Group Communication: Types, Objectives And Characteristics

Group communication

Have you heard about the concept of group communication? Do you know what its purpose is and how it can help us?

In this article we will see what the concept of group communication is, its different purposes and the most used techniques to carry it out. Finally, we will explain what must be taken into account when carrying out group communication according to a certain approach or another.

Group communication: what is it?

The concept of group communication refers to the interactive process that takes place between three or more people. Group communication is basic and important in the development of relationships between people, families, social groups, companies and even governments

The group communication process can be carried out through various communication techniques. Each technique has its characteristics depending on the objectives that want to be achieved with said group communication.

Purposes of this communicative process

As we have already mentioned, there are a series of objectives that are intended to be achieved through group communication.

Among the different purposes for creating group communication activities and, in general terms, the most relevant purposes are the following: foster the feeling of belonging to a group, to a “we”, stimulate people to think, reason, and listen actively

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On the other hand, these group communication circles also aim to promote interpersonal cooperation and empathy, enhance personal qualities and virtues (creativity, autonomy, responsibility, social skills…), confront intrapersonal barriers of fear of rejection, irrational fears, feelings of superiority or inferiority, etc.

It is also intended to build, develop and share positive attitudes in different situations (for example, in Alcoholics Anonymous groups).

Techniques used

Since there are different purposes for the development of group communication activities, there are different group communication techniques for each purpose. Let’s see what they consist of.

1. Study techniques or deepening of the topic

These techniques consist of the meeting of a group of people (they are usually experts in a specific field. For example, a committee of doctors to discuss a patient’s diagnosis) to reach common conclusions.

These techniques are also carried out to promote ideas (brainstorming) on ​​a specific topic. For example, to look for a series of solutions or measures to take to face a specific problem or conflict.

2. Techniques for exposing a topic

This section includes conferences, symposiums and round tables Basically, different ideas, concepts and information on a specific topic are presented.

The exponents of the group are usually specialists in some field; for example, researchers in the field of oncology. They meet at conferences and share their results and progress in their respective research.

The idea is to share information that may be of interest to other members of the group. In this type of group communication there is usually no driver and, if there is, it is the person who presents the congress or the exhibitors’ presentations.

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3. Dialogue or interview techniques

Dialogue techniques consist of dynamics in which a group of people talk or interview a person of interest, who is usually an expert in some field. For example, a group of journalists does a televised interview with a politician.

These techniques can also be applied to what are known as “simultaneous dialogues.”, in which a group of people are separated into two subgroups to discuss a specific topic. Total freedom to give one’s opinion is encouraged.

A group of alcoholics anonymous, for example, would consist of this type of communication, in which there is ample freedom to debate something, give one’s opinion, express one’s own feelings or sensations, etc., without anyone being judged.

4. Discussion or debate techniques

In this case, discussion techniques are applied to directed debates or forums. In these types of group communication, The peculiarity is that there is the figure of the coordinator or moderator of the debate

This coordinator guides and directs the debate, so that all members of the debate can exercise their right to give their opinion.

5. Dramatization techniques

Finally, there are dramatization techniques, which are applied, for example, to theatrical performances, with social, recreational or therapeutic purposes.

Real situations or role performances are usually represented For example, in therapies to work on empathy.

How to choose the most appropriate group communication technique?

The factors to take into account when choosing the technique that best suits the objectives we intend to achieve are:

1. Objectives

As we have already seen, the essence of all group communication lies in its objectives Sometimes the aim is to disseminate or share information on a topic, such as in the case of scientific conferences or symposiums. If we intend to do therapy to face a common problem, we will opt for group communication based on dialogue.

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2. Group characteristics

It is important to take into account the characteristics of the group: sex, age, social group, experiences, interests, etc., in order to establish the dynamics that best adapt to the whole and take into account whether we are interested in a homogeneous group in terms of these aspects or not.

3. Group size

The number of people who will make up the group communication is important, since Different types of communication and degrees of trust are established depending on the volume of the group

We must take into account whether we are interested in a small committee group, to foster trust and get people to open up, or larger groups with a multitude of opinions on a topic.

4. Physical space

Physical space is also a limitation when establishing group communication dynamics, as well as the type of space available.

If we are going to bring people together to talk about a loss, for example, in grief therapy, A non-hostile, calm, caring environment is important etc.

5. Experience and capacity of the group driver (if there is one)

Finally, it is important to decide if there should be a communication leader or if all group members will have the same role and participation, depending on the topics you want to discuss and how.