Interpersonal Leadership: Communication
“Group Communication: Processes and Practices” (SL#50)
by Lloyd Elder, Th.D., adapted from SkillTrack® 7.3 - Interpersonal Communication

1. Group Communication Process

Communication has to do with the content of the meeting but also with the process; that is, how does the group function to carry out its purpose? Group communication processes effectively practiced add to clear outcomes. Consider the following six communication processes and reflect on your usual practice:

2. Group Meeting Communication Practices

Now, let’s take a look at small-group meeting practices and tasks that encourage effective communication. You should be able to laugh at yourself (or cry), and you should be able to affirm many of your practices. Which ones are now “under construction”?

3. Another Thought on Small Group Communications

Really there are two sides to this closing thought on interpersonal communications in small groups/teams--the positive and the negative.

From a positive viewpoint, many of the practices of person-to-person communications and written format could be adapted to small group meetings, such as:

Although it may seem to be negative, let’s face it: if dysfunctional group members were led to follow effective communication practices, the group/team could pursue its goals more successfully. The team leader, even the whole group, may need to employ some special techniques to turn this negative into a positive. The abstract below contains valuable techniques by Guffey that may be used to assess your group’s practices.

For Reflection/Assessment/Application
If you take an inventory of your group communication processes and practices, what would your profile prove to be? Do you need to guide improvements within your team? Specifically, where do you start?

© 2006; hosted and copyrighted by Lloyd Elder & Associates, Inc.
For full citation of referenced works, see Bibliography/Links at
Adapted by Lloyd Elder, Th.D., Founding Director, Moench Center for Church Leadership


Study Abstract: “Handling Dysfunctional Group Members”
Abstract prepared by Lloyd Elder from: Business Communication, Guffey, pp. 57-58

When individuals are performing in any of the dysfunctional roles described earlier (such as blocker, attacker, joker, and withdrawer), they should be handled with care and tact through techniques of a leader or gatekeeper:

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