Ability to Communicate

The ability of the small groups to overcome their various differences – ethnic, cultural, academic, social, or other distinguishing differences – in order to focus on the greater goal of the organization is tangential to their ability to communicate as a group. This success becomes even more pronounced as an examination of the contemporary workplace reveals that it is a diverse workplace, where perhaps not all the members of the smaller workgroups have experienced exposure to the variety of cultures, social acclamation, or other experiences beyond their own environments that help them to acquire the communication skills necessary for a diverse workplace or even a diverse community. In these kinds of small groups or even large group settings, there is likely to be some level of stereotyping. That is, says Zalenik and Moment, classifying all new experiences, and especially persons, using symbols learned in the past (Zalenik and Moment 35). Stereotyping relies upon the cues familiar to the individual doing the stereotyping or putting into the classification (Zalenik and Moment 35). The cues say Zalenik and Moment, are usually ones associated with race, ethnic background, socio-economic status, and others (Zalenik and Moment 35). Forcing persons into these limited definitions or categories does not allow for satisfaction on the part of the person(s) being stereotyped, nor does it allow the experience of growth or learning for the person(s) doing the stereotyping (Zalenik and Moment 35).The impact stereotyping has on the group or in an individual’s interpersonal communications will depend upon how willing that individual(s) is to forego stereotyping in lieu of the experience associated with integrating the group with persons of different backgrounds, and coming to know those persons as individuals. Zalenik and Moment point out that stereotyping will be tolerated for an extended period of time (Zalenik and Moment 35). It certainly will not exceed that amount of time in which it is possible to come to know another individual for their individual worth and value as a person, and for the skills and attributes they possess that can enhance the overall group performance.