It was during Week 2 of university and we all received a notification on Thursday. The scavenger hunt assignment was posted on Google classroom. ‘Will I be able to fit in a group?’ ‘What if I’m left on my own?’ “Will my peers like me or befriend me?’ were the random thoughts that tormented our brains. Later that day, a bunch of classmates who were still unknown to me and I entered a tutorial class of another module. The girls were really friendly and funny. I instantly felt a connection when I talked to them. I was already thinking of forming a group with the girls since we were friends. However, they had already formed their own group and I was left behind. The next day, I met another classmate Yash. Since he was still forming a group too, we decided to team up. He gathered some of his friends and I asked some of random girls who were group-less too. So in the end we managed to form a team. But alas! We were in different batches. The team members had to be in the same batch. Unfortunately, this led to the split up of the newly formed team. There were actually two teams who fell apart due to the conundrum of having team members in B1 and B2. In order to address this issue we decided to team up with the other B2 members who were teamed with the B1 members earlier. At last, we got our team TheFive.
So, team TheFive was formed during the tutorial session during the Communication and Business Skills for IT class. Since it was the last class of the day, all the team members were rushing to get back home as early as possible. As a result, the best alternative was to carry on the discussion on a social platform for instance, Whatsapp. Whatsapp was the best option as it was a platform commonly used by all team members in contrast to Skype. Therefore, to ease the communication process, a group was created on Whatsapp and all team members were added. We were given eight captions for which we had to take corresponding group pictures while engaging in communication with strangers on campus. In order to save time and to get maximum ideas, we discussed each caption in full details and all the important points were noted as reference points. Also, we each had responsibilities according to our capabilities and personality trait which could act as a facilitator for the assigned roles and tasks.
Firstly, Hadiyah Mohit Azhaar, the Implementer of TheFive has the courage and convincing power to talk to strangers. When communicating with people, she is always natural and so she was the one who led the team when we communicated with strangers. Adding to that, she has a good sense of humour which was commendable as in case of tough times or when stressed, the team would had a pillar to rely on so as to get motivated and get back to work. Further on, Sudarshini Pem was the Coordinator. She is the girl who has the potential of a natural organizer and excels at delegation and easing decision making. Whenever all the team members would go off track on Whatsapp while discussing the related ideas, she was the one to reprimand all of us so that we would focus on the required task. Thirdly, our team leader, who was chosen on the basis of the look-alike caption, Najeebah Goobeea is The Plant of team TheFive that is the one who thinks out of the box and on whom the team members could rely on for creative solutions to unprecedented tough problems. During the photo session, several ideas were rejected on spot as there were other teams who had coincident ideas. Consequently, we had to improvise on the spot and come up with original ideas. The fourth member, Bhamini Nohur, is the monitor-evaluator that is she had a logical and thorough judgment which could aid in decision making. In times of decision making and analyzing situation she was the one to step forward and help the team. Furthermore, according to the comments received by my team members, they assigned me the role of the completer-finisher. They feel that I’m a person who is deadline driven and extremely conscientious and hence my task was to combine all the pictures taken and to submit the final work on Google classroom.
With close reference to the above, team TheFive is a team which comprises uniqueness, kindness and creativity. Adding to that, for our oral presentation on scavenger hunt, all team members used to come early for practice. All team members rehearsed together and we all tried to help each other by giving feedbacks on their respective presentation. We had good teamwork and synergy among us. Good teamwork implies that team members play according to their strengths and compensate for each other’s weakness and hence, all roles were assigned cooperatively to each team member without being imposed by the team leader.
Overall as a team, TheFive is a friendly one consisting of imperfections like all other teams has. In order for a team to work in rhythm there has to be a flow so that everyone sail in the same direction with the same aim. However, as an observer, I felt that my aim and that of my team differ. The benchmarks set by each member are at different levels and hence the amount of hard work and consideration put forward by all members do not correlate This is a big issue as this can have a huge impact on one’s performance and as a result affect the performance of the entire team. Therefore, as a team we have to work on group cohesion where communication plays a pivotal role. In addition to breaking the barriers, we might discover each other deeply and interact more freely. We all can then share our views, aims and the plan of work for the upcoming projects. This can be a turning point for the team itself as work will be done and completed more effectively and within the deadline.
In light of the above, for self-evaluation, I believe that I’m a responsible team member of TheFive as all work assigned was completed with respect to the deadlines. Research was always conducted beforehand and I was prepared for each task which was a plus point. However, I was always conscientious and this unconsciously imposed a pressure on my team members which was a negative outcome. They must have felt uncomfortable and felt they were under pressure. Each one of us has a different pace and way of work. Exerting pressure would only cause a misbalance in the work. In order to address issues on a personal level Compromise was method used which can help in pleasing all the members.
In almost every situation in life, conflicts arise. However what matters is that how each and everyone tries to engineer each situation. For our scavenger hunt assignment, the conflict that emerged was that some team members were late for the photo session and on top of that there was a limited amount of time to complete the assignment which created a tension among the team members. We also had challenges such that some members had to go for prayers. This situation caused a misbalance and the tension increased among members as all of us had class later on and we had to complete the photo session before the start of the class. Some of the team members even started to lose their calm including me. We had to wait for the rest of the team to be free so as to continue the project. However, for better conflict management we could have negotiated with members and could have implemented the best decision at that time. For instance, instead of waiting for the members, some of us could try to save time and approach strangers and could try to convince them to take a picture with us with respect to each caption.
Furthermore, there were moments where there were many ideas for a caption and confusion began to form which led to conflicts rising. It was mainly because on that day we had limited amount of time. However with the time plan we made together on the Whatsapp Group we managed to overcome the challenge and completed the task successfully. Personally, if I start to panic and stress too this might lead to mayhem where all the members might get frustrated and the task might not be completed and in worst case we might argue amongst ourselves. So the best option was to keep my calm and focus on the task. However, to alleviate the stress, my team members and I took a break and we all sat under the trees in the open air. This helped us in stress management and we were able to shift our focus elsewhere while maintaining a good relationship among team members.
Additionally, one conflict also arose due to fact that one member was not in line with the final idea of a particular caption. This opinion was revealed after the submission of the work and consequently no changes could be made. This caused a rift as the member did not deem is as important to share her point of view with the other members. To address the issue, we discussed together as a group that we should respect each and every opinion about any idea regarding the scavenger hunt. Team members were also informed that everyone’s ideas are valid and are of importance and that they should not be dismissed despite the fact if a member is not on the same page as the decision. For this conflict, I was extremely disappointed and nearly lost my calmness as I did not expect a reaction like that given the fact we all discussed together and ideas were finalized together. However, if I was to keep a grudge, this would definitely create a rift between me and the team member and coldness towards each other would be developed which would hinder the progress of the team and hence resulting in squabbling among team members.
Prevention is always better than cure. In order to avoid conflicts in a larger team, it is vital to indulge in communication so that each team member is acquainted with each other. Openness in communication is vital as this will bring the team together and will promote growth. The vision of the team which comprises of what the team is striving to achieve will become clearer for all members. Furthermore, listening closely, treating all members fairly and equitably, a panacea of the problem can be found rather than wasting time in blaming the members for mistake which will only worsen the situation. Also, role play can be carried out which is a tool for aiding people by putting one in someone else shoes. In case of clashing personalities and opposing viewpoints these methods can work and efficiency of work can increase. Additionally, values such as open mindedness, punctuality and cooperation should be promoted so as to maintain a healthy environment which will in turn decrease the probability of conflict.
Conclusively, to minimize conflicts, leaders of each team must be chosen carefully. A good leader will try his best to deal with the conflict professionally. Instead of talking about his achievements in life, a good team leader should give credits to the team. Problems such as ego and insecurity should not be present and instead good values should be adopted. Therefore, if a leader is insecure or egoistic and lacks leadership skills, conflicts are bound to occur.