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The group chose to address on the designated driver program. This is a safety initiative program that involves selecting a person in a team to be the driver while the others may be allowed to drink. This is intended to be a safe alternative to driving under the influence of alcohol. This concept was used on large scale in the United States in 1998, initiated by the Harvard School of Public Health, Centre for Health Communication (Greenberg & Martin, A., 2005, p. 198).

The group has been meeting over the last six weeks to discuss on various issues. Among them are results from the various research works that has been undertaken. During this time, the group has made great success although it has met various challenges on its way. Group analysis is an important process and in any group and involves the detailed description of the group based on various aspects such as research activities, members participation, members contribution, attendance of meetings, group organization, chairing of meetings and the decision making process. Weaknesses and challenges are part of life and the weaknesses outlined in the analysis serve as the future strategies to make the group stronger.

Research taking

Research was crucial for the group so as to determine the impact of the designated driver program. Much of the research involved interviewing individuals on various issues regarding the program. Such issues included the awareness of the public on designated driver program, usage of the program, its impact on reducing deaths caused by drunk drivers and the suggestion of the public towards improving on the program if necessary. As such research was mainly done through interviews and questionnaires.

However, not many of the group members were ready to travel and carry out the interview. Moreover, some members did not posses proper communication skills so as to carry out the research. Research work was however carried out successfully since the group decided to allocate some specific duties according to the ability of members to carry out the assignments. For instance, members who could not carry out research were given some other duties like note taking and compilation of the research reports.

Membership participation

Participation of the members was highly encouraging as members contributed freely towards the group discussions. Work was divided according to the members’ ability to carry out the tasks allocated to them. At the initial stages of the group planning stage, all the members were involved in planning how the group would carry out all its meetings and activities. For instance, activities were outlined and members volunteered to carry out the various activities.

Members’ attendance

Meetings were attended properly although there were some regular. Some absentees sent apologies while others did not do so. However, there was no action taken against the regular absentees and to those who did not sent apologies and this contributed to more members following suite. This resulted to the group undergo a shortage of members and the group experienced some hardships especially when it wanted to make decisions and at times of poor attendance.

As a recommendation, attendance lists should be forwarded to the lecturer. The lecturer should then request that the absent students present reasons for failing to attend meetings. If these members fail to present genuine reasons, they then should be punished by scoring less in the unit undertaken. This, I believe will help force members to always attend all meetings and the decision making process of groups will be improved.

Group organization

The group was well organized at all meetings that were held and in all activities held by the group. The various people taking various responsibilities were well organized. For example, those chairing the meetings were always organized and the meetings took place in organized manners. For instance in all meetings, agendas were circulated in advance, all notes were taken and minutes latter written. The plans of the group were well organized and all activities carried out according to the plan. Moreover, meetings always took place at the planned time and venue and at many times, the meetings ended on time.

Decision making

At times, decision making was done at ease and quickly but other times it was not easy. These difficult times came when a number of members were not present or when the group was stuck in difficult times. Whichever the case, decisions were made. Sometimes it could involve postponing the issue or giving assignments to the members. At some instances, the chair of the meeting could ask the members to come with their views about some issues when they came for the following meetings. Some members of the groups however remained quiet during decision making times and this lead to prolonged time taken to make decisions.

Chairing meetings

Various members had effective meeting chairing skills. This made meetings to run smoothly. Some members however, were not able to chair the meetings properly which made meetings to take longer than necessary. Also the smoothness of the meetings depended very much on how well the chairs headed the meetings. At some times, meetings had to be rushed up since the chair of the meeting had some other appointments to make after the meeting.

Contribution

Not all members were ready to contribute towards the group, either personally or intellectually. In more demanding tasks such as research, very few members were ready to contribute. In the meetings as well, a number of members remained quiet and did not contribute towards the discussions that were ongoing. However, most of the members contributed regardless of whether other members contributed or not and this was encouraging as it saved the group during various situations of hardships. At some times, all members were forced to contribute by making everyone to contribute about an issue under discussion. This involved giving all the members the challenge to think and contribute towards an issue. This however took more time but better decisions were made much easier.

Research work basically involved interviewing through questionnaires and oral interviews. The group decided to use this method since questionnaires could be easily prepared and presented to the correspondents while oral interviews could be easily carried out. Moreover, the group focused on the possibility of obtaining data quickly. By use of this mode of doing their research, the group risked the possibility that the correspondents gave the wrong information.

However, for this problem, it could be recommended to use some videos and cameras. These could be placed in certain pubs that support designated driver programs. By doing this, the group could obtain first hand information about the usage of the designated driver program. The designated drivers should not be given alcohol; rather they are given plenty of alcohol free drinks that they take as their colleagues take alcohol. The videos and cameras would then capture whether everybody in the team takes bear or not.

These questionnaires were taken by group members to various respondents and they filled. However, the group was not sure whether the respondents gave the correct information since respondents may give biased information.

The oral interview was done by some members of the group to some selected correspondents, including drivers, general public and pub owners. Telephone calls were also made to certain pub owners and interview conducted over the phone. However, the group was still unsure of the truth of the information given by the respondents since respondents may fear about the privacy of the interview.

The group went through various difficulties as it was carrying out its activities and meeting. Various improvements need to be done to avoid such problems in the future.

At times, the group fell short of members to make decisions. This resulted from the absenteeism of the members. To avoid such a scenario happening in the future, strict measure should be taken against members who fail to attend meetings without genuine reasons. Even more strict measures should be taken against those who regularly fail to attend meetings. Such measures, for example, could involve submitting the list of attendance to the lecturer. The lecture then deals with the absentees accordingly. This prevents them from failing to attend in the future while it shall still act as a warning to any other member who plans to fail to attend a meeting.

Not all members agreed to carry out various activities like the research work. This left the group with a few members to take up the responsibility. As such, the research activity took long. To avoid this in the future, all members should be made to participate in group activities. This can be carried out fairly if done through balloting. Activities are written on papers and the members then pick the papers and are then allocated the task in the paper.

Some members remained quiet during crucial times of the group. Such times included decision making times. As such, decisions were made over prolonged times making group activities to take longer. Members should be encouraged to participate by asking each member to contribute his views about an issue.

The small group experience has been of benefit. First, it gave members a chance to participate towards group activities. There were various activities that the members took part in that it gave them experience. Secondly, the small group gave each member an opportunity to lead the group. This was so because every member was given a chance to chair a meeting over the six weeks. As such members learnt on how to lead groups.

Moreover, the members could learn from their fellow colleagues. Some members did not posses good leadership skills but they learnt from their mistakes after observing how their fellow members led the meetings. Of great importance is that this group offered experience to the members on various aspects as leading, planning, carrying out various activities and on interacting with the others.

Code: Sample20

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