Process of Group Discussion
The company offers a wide range of fitness-related products and services. Fitness products fall into three main categories: fitness equipment for home use (recumbent bikes, stairclimbers, treadmills etc.), nutrition supplements, and sports clothes. These categories of products are imported from the most reputable manufacturers and sold at the shop in the fitness center.
As for services offered by the company, they also can be divided into two categories: sport and wellness. Sport-related facilities include a gym, a swimming pool, and a tennis court. Wellness facilities include a solarium, a spa, massage, and a sauna (both a Finnish sauna and a Turkish hammam). Yoga, pilates, and aerobics classes are offered by qualified instructors.
Since the company is located in the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, the competition is fairly intense. However, a competitive edge over other fitness companies is achieved through high-quality services, diversity of offerings, and a variety of customer loyalty programs. The majority of fitness centers in Riyadh are run by (and located in) different hotels, which means that local population often remains underserved. However, the company is oriented at both local and foreign population, excluding tourists, e.g. permanent staff of diplomatic missions. The staff speaks both English and Arabic.
Taking cultural and religious considerations into account, the company operates separate fitness facilities for males and females. There are very few independent fitness facilities that admit both males and females. It offers an advantage to families without violating strict cultural and religious codes.
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In the process of group discussion, it is very important to establish clear-cut rules of procedure. These rules should be subject to discussion by all group members; once established, everyone (including the group leader) should observe them carefully. Thus, it might be helpful to work out several rules and guidelines for group discussion, e.g. that only group leader is allowed to call votes.
It is also important to establish an agenda at the beginning of every meeting and allocate a certain amount of time for every issue on the table. In this case, none of the members will have an impression that the discussion is going astray or fails to move forward. It is of paramount importance for the group leader to meet these time targets.
If the formalization of the discussion process does not help and one of the group members is trying to take control, there are a number of psychological techniques to deal with such a situation. For instance, group leader should stand behind the back of a group member who tries to take control — in such a situation, the person in question psychologically feels the power of the leader’s authority and abstain from aggressive behavior.
In an extreme situation, it is possible to bring the issue to the attention of the whole group. If all the members agree that calling votes too early undermines the process of group discussion, that member will realize that his perceived assistance is not helpful. Since this member evidently has leadership aspirations and wants to be respected by his colleagues, s/he will cease to behave that way.