Type
Solution Manual
Book Title
Business Communication: Building Critical Skills 6th Edition
ISBN 13
978-0073403267

978-0073403267 Chapter 18 Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises

April 6, 2019
0
Module 18 - Working and Writing in Teams
Module 18
Working and Writing in Teams
LO 18-1 Identify message types for the group’s attention.
LO 18-2 Classify roles for group members.
LO 18-3 Apply strategies for leadership without arrogance.
LO 18-4 Apply strategies for conflict resolution.
LO 18-5 Apply strategies for co-authorship of documents.
Module Overview
Few, if any, jobs today allow employees to work in complete isolation. As Module 18 suggests,
it’s likely that at least part of an employee’s job duties will include working and writing in teams.
In many organizations, teams are the norm for conducting daily business rather than the
exception.
For many people, working with others is desirable, but not everyone succeeds when working
with a team. Sometimes, personality conflicts interfere with a group’s functioning properly, but
in other cases problems occur because not everyone understands his or her role as a group
member or the norms and boundaries for behavior. Such negative experiences can discourage
people from wanting to continue with the team or to work with teams in the futureCsome of your
students may fall into this group.
Share with students that conflicts can also arise due to cultural differences. Not everyone shares
the same values or norms for behavior, and groups that fail to recognize cultural differences may
have problems. (For more information, students should consult the principles for successfully
working with people from different cultures that are described in Module 3.)
The benefits of working with teams far outweigh any problems members may encounter.
Module 18 shows strategies to help students make their teams as efficient and problem-free as
possible.
Team members can help ensure the success of their team by setting ground rules early. The rules
should be explicit, explaining boundaries and expectations and should be communicated to all
members of the group. Figure 18.1 (p. 298) gives examples of possible ground rules.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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Module 18 - Working and Writing in Teams
Teaching Tip: Ask working students to share their experiences while working on a
team. What were their successes? Which experiences could have been better? Did
the teams set ground rules early? Did everyone understand them? What would the
students do the same if they were to be on a team now? What would they do
differently?
Teaching Tip: If any students have served in the military, ask them to describe how
their branch of service may have emphasized teamwork. How important is
teamwork to the military? What steps does the military take to ensure that teamwork
happens? What’s at stake if teamwork fails? What elements of successful teamwork
translate to the civilian world? Alternatively, ask students who are athletes to
describe the value of working as a team. How do coaches and team members
maintain a sense of cohesion among the members of the team?
What’s in This Supplement
This supplement is organized around the major questions posed in Module 19. It covers
Part 1: Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises Page 297
Part 2: Answers to Textbook Assignments Page 308
Part 3: Appendixes of Handouts/Transparency Masters Page 311
PowerPoint presentations can be found at our Web page at www.mhhe.com/bcs6e.
Questions (with answers) suitable for quizzes are in the Instructors Test Bank. For student
practice quizzes with answers, see our Web page.
Part 1: Key Lecture Points, Teaching Tips, and In-Class Exercises
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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Module 18 - Working and Writing in Teams
What kinds of messages should groups attend to? LO 18-1
Different messages are appropriate at different points in a group’s development.
Group messages fall into three basic categories (illustrated on PP 18-4):
Informational
Teaching Tip: Have students read or review the discussion on
informative and positive messages in Module 10.
Procedural
Interpersonal
Teaching Tip: A key to developing good interpersonal communication skills is to
first develop good listening skills. Have students read or review the principles in
Module 17.
Groups normally don’t work “right out of the box,” but instead develop
over time. As they develop, they pass through distinct stages. As PP 18-5
and PP 18-6 show, these stages include
Orientation
Formation
Coordination
Formalization
Teaching Tip: Have students share for 10 minutes experiences
working in groups where one or more of these stages did not
work. What went wrong? Did the group bypass any of the
stages and that led to problems? How can group members
check to make sure that when a stage is reached, the group
addresses important related issues?
In-Class Exercise: Have students brainstorm for 10 minutes what they can do when
the team will exist only for a short amount of time—perhaps meeting only once. If
the stages will happen quickly, what steps can group members take to help make sure
that the meeting is successful?
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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Module 18 - Working and Writing in Teams
What roles do people play in groups? LO 18-2
Roles can be positive or negative.
In order for groups to work, the members have to take an active role in the maintenance of its
cohesion. When employees work with people they know—especially their friends—this may be
easy. However, when working with relative strangers, group members must be particularly
vigilant to prevent problems. Perhaps the best way to deal with problems is to try to prevent
them before they occur.
Therefore, as PP 18-7 shows, team members should
Seek information and opinions.
Give information and opinions.
Teaching Tip: Ask students to share for 10 minutes
experiences where someone either inquired about or gave
information inappropriately. (They don’t have to limit themselves to business
situations; social occasions, such as parties, are also acceptable.) What did that
person do incorrectly? What was it about tone, language, or message content that
seemed inappropriate? Had the person asked or offered information differently,
would the student have responded differently? What specifically could the other
person have said or done?
Summarize.
In-Class Exercise: Have students in groups of 3-5 spend 10-15 minutes
summarizing the same recent newspaper or magazine article. Choose an article that
is long enough to challenge students but not one that uses a great deal of jargon or
technical information. Afterward, have students share their summaries—which
summary does the class think is the best? Why?
Evaluate.
Teaching Tip: As students probably learned in their composition courses, in order to
evaluate, writers must first establish criteria—tangible qualities or features that can
be measured. Have students brainstorm for 10 minutes what kind of criteria can be
used during the evaluation stage. Do criteria remain the same or should they change
from team to team?
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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Module 18 - Working and Writing in Teams
Coordinate.
In addition, as PP 18-8 also shows, members should assume roles that help
build group loyalty:
Encouraging participation
Relieving tensions
Checking feelings
Solving interpersonal problems
Listening actively
Teaching Tip: Ask students to share experiences where they believe that someone
used one of the aforementioned techniques effectively. They do not have to limit
their examples to team projects. For instance, someone may have checked for
feelings when the student emailed or telephoned to complain about poor customer
service. What was it the person did effectively? What specific words or tone did the
other person use?
However, as PP 18-9 shows, negative roles can hurt the group’s product
and process. These include
Blocking
Dominating
Teaching Tip: Sometimes people who dominate groups or
conversations claim simply that they have “strong personalities.” Ask students if
that excuses behaving in ways that are counterproductive to making everyone in the
group feel that they can participate. What can group members do to help dominators
understand that their behavior may be inappropriate?
Clowning
Teaching Tip: Most people appreciate humor and light-heartedness in situations that
can otherwise be tense. Yet, sometimes things get out of hand. Ask students to
explain the difference between humor that is appropriate and humor that is “too
much.” How do people know? How can they encourage people who clown around
to behave appropriately? What should they do when that person does not want to?
Withdrawing
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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Module 18 - Working and Writing in Teams
In-Class Exercise: Have students complete Exercise 18.15 (p. 311), with
particular attention to any members exhibiting withdrawing behaviors.
Alternatively, assign this exercise as homework, having students analyze a
group at work or at an on-campus organization.
Contrary to some opinion, leadership in groups does not mean simply
giving orders. In fact, effective leaders follow behaviors that parallel the
three group dimensions as described on PP 18-10 and PP 18-11:
Informational Leadership
Interpersonal Leadership
Procedural Leadership
While one person could take on all responsibilities as the leader, group
members may find it advantageous to divide these responsibilities among
more than one person. Some groups even rotate responsibilities among
members.
Characteristics of successful groups include
Setting clear deadlines, scheduling frequent meetings, and dealing directly with
conflict.
Listening to criticism and making important decisions together.
Having a high proportion of members work together on the project.
Groups that don’t experience conflict aren’t necessarily working well. In
fact, groupthink—the tendency for groups to put such a high premium on
agreement that they punish dissent—often demonstrates poor group
dynamics. Therefore, groups should assess their dynamics, avoiding
groupthink where possible. As PP18-15 shows, ways for groups to avoid
groupthink include:
Consciously search for additional alternatives.
Test assumptions against those of a range of other people.
Encourage disagreement, perhaps even assigning someone to be “devil’s
advocate.”
Protect the right of people in a group to disagree.
Teaching Tip: Students sometimes believe groupthink is desirable; after all, everyone
is in agreement, aren’t they? Ask students to discuss the problems that can occur
from groupthink. Why should it be avoided? What long-term problems can
overshadow short-term benefits, if any?
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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Module 18 - Working and Writing in Teams
Leading without being arrogant LO 18-3
Leading always invites a certain amount of distance between the leader and those being lead, and
one of the best strategies to limit that distance is to avoid being arrogant.
Sometimes when groups form, no one wants to “lead.” Perhaps that’s
because we’ve seen “leaders” who seemed dictatorial, implied that no
one else’s work would be up to their high standards, and generally
antagonized the people unfortunate enough to have to work with them.
PP 18-12 lists characteristics of successful student groups.
PP 18-13 shows good food for thought on how to avoid being arrogant
while leading. You don’t have to be arrogant to be a leader. Here are
some things that you can do to get your group started on the right track:
Smile
Share
Suggest
Think
Volunteer
Ask
Teaching Tip: Have students share their positive experiences with good leadership,
in particular focusing on leaders who were effective at helping manage projects that
were successful. What were the traits of these leaders? How did others respond to
their leadership? Create a master plan of techniques that leaders can use from your
students’ responses.
How should we handle conflict? LO 18-4
Get at the real issue, and repair bad feelings.
Conflicts arise in any group. While conflict doesn’t necessarily signal problems sometimes from
conflicts come meaningful solutions. Unresolved conflicts can create problems for groups. As
PP 18-16 shows, members can reduce conflicts by
Making responsibilities and ground rules clear at the
beginning.
Discussing problems as they arise.
Realizing that group members are not responsible for
each others’ happiness.
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manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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Module 18 - Working and Writing in Teams
Teaching Tip: Ask students to share for 10-15 minutes experiences they’ve had with
conflict in a group. What prompted the conflict? What behaviors did the people in
disagreement demonstrate? Which were positive behaviors? Negative behaviors?
Was the conflict resolved? How? If it was resolved, was the solution the best one
possible for everyone involved? Why or why not?
In-Class Exercise: If you are in a computer-equipped classroom, have students use
the Internet to research and write a 1- to 2-page memo report on conflict resolution.
What resources exist to help them (e.g., web pages, manuals, consulting firms, etc.)?
What is the cost of conflict in the workplace, in terms of time, resources, and
employee turnover? What issues of security and personal safety arise from poor
conflict resolution? If you are in a traditional classroom, consider assigning this
exercise as homework.
Figure 18.2 (p. 303) shows a checklist for troubleshooting group problems.
When problems do arise, members can follow the steps on PP 18-18 to
resolve them:
1. Make sure that the people involved really disagree.
2. Check to see that everyone’s information is correct.
3. Discover the needs each person is trying to meet.
4. Search for alternatives.
5. Repair bad feelings.
Teaching Tip: Have students share experiences on the job or in school where conflict
arose in the group. What steps did members take to resolve conflict? How
successful were they? What was the ultimate cost to the group from the conflict?
Did anything positive come from the conflict?
As shown on PP 18-19, when someone offers criticism, a group member
can respond by
Paraphrasing.
Checking for feelings.
Checking inferences.
Buying time with limited agreement.
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manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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Module 18 - Working and Writing in Teams
Members can also use you-attitude in conflict resolution by using I statements instead of you
statements, which often feel like an attack to the person hearing them.
Teaching Tip: Have students read or review information on you-attitude in Module
6, especially on exceptions to using you in certain situations.
How can we create the best co-authored documents? LO 18-5
Talk about your purposes and audience(s).
Discuss drafts and revisions as a group.
Collaborative writing is common in the workplace. As the text describes, Ede and Lunsford have
shown that 87% of 700 professionals in seven fields responded to a survey that they sometimes
wrote as members of a team or group. Even when a writer completes a document by him or
herself, chances are someone else will review the document before it’s published and offer
suggestions or changes to the writer that ultimately affect the document.
Collaboration is prompted by a variety of situations: a task is too big or
time too short for one person to complete it; no one person has all the
knowledge to do the task; a group representing different perspectives
must reach consensus, or the stakes are so high that the organization
wants the best efforts of as many people as possible. PP 18-20 provides
some strategies for creating the best co-authored documents.
Collaborative writing is composed of four stages:
Planning the Work and the Document
Composing the Drafts
Revising the Document
Editing and Proofreading the Document
Teaching Tip: For additional information on planning, writing, and revising
documents, have students read or review Module 4. For information on editing and
proofreading, have them read or review Unit 4.
When writing a collaborative document, writers should pay attention to
all of the techniques for group communication and conflict resolution
described in this module. Further, as PP 18-21 shows, they should
Allow time to discuss problems and find solutions.
Get to know group members.
Be a responsible group member.
Be aware of differences in seeing things and expressing ideas.
Remember that oral agreement may not lead to a strong written document.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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Module 18 - Working and Writing in Teams
In-Class Exercise: Have students complete Exercise 18.10 (p. 309) in groups of 3-5
students each. Afterward, have groups compare their solutions, electing which
solution works best. Have them explain why.
Last Word: Encourage your students to work and (where ethical) collaborate with as
many people from different backgrounds as possible while in school. Opportunities
to experience diversity there will help them when working with people from different
backgrounds in the workplace. As team approaches become more commonplace in
the work world—and business in general becomes more global—students who have
these skills will have a distinct advantage over those who don’t.
© 2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any
manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.
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