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Week 02 for the semester and I sit here pondering back on the week that was. All my courses today have (finally) been finalised after a lot of swapping and editing which really is behaviour I should have stopped after my first year. MGMT 300 in all honesty was on top of my list to swap mainly because of the team assignment being the core part of the course. My past experiences with team assignments have been almost all negative from the one kid that doesn't do anything, the other who does all the work and the one who doesn't help even though she said she would so because of my past experiences with group work, I did not want to put myself through that again especially considering its my final semester. So I sat in class yesterday and after not doing the CV (due to my constant swapping) I thought to myself after not seeing my ID on the board 'OK Lina, this your time to walk out and withdraw from the course' but then I paused and said to myself 'Is the problem Team work? Or is the problem your performance within the team?'

Reflecting on the last statement, I sat in my seat when deciding to walk out or see Peter that my issue with teamwork for MGMT 300 was not that my past experiences were negative (because Ive had some good ones too!) but was that, I was afraid that my contribution to the group was not going to be up to par with what is expected of me and I did not want to let the group down as others before have done of me. I sat in my seat and battled with myself (yes! Im an introvert) and came to the conclusion that the only way to conquer fears was to confront them. So I began the treacherous walk down to Peter and asked if I could be put in a group and after a eye raise and a few questions (sorry!) I got put into team five.

I walked up to my team, said hello and introduced myself and we got into what we need to do for the week and some of the expectations. I listened eagerly as I hope to contribute more than my fair share and be a team member that actually works with the team not against it. I am reminded of this weeks readings where Katzenbach and Smith (1992) said that savvy managers know real teams outperform non-teams. They also said that a good team is one with a small number of people, with complementary skills, a commitment to a common purpose and performance goals, commitment to a common working approach and mutual accountability. Now I know this is early to say, but my team so far as already exhibited these traits that Katzenbach and Smith (1992) outline through our talk in class and in our Facebook group. Now all I need to remember is to remember these when working with the team and making sure that I do what I need to do to learn, to contribute and to......win!

The world requires team work everywhere, it is something I can't change. So i'm going to change my thinking and embrace it. 

 

References:

Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matter.McKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3--2

 

6 Comments

  1. I was flicking through the journals, and I noticed yours had an attachment, which might have been better as an image. So I tweaked things, so it was displayed as an image ... and it left me with a smile on my face.

  2. And now for the meat, some feedback on your learning journal ...

    Your opening paragraph is a nice hook for the reader (do you want to do the course or not) and you setup a problem (your previous experience with teams). So, a solid start.

    Reading on through your journal I see evidence of your moving around Kolb's experiential learning cycle. I would like to have read a little more about your previous experience in teams—the concrete experiences—so i might better understand the distinction you made—observations and reflections—between 'your experience of teams' versus 'your experience of you in teams'. Almost in passing you mention you are an introvert. Is this part of the reason why your performance in teams is problematical for you. This is what really needed expanding  because, although you intend move into active experimentation (confronting your fears), it is hard to judge the potential efficacy or the logic (the abstract conceptualizations) of that stance without that detail.

    Based on what you wrote I would have expected you to make some strong links to the notion of mutual accountability, which seems to be a much bigger/relevant issue for you rather than using the reading for a bit of 'labeling'. Yes, that's the definition but so what? If you had shown you had  thought about the issue and the implication of mutual accountability, then this would been a powerful learning journal.

    As it stands, the use of formal theory—that from sources like Katzenbach and Smith—is, in terms of Bloom's taxonomy, lower level. There is no real application let alone analysis. Yes, there some evidence of analysis of your own experiences, but if it had been stronger, then your abstract conceptualizations would be more robust and thus your planned active experimentation would have.

    All in all, a good first learning journal. Clear evidence of movement around the experiential learning cycle, but much of your use of theory is rather low level.

     

    1. Thanks Peter! I hope to engage a bit more on the theory and have more meatier journals. Thank you for the feedback I will definitely be taking on board to better my learning and performance throughout the course.

  3. I'm glad you have read this already Lina.

    I hope that it reassures you that you have made a sound decision in 'hanging in there' and not dropping the course. I also how that it will help you when you write feedback on other peoples' learning journals.

  4. Hi Lina. I'm feeling a little trepidatious commenting on your journal, after Peter provided you with detailed feedback before me; at least I'm not the last person. However I'll try my best and make my best attempt not to repeat what Peter said.

    I think you followed Daudelin's structure rather well. You identified your problem then you analysed it. I think your analysis is where you need to expand what you are writing about and go into more depth. One possible way, as well as what Peter suggested, could have been to expand on your reasoning for eliminating the possibility that  "the problem (is) teamwork?". This is where you could have gone into more detail about your previous experiences in teams. You then established a solid hypothesis, "the only way to conquer my fears was to confront them", and then followed it up with action. It will be interesting for you to see if your hypothesis proves true or whether it actually is teamwork that is the problem. 

    My only other feedback is that your writing could benefit from more proof reading. What I find helps me is to read aloud what I'm writing to myself. Pay particular attention to your sentence lengths; shorter sentences are better than long ones. I know this is nitpicking a little bit but I think this is one of the things that separate good journals from from exceptional ones. For example, this sentence:

    "My past experiences with team assignments have been almost all negative. There was the one kid that doesn't do anything, the other who does all the work and the one who doesn't help, even though she said she would. So because of my past experiences with group work, I did not want to put myself through that again; especially considering its my final semester."

    If a sentence is getting too long, looking for a place to put a period is always a good idea. It just makes it slightly easier to read if the sentences are shorter. But thats a small thing; on the whole your journal was a good starting 

     

  5. Hello Lina. I get to be the ‘lucky’ third person to give you some feedback! After giving it a lot of thought and trying to come up with something both Peter and Daniel missed I have almost run out of time! But I hope to still be able to provide you something useful for your next reading journal.

    First I would like to say I enjoyed reading your journal. It was clearly well structured in relation to Daudelin but also in how you started with a simple but interesting concept and slowly explained the hows and whys of why you changed your outlook on this situation. Although Peter touched on it I believe you could have tied in some of the reading concepts very easily. The best way I have found to do this is to break down the structure of your work and link the points you have made with the relevant concepts from the readings. BUT after you know what concepts you want to use you must elegantly explain both your own point and the concept in conjunction with each other. It can be difficult but the end result is very satisfying and provides a way to hand hold the reader through what you want them to know.

    I hope this helps and I would be interested to see how your group goes.