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Small Group Facilitation: Improving Process and Performance in Groups and Teams by Judith A. Kolb

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Proxemics—Use of Space

Proxemics is a term used to describe personal use of space. Again, cultural differences exist in the amount of personal space between people that is deemed comfortable. In some cultures, it is considered rude not to stand very close to some one. In the United States culture, we often back up if people crowd us. In group discussions in Western cultures, the distance between people generally runs between eighteen inches and four feet (Lumsden & Lumsden, 1993, p. 225). However, even within cultures, individuals differ in how much space they expect. You may have noticed people putting their coffee cups on one side of them and their folders on another when they first sit at a conference table. This use of markers establishes ...

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