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Forms of Group Communication and Their Aspects

The model or form of group communication affects the effectiveness of group communication. These include task groups, awareness, and meetings. As well as a round table discussion model, symposium, colloquium, and parliamentary procedures. Through this article, it is expected to be able to understand the forms of group communication and its aspects.

Descriptive Group Communication

Group communication experts point to three broad categories of groups, namely task groups, meeting groups, and awareness groups.

A. Task Group (Fisher model): the group goes through four stages, namely:

1. Orientation

Trying to get to know each other, capturing the feelings of others, trying to find roles and status, acts of communication in the form of approval.

2. Conflict

There is an increase in differences between members, there is polarization and controversy between members, and communication acts in the form of disagreements.

3. Appearance

Reducing the level of polarization and dissent, unclear attitudes of opposing members, and communication acts in the form of ambiguous proposals.

4. Affirmation

Members strengthen group consensus, start commenting, reinforce group decisions, the act of communication is positive, and release tension.

5. Stage one, Reliance on Authority

If in the meeting group there is a leader who has been trained but refuses to give direction, a new leader will appear who aims to immediately take over the leadership (first subphase). However, if this has not been achieved, it will begin by forming a coalition of several members to attack the leader while another coalition is formed to defend the leader (second subphase). Rebellion ensues and eventually group members “discover” that they are free to shape their unique structures and experiences (third subphase)

6. Stage two, Dependence on each other

Once the group realizes they are independent, they are immediately fascinated by each other. They believe they have resolved the conflict and are starting to be honest and open with one another. But in the second subphase (disappointment) with earnest efforts to find his true identity. The group split into two coalitions, the first coalition supporting interpersonal openness, the other coalition against it. This is a period of group life that experiences self-growth but is also a period when emotions are drained to the point of causing emotional damage (Jalaluddin Rakhmat, 2008).

Gathering Group (Bennis and Shepherd model)

People enter group gatherings to study the self and the perceptions of others. But group gatherings are not only for self-growth but can also accelerate self-destruction. Group Meetings have two stages, including:

It is a group formed to oppose the commonplace society. Divided into four stages, among others. First, is self-awareness of the New Identity. Second, Group Identity through Polarization. Third, Upholding New Values ​​for the Group

B. Connecting With Other Revolutionary Groups

The awareness group explained how they relate to other oppressed groups who are waging a cultural revolution. The combination of the method of combining total social isolation with the threat of punishment carried out by awareness groups was very effective in causing changes in the social identity of members who played a role in group discussions (Jalaluddin Rakhmat, 2008).

Forms of Group Communication and Their Aspects
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Prescriptive Group Communication

This group communication is used to complete tasks, solve problems, make decisions or generate creative ideas. Prescriptive group communication consists of two groups, namely the format and agenda system.

Group communication is classified into two major groups, namely private and public. The private sector itself consists of meeting groups (therapy groups), study groups, committees, and conferences (meetings). While the public group consists of panels, open interviews (public interviews), forums, and symposiums.

Discussion Format

The word discussion comes from the Latin "discussion" or "discucum" which means the same as exchanging thoughts. In English, the word "discussion" is used which means negotiation or discussion.

Terms of discussion mean negotiations to exchange ideas about a problem, namely wanting to understand a problem, find the cause, and find a way out or a solution. In practice, discussions can be carried out by two, or three people, but can also be carried out by tens, even hundreds of people.

In essence, the discussion is a method for solving problems with a joint thought process, therefore discussion is a cooperative activity or activity that contains certain basic steps and must be obeyed by the whole group.

The discussion is always colored by questions and answers between participants. This provides the widest opportunity for participants to express opinions, add examples and explanations, reject an idea, provide suggestions and responses, and other active participation. On the other hand, participants can also get complete and detailed information about the problems discussed, thus the conclusion of a discussion is the result of shared thoughts (Andi Darmawati, 30/04/2014).

Round Table Discussion

The circular seating arrangement allows a free flow of communication among group members. This arrangement is usually used for discussions of a limited nature. At the round table, there is a communication network of all channels. Among democratic member relations.

This table arrangement facilitates spontaneous participation which is more democratic than the more rigid and authoritative rectangular table arrangement. The round table implies unlimited time and equal opportunity to participate. Round tables are also more informal (Jalaluddin Rakhmat, 2008: 180).


A. Understanding

A symposium is a series of short speeches in front of an audience with a leader. The symposium features several speakers and they present aspects of different views and the same topic. It can also happen, that a topic issue is divided into several aspects, then each aspect is highlighted separately, not necessarily from various points of view.

Speakers in the symposium consist of speakers (main discussants) and proponents (marketing appeals), under the leadership of a moderator. Listeners are allowed to ask questions or opinions after the main discussant and rebuttal have finished speaking. The moderator only coordinates the course of the conversation and forwards questions, objections, or general views from participants. The results of the symposium can be disseminated, especially by the main discussants and supporters, while general views are deemed necessary (Jalaluddin Rakhmat, 2008: 181).


B. Understanding

Panel discussions are a special format in which group members interact, either face-to-face or through a moderator, among themselves and the audience. The seating arrangement places the discussion participants at a rectangular table facing the audience with the moderator sitting in the middle between the two groups participating in the discussion (Cragan and Wright, 1980).

The panelists discussed in such a way that the visitors could follow their conversation. Visitors only function as listeners, therefore such a large number of visitors are considered as a group being taught by a team of teachers. However, the panel should not only be informative teaching but must be able to stimulate the masses' way of thinking by providing various perspectives.
The colloquium is a kind of discussion format that provides an opportunity for audience representatives to ask prepared questions to one or several experts. The colloquium is more formal, which is strictly regulated by the moderator, both from audience questions and answers from experts. Experts are usually only allowed to answer questions and are not allowed to ask questions. In America colloquium is used in open debates among presidential candidates in front of millions of television viewers (Jalaluddin Rakhmat, 208: 183).

Parliamentary Procedure

Is a discussion format that strictly regulates large discussion participants at a certain period when several decisions must be made. Participants must follow the rules and regulations that have been explicitly set. It is designed to fulfill several key objectives, namely:
  1. To enforce the will of the majority without violence, or to suppress the vote of the minority when the majority reaches two-thirds of the assembly.
  2. To force the group to discuss only one issue at a time. The chairman regulates who speaks and excludes members who leave the subject of discussion.
  3. Ensure that members have equal opportunities to participate. Rules are strictly enforced so that the council can find out who can speak, for how long, and how many times (Prima, 30/04/2014).
Jalaluddin Rakhmat, Communication Psychology, Bandung, PT Teen Rosdakarya, 2008.
Cragan and Wright, Communications in Small Group Discussion, New York, West Publishing Company, 1980.