SIGUCCS 2018 Conference Takeaway – Best Practices for Small Group Communications

Best Practices for Small Groups Communication and Efficiency

Presented by: Ella Tschopik, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Ella Tschopik

Ella gave us some great ways to run meetings and tied in a few workshop-like activities in this presentation. Her presentation immediately followed the opening keynote where we were reminded that the most important skills that a student can learn in college are the soft skills, like communication. Ella’s presentation was a great way to start the conference!

As part of this presentation we learned some best practices for successful meetings, including identifying individual behaviors during group communication. One of the group activities was about observing these in action. We were challenged with answering questions that were clearly opinion answers. It was great to see how we were able to apply some of the tools Ella spoke about during the presentation.

Group dynamics were also discussed and the stages of group development – forming, storming, norming, and performing. The idea that if you have a new project, be sure to give group members time to get to know each other and get to that performing stage.


One of my main takeaways from this presentation is to be thoughtful about meetings. Don’t have a meeting just because it is on the calendar, make sure that there is a purpose and an agenda. Share the agenda ahead of time. And finally focus meetings on things that require in-person participation. – Lisa Brown

Good meetings have: decisions, not updates, action items, an agenda, and topics that we have to come together to talk about . – Laurie Fox