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The Art and Science of Communication: Tools for Effective Communication in the Workplace by Les Brown, P.S. Perkins

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Chapter 4. Small-Group/Organizational Communication

"A threefold cord is not easily broken."

Ecclesiastes 4:12

TO GROUP OR NOT TO GROUP... THAT IS THE QUESTION

I recently engaged in a conversation with a college student who shared her absolute disdain for group projects because there are always "the strong students and the weak students, and the harder-working students have to shoulder the burden of the weaker ones. It's not fair!" This was a reoccurring chorus from many individuals required to take the Small-Group Communication class. I told the student, "Yes, there will be stronger and weaker contributors in a group, but I do not agree that it's not fair to require this type of group work." She looked at me with this look of "what planet did you come from?" I continued, "When you are working for a company that has a variety of departments dependent on one another to create a complete product, you are only as valuable as your contribution to the whole. Can you make the company successful alone?" Interestingly enough, though Small-Group Communication was always the smallest of my classes, it was also one of the most impacting. Individuals shed tears when it was time to part. They had come to understand the value and joy of working with others. Exactly how do we get things done in a society where individuals are hyperindividualistic, highly competitive, and fearful of working with others?

This is not an uncommon discussion when dealing with the subject of teamwork. Out of the Los Angeles ...

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