Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Teamwork, Skills, Team, Learning, Culture, Community, England, People

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/11/18

REFLECTIVE REPORT ON INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND GROUP ASSIGNMENTS

Introduction
This writing assignment will involve a critical review of my learning experience and how I attained important skills and competencies that are relevant to professional development and career building. To this end, this report will critically analyse and review important experiences I had that contributed to some relevant skills and abilities. And the events of importance in this are the group activities I participated in during the period. I will analyse aspects from the journal I kept and updated. Relevant events that I will cover include presentation from week 10 of semester 1, negotiations from week 2 of semester 2 and a debate from week 3 of semester 2. Issues of interest that will be discussed in this paper include teamwork and learning styles that I noticed in the period within which this exercise occurred

Background

Education is an investment. It involves spending money to learn something worthwhile that will add up to your abilities and capabilities as an individual. And at the end of it all, education’s worth is a function of the benefits you reap as an improved and better person over your lifetime. This is can be assessed over the lifetime of an individual.
I had several options of getting educated. However, I found that a British education guaranteed me better opportunities due to its reputation and also gave me the chance to learn more critical and thorough items. Amongst other things, studying in Britain also gives me the chance to learn not only the British culture but the culture of many people.
Gallagher identifies that one of the most central and important skills that one needs is the ability to communicate appropriately in different situations and different contexts. Thus, I saw the ability to work in groups as some kind of experimental situation whereby I could learn and understand the most important ways and the most important techniques to communicate and understand the way things are done and best results could be attained in a situation where management of people and the achievement of resources were concerned.
Thus, the exercises included the preparation of a presentation as a group which I led. The second was a mock negotiation situation where a practical exercise was done and finally, a two-sided debate on a topic relating to chocolate consumption.

Since I was raised in an Arab culture, I thought things were going to be complicated because most of the members of the teams I found myself in were of other cultural origins and background. A mentor of mine recommended some books about culture and I read some of them. The most famous book I found was the work of Geert Hofstede who said that people’s mindset was arranged like a computer and the culture within which they grew was like software that ran their brains. And this caused variations in five main areas which included:

Individualism Versus Collectivism

Power-Distance
Masculinity Versus Feminity;
Long-term orientation and
Uncertainty avoidance
Therefore, I went into the team understanding that I was from a collectivised cultural system, where power distances were large and society was mainly masculine with high uncertainty avoidance rates. I expected the opposite from my colleagues from Eurocentric countries.
In the beginning of each group I joined, I was sceptical. I always looked out for one individual that stood out and assessed his views by cross-checking any fact he put across. This way, I could establish some degree of credibility and know who to trust and who not to trust.
In the first group, all of us seemed to be suspicious of each other. We were all timid until one individual showed up and this individual seemed to know a lot of things and was very confident. He brought us to understand things and build a lot of skills and confidence in order to put together the presentation.
Under Belbin’s classifications, this individual who inspired us and led us could be considered as a coordinator who managed to identify and deduce what was to be done and also delegated work to all members of the team. Additionally, his role could be seen as a shaper under Belbin’s team roles. And based on his competency and humility, we were able to complete a lot of tasks and get things in a structured way.
Personally, when I saw that most of the things of the shaper were right, I began to trust him and I began to contribute to the group much more positively by becoming a monitor evaluator and specialist as per the team roles of Belbin. A monitor-evaluator tends to ask questions and ask the group members to think and rethink on every pointer that ought to be modified. Also, a specialist focuses on certain aspects of the work that ought to be done and this leads to asking detailed questions about critical aspects of the tasks. I did that on a lot of occasion and there were many times I had disagreements with members of the team on important pointers.
There was another member of the team who grew up in a developing country who acted as a team-worker and he just followed instructions and abstained from taking a front role since he wanted to avoid being delegated with the duty of presenting it.
In the second and third events, things were much faster and I became more of a passive observer. This is because I did not want to take up a leading role until I settled down to understand important concepts and ideas. However, I spent more time analysing things independently. In the end I took up the role of a passive monitor evaluator and specialist in those two processes.
I am a sceptical person and in the negotiations, I spent a long time finding issues and poison pills in car negotiations as well as problems and matters with the debates when we did it. It was rigorous but I learnt how to bargain and also make eye contacts in the process. Although I did not really argue much due to my passive status, I asked a few critical and thorough questions that were relevant to the improvement of the processes.
In the debate, it came to the fore that there was the need for clear skills and appropriate evaluation of matters. Our team was effective but we took a lot of time to blend and become a unit.

In Tuckman’s model, he says most team develop after going through four main stages:

Forming
Storming
Norming
Performing
In the forming stage, the team is put together but in most cases, there are conflicts and disagreements - that is the storming stage. I think that is where I get challenges and disagreements. Then there is the norming stage where we all get used to each other and I gain their respect. Then there is the performing stage where we put our plans together.

Learning Style

Honey and Mumford identified four main types of learning: Activist, Reflector, Theorist and Pragmatist. Personally, I learnt from the projects that I am able to understand things better if I stand back, listen, analyse what I hear and ask questions and share and re-share my perceptions with others. I always asked questions and I demanded answers in critical issues and matters that I found unusual or a bit strange. Some of the people found it offensive, but I found that I was a reflector under the Honey and Mumford model.
Kolb deduced that people sought to conceptualise by analysing facts and coming up with a view about it. This model was reinterpreted and integrated into the Honey and Mumford model to describe a reflector. A reflector is one that uses reflective observation by accommodating new ideas and new thoughts internalising them and asking critical and important questions before they are accepted. From my experiences I identify that I am better off by asking questions and trying to find meaning.
Also, my sceptical attribute and my normal life of thinking other people might have a different view of me meant that for all three projects, I had to ensure that I could prove everyone wrong and I had to select people I could trust from those I could not. This caused me to ask many questions and adopt a sceptical attitude towards learning. Thus, it was only things I could reflect on and objectively identify to be accurate that I internalised.

Conclusion

The enabled me to identify that I am a questioner and a sceptic in most roles I found in the projects. Through the approach of sceptical questioning, every group I joined was properly critiqued and our projects always came out right. I also learnt from the projects that I am a reflector in terms of learning. This is because I had a sceptical attitude and I always had to sort through different forms of information in order to identify what was best for me. This caused me to understand that I gain some kind of inner peace after I am able to decipher different forms of information and select the best and the most accurate piece of information. The approach helped me to lead groups and also carry out various kinds of activities. I have thus adopted this style of learning and will want to learn as a reflector.

Bibliography

Belbin, M., 2010. Management Teams. London: Routledge.
Buzzetto-More, N., 2012. Principles of Effective Online Teaching. London: Informing Science Press.
Dawn, T., Harkin, J. & Turner, G., 2013. Teaching Young Adults: A Handbook for Teachers in Post-Compulsory Education. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.
Gallagher, K., 2013. Skills Development for Business and Management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hofstede, G., 2008. Software of the Mind. 3rd ed. New York: FT Press.
Landale, A., 2013. Gower Handbook of Training and Development. 4th ed. Surrey: Gower.
Moran, I. T., Harris, P. R. & Moran, S. V., 2010. Managing Cultural Differences: Global Leadership Strategies for Cross. London: Routledge.
Riding, R. J. & Rayner, S., 2014. Self Perception. 3rd ed. Darby, PA: Greenwood Publishing.
Sims, R. R. & Sims, S. J., 2013. The Importance of Learning Styles:. 4th ed. London: SAGE.

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WePapers. (2020, November, 18) Sample Essay On Teamwork. Retrieved May 27, 2024, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/sample-essay-on-teamwork/
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Sample Essay On Teamwork. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/sample-essay-on-teamwork/. Published Nov 18, 2020. Accessed May 27, 2024.
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