Communication in groups

Some ideas to help maintain Creativity in group discussions.

By Ian Currie, Creative Engagement

The very nature of creative discussions is to keep exploring new possibilities from different points of view so ideas continue flowing. Taking care of this continual process of idea generation and mutual stimulation in a group is very important.

There are particular approaches, guidelines and skills which help keep ideas evolving in a group.

Some helpful guidelines in group communication

Agree some basic guidelines,

  • Only one person speaking at a time,
  • No side conversations while someone is speaking
  • No barging in while someone is speaking.
  • Keep the thread of continuity of the topic.

Choose a general area or topic which you all want to explore.

  • If it’s not clear what the topic is from the beginning give each person a chance to say or write down a general area of interest to collaborate on.
  • Depending on the time available choose one or more topics to open up.

Agree that everyone has responsibility to regulate the discussion,

  • Take personal responsibility for being involved, avoid being a spectator.
  • Speak up when someone heads off from the agreed general topic.
  • Act quickly to come back to the topic

Skills for keeping communication creative

Keep the topic moving forward; The process of creative collaboration is based on being able to keep a momentum of free flowing communication going. Keep things moving and flowing.

  • If the conversation is going round in circles or has polarised between two opposing points of view bring it to everyone’s attention.
  • Use language which moves things forward rather than stultifying the momentum.
  • When you finish talking make it easy for the next person to pick the topic up.
  • Give space for others to add to what has been said .
  • If you are resistant to the group process find ways of becoming involved.

Have a broad approach to the topic.

  • Include practical, rational, imaginative and ethical perspectives when exploring a topic.
  • Use imagery and metaphor as well as concepts.
  • Keep the language precise and descriptive.
  • Question the idea when it goes against your values.

Creative Commons Licence
skills of creative collaboration by Ian Currie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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