Describe and analyze your learning from these experiences, identifying the implications for you as manager. In order to complete my assignment I am going to take 2 experiences from my group work, which was undertook in skills. The aim of the group work was to produce a ‘learning resource’, which will tackle some sort of problem/deficiency within the college. I will take the third experience from my own experiences in life.Communication Whilst undertaking my group assignment I would consider the most important factor for successful group work, perhaps overlooked, to be communication. “In any organization, the communication of information is necessary to achieve co-ordination”1.
I believe this quote by Charles Perrow to be very clear and extremely fitting to the situation. It highlights the fact that in any group, whatever the size, good communication is essential for success. As soon as the word communication is mentioned we immediately think of ‘talking ‘ to someone else. Getting our message across. Perhaps this in itself maybe the biggest problem.
There are many mediums of communication eg. Telephone, face to face, e-mail, fax, letter etc.So how do we actually get a task done? What medium of communication is used to make this happen? Whilst undertaking the group assignment to biggest problem we had was communication. Obviously we interacted face-to-face whilst working in the project but I felt we did this very poorly. As there was actually no designated leader in the group I felt that the progress of the group would suffer, I was right. As there was no one to give orders to the group the members felt that no one really wanted be too outspoken, or to take charge of the group.I felt that we were holding back. On the occasions we had group meetings we would struggle to convey information to each other.
. We agreed one what needed to be done but we didn’t get it done. Looking back I believe the problem to be poor quality communication. For example, when we were talking in groups we would each decide the tasks, which needed to be done, then we would assign them to a certain member of the group.The method of communication was verbal, face-to-face; we previously discussed each task so I believe that we understood what we were supposed to be doing. However, I believe that the biggest problem was the lack of ‘non verbal’ communication. Although the communication between the members was made it was not as effective as it should have been.
The body language and facial gestures whilst communicating weren’t correct. The manner in which communication was made was too laid back; there was a definite lack of ‘seriousness’ in the kinesics of the message conveyor. There wasn’t really any recognition of confirmation from the receiver, so there is no way of actually knowing whether the receiver understood the message. This was perhaps our biggest problem.
However, I found that when we communicated via phone ; e-mail communication was enhanced/improved. I myself found this to be very strange but I found that by using one of these mediums for communication the receiver understood more clearly, as the work was completed. Perhaps the reason for this was the lack of distortion the group had within itself. Also when talking to a single group member on the phone I felt that that we were interacting better.The paralanguage was more serious and definite. I found that we completed more work once we changed of medium for communication. In the future I now know that not only is it essential to have the correct information to convey, but also the means in which we convey it is just as important, as poor communication will lead to a false perception of what has to be done. Conformity Whilst undertaking the group project, we (the group) had to highlight a problem/deficiency within the college and then produce a ‘learning resource’ to overcome this.
In order for us to achieve our objective we had to choose a problem and then decide on the ‘learning material’ and what medium it would take i.e. video, brochure etc. Looking back I can’t really remember any occasion in which any member of the group questioned any idea or opinion. There was never any incident when one group member went against another’s idea. Whilst in our groups we managed to highlight a problem/deficiency and a decision was made to do a video to highlight this. When undertaking the group project it became clearly obvious that the medium for our project would not be suitable for what needed to be done.
We all knew that we had problems meeting for the time it would take to film the video and that we would struggle to get everyone there at the same time.The idea of a brochure was mentioned whilst brainstorming but never actually considered. However, we all went along with the video idea, and after two months of planning it was never actually done. Looking back it was a very naï¿½ve decision made by the group. In order for us to complete our project in the allocated time we had to change the video idea to the alternative brochure/leaflet idea in the final two weeks. We managed to do this with great ease and were all able to contribute equally towards the project, with very few problems.
In hindsight I ask myself, Why did I agree to go along with the video ever if I didn’t ever think that it would materialise? I know that I originally thought the brochure/leaflet idea was the better one, so why did I hesitate and not question the decision, which was made?