The improvement of an individual’s and groups’ abilities of solving problems and the making of decisions is a very important issue in the industry, education and also the government. According to a research carried out recently personal strengths and leadership skills are similar due to their behavior patterns, and they can be learned and improved. People are not strong in all their skills and strengths, there are also areas they are not strong and they need to work on them. Decision and problem solving is very crucial in a group scenario since it contributes to the groups future success.
Individual Strengths and the Group Process
I am currently involved in an organization by the name Dansa Imani Welfare Committee, which is basically involved in the organization of the community, assembling of individuals from different expertise and experience, and also the improving of all the customer expectations in the textile industry. . In community organization, there is the direct involvement and the communication with the public and the maintaining a direct link to all the people in the community sharing the same beliefs, taboos, interests, common ideas and goals.
The members of the group meet at least once in in a month to come up with strategies for the problems arising in the textile industry using the star bursting and brainstorming techniques so as to improve employee satisfaction and also the implementation of strategies for all the fundraisers which are aimed at benefiting the local charities. I have helped in the maintaining of the sense of professionalism, communication skills, social awareness and good problem solving techniques within the group (Chemers, 1997).
In the years that I have been involved in this group, I have made sure that all the members of the group are able to identify all the roles they can handle and how they should be able to work with the roles adopted by the other group members. Assuming the initiators role means that one should be able to recommend on innovative ideas and then offer courses of implementation. Through this process of opinion offering, presenting your own opinion and reasoning, and offering alternative and appropriate solutions to the committee is a mandatory necessity of an initiator. When you act as the motivator, encourager, and the energizer, you should have personal strengths naturally since these skills have been found to be of professional assistance in the committee.
The encouraging of the other group members and experiencing growth as an end result is a personal endeavor when it comes to skills and strengths. A positive reinforcement and the instillation of confidence helps a team in the end and helps in the enforcement of a positive and good working environment and group cohesion. Persistent listening helps in the building of trust and the maintaining of open communication in the group setting (Chemers, 1997). The combination of the role of the tension releaser and the energizer eases tension with a friendly wit. In case there is a conflict or a tension arising, the tension releaser should intervene with a comic relief so as to lighten the mood.
The different personality traits caused a drawback in the group setting. Each and every individual in the group has a trait which is very different and each of the members thinking capacity is not the same at all. Throughout the years that I have been with the organization, I have noted that these adversities are going to be an ongoing struggle which focuses on the individual and personal approach and the ways that can be involved in order to handle these availing situations and the interventions where necessary. These drawbacks have caused personal separation or biasness and solutions to these problems have to be found before they lead to the breakup of the group since they lead to conflicts by the group members.
In every group meeting, around thirty members are usually available in every meeting that the committee holds. Each and every member of the group has different skills which can be used in the conflict management and problem solving. For example if we have a group member who acts as the coordinator of the committee, he has to clarify goals, facilitate all the meetings the group should hold and also has to delegate tasks (Engleberg & Wynn, 2010).
Other members of the group can act as the evaluators and they use critical thinking skills in order to be able to evaluate all the options available, to identify assignments, and also to be able to outline interventions. They help in the maintenance of balance in the group setting by appraising the value of the different options brought up by the other committee members (Lucas, 2001).
In an effort to make and produce a productive and a well-organized group environment, one has to ensure that there is the awareness of the differences between a clown and a tension releaser. A tension releaser in most cases uses humor in order to be able to lighten the atmosphere where the clown on the other hand, uses humor wrongly so that he can gain individual attention instead of him helping in the promotion of a successful environment.
The levels of humor should be maintained professional and appropriate since it is very ironical to make people laugh when there is tension. Skills can be successfully improved if they are employed carefully through repetition, careful cultivation, and the repeated execution so as to be able to learn and grow in different group scenarios. In order to improve your skills, you have to learn to listen, to accept feedback, to give feedback, and to resolve conflict.
Problem Solving Techniques and Group Decision Making
A problem is a quantitative situation which confronts a group of individuals or an individual and it requires a resolution. Problem solving is a process in which a solution is determined for an unknown by an individual from the skills and knowledge that have been previously acquired so as to be able to satisfy the difficulties of an unknown situation. Group decision making is the situation when people are brought together and they think together to come up with solutions to solve problems. In group decision making, all the group members are supposed to work together as a team.
Brainstorming is a regularly used problem solving technique since there is the generation of very many ideas within a short span of time. This method can proof to be effective since it encourages creativity and it generates many responses from the group members. Brain storming allows each and every member to be a part of solving the problem and with the many suggestions and responses from the members, a solution can be found to conflicting issues since all the members are in agreement.
Another technique I use is the Functional Perspective where as a group, we come up with the initial goals, identify the obstacles present, procedures, and the targeted solutions. This technique mainly focuses on the assumption of reasoning so as to ensure that there are concrete resolutions and there is the avoidance of conflicts arising in the group. When solving a problem, one must have knowledge, experience, the motivation, group skills, learning skills, and good communication skills.
My techniques influenced the group since they offered resolutions to many issues arising from the members and they proved to be effective and efficient of all the procedures and outcomes. Most of the group members tend to work together in harmony through the use of these techniques which have improved the group interactions by making them to be very successful. Through the use of my techniques, there is the availability of open voice opinions, assumptions of reasoning, and also the establishment of an outlined procedure and process. All the group members were allowed a chance to voice their suggestions and opinions and they all participated in the problem solving as a team (Lucas, 2001).
One can use other techniques like the Standard agenda and the Nominal Group Technique when making group decisions. The Standard Agenda consists of a set of practical steps which should be followed when making a crucial decision into solving a problem (Engleberg & Wynn, 2010). In the Nominal Group Technique, there is the exploitation of the contributions of a participant while trying to eliminate a conflict within the group and the participants usually work as an individual prior to the group collaboration.
In order to develop and improve one’s individual problem solving techniques, one has to conduct frequent investigations, persistent implementation, continuing education, and dutiful practice (Lucas, 2001). One has to incorporate several techniques so that if one technique fails, he can easily use the other technique at ease. This will also give him a choice to choose the most suitable technique.
In conclusion, it is very crucial to use and develop a problem solving / decision making process which puts into consideration all the individual differences and different viewpoints. The process that is described in this paper gives an allowance for an individual to use typical methods in different situations and being able to adapt and meet individual preferences. Many groups are working very hard to achieve their goals by the determination of all their members and the avoidance of conflicts arising among the group members.