Effective Communication and Decision Making

Effective communication and decision making are critical when working in a group setting. It is important to develop communication skills such as active listening, clear written communication and effective meetings. This will ensure that the group achieves its goals and solves the relevant problems in a time efficient manner. These skills are important in today’s world of work.

Group decision making

Group decision making is the process of several individuals acting collectively to decide on a plan of action. The group will analyze the problems related to the relevant situation. They will evaluate and consider various options to arrive at one or more solutions. A group can involve from two to seven people; however, this will vary with each situation. The group can be formal or informal. The decision-making process can be structured, but also unstructured in many situations.

Groups versus teams

Although the terms “group” and “team” are often used similarly, many experts differentiate between the two. The two make up a collective labor agreement. However, there are many specific differences. A group has a defined leader, while in a team there are shared leadership positions. Group members have individual responsibility, while the team has both individual and collective responsibilities. Team performance is directly measured by collective results. In contrast, one group measures effectiveness indirectly.

Active listening

To work effectively in groups, individuals should demonstrate good communication skills. One of the most important used in a group is active listening. Although listening is a crucial activity, most people only remember 25 to 50 percent of what they hear. Active listening is a conscious effort to understand the total message of a person’s words, rather than just listening to them. Staying engaged in the conversation and mentally repeating the other person’s words will help you retain more information.

Written communication

Sometimes in a group’s decision-making process, written communication is just as important as spoken words. For example, vital information can often be sent via email in today’s business world. This information could be important for a group meeting. If it is not written clearly enough to be understood, it could become a problem in the meeting. It is important to consider the audience and the format when writing an email or a detailed report. Creating an outline for more complicated writes might help.

Conduct effective meetings

Effective meetings consist of many important aspects. First, a meeting must know the planned objective. This means that the meeting should serve a useful purpose and achieve a desired result. Everyone should be clear about and be aware of what that planned outcome is. Meetings should be efficient and take a minimum of time. Everyone should be on time. Creating a planned agenda could help keep a meeting in order. Effective meetings leave participants with a feeling that a sensitive process has been implemented.