Group communication refers to the interaction between members of a small group of individuals. Quality communication leads to effective group decision making and project completion. Sociologists study group communication in work and social groups.
Group communication applies to groups containing between three and 20 people. Communication between two people is a dialog, and larger groups are unable to use group communication effectively. Quality group communication involves a facilitator and group members with a sense of belonging, common goals and mutual respect. Both verbal and nonverbal communication are components of group communication.
Successful group communication is essential in a business environment. Many variables come into play, starting with the seating arrangement. A circular seating arrangement allows all group members to make eye contact and interact with all other members. This forms the foundation for a web network style of communication, with all group members sharing ideas with each other. Sociologists find this type of group communication arrangement to be the most effective for generating ideas, making decisions and solving problems.
When the primary purpose of a group is to share information, an alternate arrangement is preferable. This form of group communication starts with a seating arrangement that emphasizes the group leader: for example a long table with the leader at one end. The leader presents information, and group members give feedback.