Teamwork reflection: Abigail

Working as a team in Professional Communications thus far has been a positive experience, and an educational one (although not always very easy).

Having had a few stressful group assignments during the first months of uni, I was a little apprehensive beginning another one for Prof Comm. I had found it difficult in the past to reconcile not only different priorities and study habits within a group, but also maturity levels and academic capabilities in a way that was fair and inclusive.

I have noticed that I generally either volunteer or emerge as a group leader, checking in on others and coordinating tasks, but I also know this is not necessarily something I’m comfortable with. In one sense it is positive, as I bring time management skills, work ethic and an element of academic perfectionism to any team I work with. But I also know that my accompanying anxiety and attempts to control the situation can be counter-productive and frustrating for other members of the team.

The team dynamic this time around was initially very difficult to assess, as only two members of the group were present on the Friday tutorial. Communication issues with Facebook and a lack of understanding between members led to a fairly unequal distribution of research tasks for the first week, but this was generally rectified after meeting as a group during the Friday tutorial and before the following Monday’s lecture. Once I sensed that the situation was under control – that everyone was committed to the task, and had their own part in it – I relaxed my role as ‘team coordinator’ and was able to focus on my own work.

In this sense, we ultimately had a far more productive second week and were able to come together for the tutorial and present something we were happy with. I felt I had an in depth understanding of the topic and was confident speaking about it; I noticed others also spoke well. The use of google slides allowed me to note and track progress along the way and eliminated the awkward and unpleasant ‘checking in’ that I have had to deal with in the past.

The problem that arose instead was a disparity in how the tasks had been completed, as we had split up the various disciplinary artifacts and stories. This could be solved in the future if there was more time between the completion of the task and the presentation to allow for constructive criticism and feedback from other members of the team.

On the whole I am fairly content with the outcome  for this part of the project as I feel we did well considering the restrictions on time limit and quite ambiguous terms of the assessment task itself. In the future I would like to improve on basic communication and ensuring everyone is on the same ‘level’ of commitment, as well as being more critical of each other and focussing on feedback.

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