I am one of those people who while rarely looks forward to team projects in classes has never had a truly terrible experience. I have never found myself in the position where I have felt my voice wasn’t heard or, on the other end of the spectrum, I have never found myself in the position where I ended up doing all of the work.
Perhaps I have been lucky, or perhaps I have some magical ability to make any team work cohesively. Perhaps I have gone into my team projects ready to not only delegate jobs but relinquish some of my own power.
After today’s discussion, I’m beginning to think that it’s the latter.
I found myself thinking a lot about my former roommate who studied electrical engineering. She would constantly be working on team projects, and be meeting with her teammates. Then, when I asked her how her projects were going, she would comment about nobody doing any work. Upon further prodding she would always mention that she was okay with it, because she did not trust any of her engineering teammates to do the writing portions, or even take the lead on the science and math portions of their projects.
Her inability to relinquish some of that responsibility was sometimes a great source of stress for her. She ended up doing up to four times the work as she would have had to do if the responsibilities had been delegated appropriately.
Then, I began thinking of the recent team projects I have been thrown into. Specifically the one from this class. We spent time as a team brainstorming at each step of the process; the choice of movie, the delegating of leaders within the movies and the division of labor were all decision made by the team. The lines of communication were always open between the five of us between email and text. The final materials were done individually, then were worked on together one evening, with all of us editing, commenting, and suggesting changes.
We managed, quite naturally, to hit upon all of the points of a good team that we discussed in class. When we were assigned this project, while I was excited to be working with people from such different backgrounds, I wasn’t sure what that would mean in the context of a team. Thankfully,I never felt that ego was an issue. We worked together splendidly.
In contrast with my roommates projects, this one was entirely stress-free, which on its own really shows the power of true teamwork.
3 Comments on “Real Teamwork = Stress Free Environment”
Good piece. I enjoy seeing thing from your point of view.
Sure this is a common experience. Like myself I used to work with someone who wanted to always do all the work. Anytime we had a meeting, he will say: “don’t worry I will do it and you guys will look at it.” There was this project which we had to do about filling Form B’s (course registration forms at UB) and he was team leader but would hadly call a meeting. He preferred to do it and we all look at it later. The result was that no one commented against it. Probably because he was older than most of us.
But here I was impressed about how goals and objectives were drawn during our team meetings so that each one was contributing to what each one had to do. It was not just dividing functions.
The white board quote “We’re all in this together, act accordingly” reminded me of a bumper sticker that someone who supports the green movement might have on their car. Hipsters would buy them, I’m telling you.
On a more serious note, Better teamwork on the global level would definitely reduce stress on the planet and for many people.
I would suggest to you that sometimes it is not just about one person not trusting the others, it can also be about some people not being invested in the project and the good of the whole. I have seen this be an issue in the work place more than school, but it’s a really hard problem to confront, especially if those people are your friends.
Comments are closed.