By nature I’m a bit of a loner and am used to working on my own. Working in a group is not something which really comes naturally to me. Thankfully, this weeks reading addressed a lot of the issues that had been on my mind and gave some helpful hints.
One of my main problems is my lack of assertiveness. I think I am the typical non-assertive person outlined in Moon’s “Making Groups Work” article. In groups I often feel I don’t have any useful information to give and so I stay quiet. The qualities of assertiveness listed here (being okay with asking for favours, standing up for myself with no anxiety, etc..) are all things I have with which I have difficulty. I am quite eager to change this part of myself and I think the tips for asserting yourself given in this paper will be quite useful for me.
As my groups have only recently begun meeting and working together I have only really observed the “Forming” stage from the Vandeveer’s “Synergy and Team Cooperation Paper” However I did recognize some of the attitudes described here in myself and others. There was an air of shyness and cautious participation from some (myself included) as we tried to define and delegate tasks to everyone, although some people seemed quite confident. While I have not observed the other stages in most of my groups yet, during the scavenger hunt I was vaguely aware of them occurring. I will have to reflect on those more before I write my report on it.
Finally, the most surprising thing about the reading for me was the emphasis on “healthy conflict” as opposed to the removal of conflict. It is better to work though issues rather than letting them fester, but it is so against my nature it’s just something that would never occur to me to do.