Group Project Teamwork Journal and Expression

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This journal is important to the development and well-being of my group along with my group members. My beliefs and views within a group setting and how I deal with conflict is a make or break situation in group work. Reflecting on both myself and how I feel about my group in Week 2’s class is vital in the development of our group contract. Our group contract shows what we expect out of the group and how we will deal with situations as they arise. The effectiveness of our group along with things we’re doing well and need to work on will be important before working on the group role play assignment. Therefore, this journal is a reflection of myself and how I view myself within my group’s context, where there is a need for improvement and where there are strengths.

Group work has been a struggle in the past for me and so I think to go into this role-play assignment I am concerned about how well my group is going to work together. In the past for group projects in class often times people would take advantage of me and make me do all the work while they would not do anything. I try to keep an open mind in terms of the fact that, that was high school and now I am in college so I am assuming people will put in their part of the project/assignment. Keeping this in mind going into my role-play assignment groups I am going to not take charge and assume no one will do their part but, instead, I will collaborate and use the strengths of those in my group. One example of this was our in-class exercise on creating a straw tower is which is could sustain pressure? While engaging in this in-class exercise there was no clear leader but, instead, my group learned how to work together. No, we did not exactly build a straw tower worthy of pressure but, we did learn how to work together without one true leader which I think is important. Therefore, given my past experience in groups where I was responsible for all the work, I think it will be different this time around especially because of the experience I experienced during the in-class straw tower assignment.

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In terms of leadership roles, I feel as though my group worked in a maintenance leadership role (Johnson, Module 2 Leadership, Slide 3). We did not have one leader but, instead, we worked at the task at hand through communication and hard work. I think an important part of doing the straw tower challenge within our groups was being able to empower others. I think I empowered others through understanding each person’s strengths (Johnson, Module 2 Leadership, slide 16) for example I was in charge of tape well others were in charge of structure or taping the structure together we used everyone’s ideas and played to our advantages. With that being said I think the effectiveness of my group was at about an 8 where there is still room for improvement we could have communicated more and be less separated in terms of working together. I feel as though some people in the group were speaking their native language and keeping some people including myself out of that conversation because I do not understand their language. Therefore, I think we played our roles from a maintenance leadership stance and worked on empowering each other but, I do always believe there is always room for improvement.

Working within a group providing constructive feedback has always been easy for me but, receiving constructive feedback has been hard. When we were figuring out our conflict styles it came to my attention that I have a collaborating style. I did not think this was me because of one aspect “confrontation being seen as an opportunity of growth” (Johnson, Module 2 Conflict in Groups, Slide 12). I personally do not enjoy confrontation with others because it generally affects my overall mood/attitude in the group and often times I get offended where I feel as though I am un-needed. With collaborating conflict style, I think it is safe to say I am looking forward to collaborating with others in my group. One thing I am concerned about is the communication piece of my group. I am worried because 4 of 6 people in my group have been speaking to each other in their native language which in turn has left me and Sarah feeling separated from the group. Therefore, I believe constructive feedback is important to the group but, I do not enjoy confrontation even though my style typically does and there are things I am both looking forward to while also concerned about.

In conclusion, while in the past I have struggled with group work I am looking forward to working with my group in the role play assignment. I feel as though there may be challenges during this assignment but, I am to have an open mind. I think it is also important that I learned my conflict style. My conflict style is collaborating and that really goes to show that with an open mind I am sure my group will be able to accommodate everyone. Well, this rings true I feel as though the biggest struggle/challenge my group will face is communication because as stated previously some people in my group speak to each other in their native language. Therefore, when looking at group work, I think it’s important to be open-minded, know your conflict style, and work with others to accomplish the task at hand.

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