This goal was shared both as a group and individually and the group was used to help all of the individuals complete the final.

Third- Our group did not deal much with facts and opinions that would cause much tension as it might have had it been formed in an organization. But when it came to how to do the final conflict arose as different members had different ideas of how to do the final. As individuals expressed the way they saw that it was supposed to be done conflict ensued.

Fourth- the best example I saw of possible competition in our group, though it didn’t damage the group, was between Charley and Keith. They often competed on ideas as to whose idea would be used, or whose was the best, what ever it may have been. I’m not sure of any other examples of competing.

Fifth- I think everyone at one time or another in our group has not been as good a listener as they could have been. I recall on one occasion when one member of the group accused another member of not listening to them. The best listener in our group though would have to be Jessica whether she chose that role or not that was one that she played often.

With in our small group there was strong cohesiveness between the females and between the males. Besides the gender issue I think this cohesiveness was stronger because from the beginning of the semester the girls usually sat together and the guys usually sat together. Though there was cohesiveness between these two there was not strong cohesiveness between the group as a whole. As a group, things that contributed to our cohesiveness were: similar interest in the mission of the group, success in giving our presentations, and most members of the group were successful in completing the group goal, which was to complete 5 evaluations of our selected groups.


Each member was committed to do their best because of the people we were and because at least half of the group felt that there was pressure to be as close to a perfect group as could be. This idea pushed us to be committed to doing our best and in a sense it hurt us, in that we felt hindered to do anything that might break that shell of behaving and being as close to a perfect group as possible.

In our group there was not enough discussion about our goals, regarding what we thought needed to happen in our group, other than completing 5 evaluations of our groups. Because we didn’t make sure, that as a group there was consensus, as to what needed to be achieved, in our group, we had separate goals that didn’t always agree with each other. This caused difficulty in the group, which undermined group cohesiveness.


A lot of the difficulties that arose in the cohesiveness of our group could be helped by more communication between the members, a clearer goal out line, and the use of better listening skills.

If we as a group made clear and concise goals, and took the time to make sure that consensus was achieved it would increase that success of our group and help minimize possible sources of confliction which would help in our group cohesiveness.

Better and more communication coupled with good listening skills, would help clear problems with differing ideas between members. If we listened to each other the way described by Gerald Wilson, in his book “Groups In Context”, we would have to step out of our selves and our own ideas, and really look at the other person’s idea. Communication would improve greatly which would also help our group cohesiveness. Professor Van Den Bosche gave a chart that illustrates how these ideas work in a group.

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