I want to take the time now to analyze how I functioned as a member of my team. I could take the time to talk about each of my team members and how their behavior affected my experience, but doesn’t that in its own way just tie back to what I did and the role I played in the team? I think this is a very good moment for some self-reflection.
I talked last week about getting into teams and taking the time to discuss what we see ahead for our team and how we want to work collaboratively; however, I lacked follow through on these plans. My team discussed a mission statement and some values, but that is all we really talked about for the semester ahead of us. When it got down to it we dived right into the company and how we were going to work on increasing Shareholder Value. I let what I valued get swept up into the group’s interest.
I learned in my communication course last semester about traits of team participation based on Communicating for Results: A Guide for Business and the Professions by Cheryl Hamilton. One trait someone can distribute as a member of a team is agreeableness. Agreeableness is “being good-natured, likable, forgiving, understandable, and trusting” (Cheryl, 2014). There are benefits to behaving this way; it creates harmony and can be important to getting things done when you have a short time frame and a project that does not have great importance. Based on this I can commend myself somewhat. I did not push my group out of their comfort zone in a moment where this was just a practice round, and we were still trying to get comfortable working together as a group. There are also plenty of negative aspects to being entirely agreeable, you are not going to advocate to what you want, your work will not be valued or included in group decisions. I also felt that this type of behavior made me seem like someone who contributed less and perhaps was not as prepared. So when it comes down to it agreeableness has positives and negatives, but my decision to play that role has more likely than not had an effect on what my group thinks of me.
I have found where I have room for improvement as a member of my team. It is important to be agreeable in order to be a good team collaborator, but it is also important to contribute more to the team and just being agreeable does not allow this.
Hamilton, Cheryl (2014). Communicating for Results: A Guide for Business and the Professions. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. ISB