When you participate in group discussions, it important to realize that the other members may not share the same views as you. In fact, they may come from a different cultural or ethnic background. Generally, the members of the group will have one of two communication styles, and these are introverted and extroverted.
The members who have an extroverted communication form will be outspoken, and will create their thoughts quickly. They may not function well in group discussions that are too quiet.
A member who has an introverted communication form will think quietly. They will often listen to what the other members have to say before making a statement. They enjoy being in group discussions where silent periods are allowed. It is important for all the members of the group discussion to understand these two communication styles, and it is also important for the leader to understand them as well. Both sides need to be properly balanced. It may also be helpful for those with a set style to move out of their comfort zones and try using the opposite communication style. To do this, introverted people will want to be more vocal about their thoughts, and members who are extroverted will want to silently formulate thoughts within their minds.
In many group discussions, the members will designate tasks to other members based on their gender. However, it may be helpful to experiment. Most people choose to use the communication style that they are most comfortable with. Taking on a role that you don't have experience in will allow you to learn. Because the members of a group discussion may come from different cultures, communication can be challenging. People who live in other countries will use a communicate in a way that may be different from your own country. Some of the differences in communication that you will see among cultures are varying levels of bluntness, assertiveness, and direct or indirect conversation.
A discussion group will work well when all the members understand the differences that will exist in communication for different cultures. These differences should be valued, and the members should be able to effectively communicate with each other even if they have cultural differences in their communication style. If you work hard to get across your point of view without taking the time to listen to others, you may become frustrated. At the same time, you will not help your group if you just quickly go with the flow without stating your own opinion or suggestions. You must find a balance between the two.
The best way for a group to communicate is to hold a discussion that will allow them to share all the views of the members. Once they do this, they will move towards reaching their goal, and they will also learn things about each other. As you read this article, you may wander if you are participating in group discussions correctly. To find the answer to this question, I will present a number of questions to you. Did you contribute knowledge to the discussion? Did you ask open-ended questions? Did you assist the group in a creating a summary of its progression? The answers that you give to these questions will determine how well you did.
If you find that you are answering most of these questions with a "no," this is a sign that you will need improve in some areas. The best way to improve your participation in group discussion is to do all the things that were asked in the questions. Ask open-ended questions, assist the group in progressing towards a goal, and add information to the discussion as much as you can. When all the members of a group do these things, the group discussion will be successful. It is always important to make sure you recognize the cultural and communication differences of other members. Instead of alienating people who are different from you, take the time to view things from their perspective. In order for group discussion to be useful, everyone must have an open mind.
It is also important to learn how to deal with or avoid conflict. Conflict is something that is best to avoid before it occurs, because dealing with it is more difficult. If conflict and a lack of communication exists within a group, the group discussion will not be successful.