This essay aims at reflecting the knowledge and skills gained from the group assignment carried out for the module. It will explore various theories of group work and collaborative working which will help in relating to and explaining the functioning of our group. Furthermore, I will also acknowledge how I have developed and enhanced my current skills, professional values and development, and self-awareness. Finally, I will assess and portray the outcome of my learning and how this will influence my future path in the professional world.
Group work is defined as “a goal directed activity which aims at accomplishing tasks. Members of the group have the opportunity to share ideas, experience, feelings, knowledge and thoughts, specific skill set, beliefs, and also engage in interactions” (UKEssays.com, 2013). The group members develop feelings of mutual interdependence and a sense of belongingness towards their peers. According to Belbin, team work or team role can be expressed as a tendency to behave, contribute, interact and interrelate with other members of the group in a particular manner (Belbin, 2010). His model on team roles explains the different types of positive contributions each role brings to the group effort and why it is required. The roles are classified into three categories: Cerebral role types, action oriented roles and people oriented roles. These are subdivided to explain in depth the importance and skills each role possesses. The cerebral role includes plant, specialist and monitor evaluator; the action oriented role comprises of implementer, shaper and completer/finisher; and lastly the people oriented role consists of team worker, coordinator and resource investigator. Reflecting upon Belbin’s model of team roles, each group member portrayed and contributed their strengths and skills backed up by their knowledge and experience (Belbin, 2010). During the commencing of the group project, each individual proposed their speciality in certain academic areas and were allotted their part of the task accordingly. I had the experience and knowledge in business plans and their financial and strategic analysis which I developed from my undergraduate course in Business administration. On my path to completing the task, I realised that there was yet a lot for me to learn in these academic aspects which sparked my zeal for knowledge and research in that particular field. I believe that I had taken the role of a shaper who is dynamic, thrives on pressure and enjoys challenging situations with the drive and courage to overcome obstacles. Each individual played the overall role of the people oriented individual as each of us were coordinated, supported team work and performed extensive investigation in relation to the resources pertaining to our field of work.
Reflecting on the group project, we formulated our plan of operations using the Tuckman and Jensen’s model of group formation which comprises of the forming stage, storming stage, norming stage, performing and adjourning stage. In the forming stage, the group’s purpose is understood and clarified so as to have a clear path of operations. During the storming stage, the group had a few disagreements regarding the content to be used and the data to be represented, etc. One of the group members suggested that a brainstorming session would bring out all the potential ideas out in the open and then the most viable option can be selected. At first I was anxious and worked up when assigned the duties of finances and strategic analysis, but eventually I developed the skills and knowledge required in order to overcome this challenge. Later, we decided to take sufficient time to research on the topic chosen by each member and then analyse our progress in the following week (norming stage). Once we all had obtained authentic data and knowledge on our specific role related topics, we initiated the performing stage by starting building and compiling our task based on the information developed. Once we had successfully achieved our desired objective and completed our task, it was time for adjourning stage, i.e, celebration of the completion of the task (Tuckman and Jensen,1977).
From the group work, I have learnt that it is extremely vital for certain traits such as cooperation, coordination, self-awareness, openness to ideas, trust and respect among each member, and support for an effective and efficient teamwork. I also have an understanding of the importance of individual responsibility and accountability, accepting and sharing responsibilities, providing and accepting constructive feedback, and participating in group decision-making and effective communication. I have expanded my skills in the exchange of ideas and experience and also how to express and back my own viewpoint with confidence. As a future entrepreneur, specific leadership skills are required to manage an inter-disciplinary team, so I believe that the skills, knowledge and experience developed in the process of group work shall strengthen my abilities and support my desires in the future.
I would like conclude by expressing the values and principles that I have learnt from this group activity. I have developed the following traits: experience in group work, constructive feedback received from other members of the group, rigorous hard work and self observation. I have learnt that I need to be responsible, mature and understand the different perspectives of every individual and bend, adapt, and replicate interpersonal interactions when interacting with others. I am extremely grateful and joyous to have received such opportunity to develop and enhance my skills and abilities in this field. If provided with a similar opportunity in the future, I would ensure to be more considerate towards others beliefs and values and will act accordingly as each individual brings unique and personalized ideas which must be appreciated and recognized. I will also be more punctual and shall always try to push forward with my knowledge, skills and abilities.