Group Working and Efficiency
The current report gives a good analysis of my experience in group working. It elucidates how group working made me to learn more efficiently. Further, the report also details how the members of the group developed their skills like communication, commitment, time management, team roles, and leadership. In addition, the report also explains how the group’s objectives have been accomplished. Finally, the positive and negative impact that group working had on me is also detailed in the current report.
One of the most important opportunity that a student gains in studying at a university is to work in a group. Group learning makes learning more effective and a fund filled activity. Apart from making learning more effective, working as part of a group helps in building up of some important skills like communication and time management. This is what I have experienced by being a part of the study group in my university. By dividing the task at hand between all the team members, competencies of each team member were utilized more efficiently leading to synergy effects. The team leader was responsible for dividing the tasks between team members and coordinating the activities of the team efficiently. Even though the tasks were divided among the team members, experience of each person in handling a specific task/situation was shared with everyone else. Each of the team members also gave different perspectives in solving a problem. This also facilitated doing some deep analysis than when sitting and working individually. Group working made me and other group members realize their true inner potential and increase the synergy effects of studying as a group.
A group is a collection of individuals who have regular contact, interact with each other frequently, have mutual influence on each other, have a feeling of camaraderie, and constantly keep working towards the achievement of a common set of goals. The business Group working could make study into a more fun filled and efficient experience. While working with others, I and other group members get the opportunity to learn effectively because all the team member get the opportunity of sharing the knowledge with one other by giving each other suggestions and conducting the discussion by analyzing the problems at hand. It also helped me and other team members in improving social communications and making good friends. Working as part of a group reduces the work related stress and help in improving the self-confidence levels. The key factors which decide the success and failure of our study group are as follows:
Effective communication is key to the success of any team (Leonard et al. 2004). Effective communication facilitates smooth interaction among the team members and prevent any kind of misunderstanding among the group members. Some other benefits of effective communication among the team members are saving of precious time and reduce the levels of stress and negative feeling (George 2004). Even though group communication can be facilitate to verbal and written communication, free communication when the group members are staying apart is a challenge. Hence, the members of our study group communicated with each other through Facebook groups, Emails, and Instant messaging services like WhatsApp. Staying connected through instant messaging services and email helped in always staying connected with each other and avoid any communications gaps.
In order to leverage well on the synergy effects of group learning, staying committed to the group objectives is very important. If group members start pursuing their own independent agendas, it would hit the very purpose of working into a group. In order to maintain the commitment levels of group members, group meetings were organized regularly and updates regarding the tasks performed by each of the group’s members. Regular meetings and updates regarding the progress made by all the group members made all the members of the group stay committed towards the achievement of group’s objectives.
Effective management of time is another factor which determines the success of group working. Getting together into a group could lead to unnecessary distractions and wastage of precious time of group members (Harrison, et al. 2002). Effective management of group’s time was achieved through the utilization of software planners like Google Calendar. Tasks that were assigned to each team member were loaded to Google calendar and team members were instructed to upload their progress on to Google Calendar regularly. Deadlines were also given to group’s members regarding the completion of each of the tasks assigned to them. This helped in effective management of group’s time as well as in the prevention of any wastage of precious resources.
Team Roles and Leadership
Each of the group members will have their own pre-defined roles. The roles of each members should be defined early. And more importantly, each team should have a leader who takes the leadership position (Durham, et. al 1997). A group can also have a coordinator who coordinates the group’s tasks. This can be important in case the group size to too large. Some of the other roles that can be performed by team members are: planners, resource investigators, implementers, team workers, shapers, and specialists. Since the size of our study group was limited, it had just 3 roles defined. While there was a leader and coordinator looking into the group’s management, all the other group members had the single role of team workers. The coordinator of the group was looking into the management of communication between the group members as well as managing the above mentioned team management tools used by the team. Having two leaders looking into the group’s business and having the roles of all team members helped in the functioning of the group without any friction. Clearly defined roles also helped in proper time management.
Some of the other aspects which lead to a success of my group working are effective coordination with other team members, timely attendance to group meetings, and helping other team members in performing their roles.
AREAS OF GREAT LEARNING
The key areas where I had good learning was in working as part of a team for the achievement of common objectives. As I am an introvert, I used to face problems while working as part of the teams. But being part of a study group helped me in overcoming the inhibitions of freely communicating with other team members. As most organizations now emphasize team working for all their employees, the experience I have gained in working as part of the group would be immensely helpful in my future career endeavors. Another great learning experience in increasing the eloquence with which I could handle the English language. Sticking to the schedules decided by the team also meant improving my time management skills.
Working as a group was indeed a great experience for me when I joined the university. I helped me not only in improving the quality of learning, but also in better understanding my new friends in the university. The key to the success of the group learning was by properly looking into the group related activities like communication, commitment, assigning roles to the team members and a responsible leadership. The experience I gained while working as part of group learning would be useful in my future stay at the university and even in my future career.
- Durham, CC, Knight, D, Locke, EA 1997,
- George, N 1985, What Are the Challenges to Team Communication? Available from: < http://smallbusiness.chron.com/challenges-team-communication-1697.html>. [10 May 2014].
- Harrison, DA, Price, KH, Gavin, JH, & Florey, AT 2002, “Time, teams, and task performance: Changing effects of surface and deep level diversity on group functioning,” Academy of Management Journal, vol. 45, no. 5, pp. 1029-1045.
- Leonard, M, Graham, S, & Bonacum, D 2004, “The human factor: The critical importance of effective teamwork and communication in providing safe care,” Quality Safe Health Care, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 85-90.