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Weekly GuIDE 4

Teamwork is the essence of high productivity and sharing ideas that will lead to great accomplishments. Synergy is crucial within teams, because in order for us to work together to achieve our goals to help our NGO with their employees’ personal branding strategy on their intranet platform, we must be able to work cooperatively together. This in turn will allow for better communication and understanding thus working as a team will come naturally along the way. Ultimately, the whole point of being a team is having a combined effect that is greater than our separate effects on this project.

I personally do struggle with working in teams, because it requires collective commitment, communication and input. That is not to say that I am none of the descriptions that I just mentioned or that I am not capable of pursuing them, but I just find it harder to do that in a team. At first, our communication was hard since I didn’t have Facebook. That was my worry at first since I always find it hard to communicate since I don’t use the same tools as other people and especially because I like face to face communication and meetings, but that of course is not always possible. Commitment can be hard too, as we have many meetings which require everyone’s attendance and when one doesn’t go, we end up with a team where not everyone is up-to-date with the group’s achievements so far. It then becomes hard to catch up thus informing others can become difficult which eventually results in less collective input. In a team, you depend on each other and sometimes collective input can be unsuccessful when only some or the majority of the team have done their part of the work.

Nevertheless, I have learned in the past few years to work better in teams. I prefer working on my own, because it’s easier for me, but there’s something very special about teamwork that leads to greater and unique results. In our case, I find that we did struggle at the beginning with a lot of things. Everything was new to us; we were overwhelmed by this project and we were still getting ourselves settled in the university. We didn’t work as a team in the start and we basically only worked in lesson time. We immediately changed the culture within our group, because we weren’t satisfied with our input into the project. We wanted to work harder as a team, thus we started to have meetings outside of class time and do individual research to come back with insights.

After our struggle at the beginning, I realised that we were becoming more productive during class and outside of class. I do believe that we had a sudden epiphany that motivated us all to stop slacking and start working hard. We seem to have a good way of communicating and keeping everyone up-to-date and on track through our Facebook Group. We always notify each other about important dates of our meetings as well as posting our queries and of course sharing ideas and videos that would inspire us or help us broaden our horizon and think deeper. Lately, I also realised that we’ve become very productive when working in class on a certain task, especially after this week’s class task. A lot of us showed a lot more commitment and productivity and this really helped our team to get a little more motivated.

We seem to have adapted to the process of the project after a lot of struggle, however I still think that there are some remaining challenges that we still face, but must overcome together as a team. We tend to find it hard to have meetings as it’s always hard to gather the whole team together outside of class time. I think it’s a challenge that I’ve always hated about teams, because you always have to make time for group meetings, and this takes time off your free time. However, this is fundamental and so all of us must be able to meet under any circumstances. I also find that we need to show a lot more of commitment and motivation. Being committed is hard, especially in a team where we rely on each other and for each other.  We need to show more commitment to meetings and individual work, because one person will affect the rest of the team, as there’s no I in TEAM. Motivation is always a critical factor in productivity and it’s very typical that our motivation isn’t always high. I remember our last day in the introduction week when we had to find what motivates each person in the group. Up until now, I think we get motivated to get high grades, which is actually a good thing.

I really like the topic of this week, because it really was a wakeup call for everyone as everyone began working productively in this week’s class after we had talked about group sizes and had adopted that into our team. Chris Corrigan, hit on some really important points which were evidently shown during class. The impact of group size is immense as it determines the amount of productivity that is done. I really like the fact that Chris Corrigan pointed out that teamwork is about having many edges that will allow for subgroups to form and harvest ideas rather than having one circle where it becomes harder to facilitate ideas. We realised that this was true as we discovered that we worked best when he had worked in small groups during the lesson. However, I also like how Chris Corrigan defined teamwork as having subgroups that brainstorm and aggregate ideas to bring them back to the rest of the group to generate and propagate as a whole team. I absolutely agree with it and it is very successful. We did individual research and came back with many insights that we shared and those generated ideas and even made brainstorming easier. So since a group of 7 is big we decided that a group of 2-3 is ideal. Nonetheless, we must have in mind that ideas come from individuals and that it’s the key to innovation and when working as a team that’s when we stabilize and propagate our ideas together.

We are a culturally diverse group which allows for us to propagate unique ideas as we all come from different countries with different cultural backgrounds that impact our thoughts and ideas. This is in a sense an advantage for Solidaridad as they want to be well-known. We as an international oriented team can critique and deliver ideas that could help them observe any cultural barriers regarding their NGO that could be taken into account for example. Then again, the culture within our group is quite lazy I must say. It is not something that we are proud of, but that we should definitely change by motivating each other, because it will cause less productivity!

We assigned roles from the beginning of the project, which was a great idea! We had our leader, our researchers, our editor etc. That came in handy when we needed for example to publish the Spidergram notes, where I, the editor took the position of writing up the notes and editing them to be published on Tumblr. This also made us aware of our individual tasks and it was a brilliant way of spreading workload across the team when we did individual research at home and brought in many insights that resulted with great ideas for Solidaridad.

Now that I’ve pointed out the strengths and weaknesses of our group, I think it would be a good idea to start working hard on our weaknesses so that we can be more productive. I think teamwork is fundamental and so we should focus on committing to our roles as that would help with controlling our group. We all noticed the immense change when we divided into subgroups and were assigned roles, because by the end of the day, we managed to do a lot of work! We have to organize our meetings properly which also requires commitment and we should set a fixed date for each week. Our tool and method of communication is the Facebook Group which has shown to be very successful for sharing ideas and discussing important things, so maybe we should be a little more active on there. Lastly, I think we should all try to motivate each other more. We tend to get everyone to contribute to the work, but it would be even greater to have everyone motivated instead, so that they can give their full potential.

I wanted to share a few slides of one of my business presentations on motivation. In business, teamwork is a type of non-financial motivation and within every organization; teamwork is the most important thing for high productivity. These slides should help our team understand teamwork better and understand its essential value in the workforce!

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Posted in Community, Group 8
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Yomna Farid
4 comments on “Weekly GuIDE 4
  1. Yomna Farid says:

    Nancy, thank you very much! I really like your suggestion! This is definitely another way of approaching our weaknesses with a higher morale as we can then use certain skills we have to address our weaknesses with ease! We can even help each other if one has strength in a certain area that one doesn’t!

    Tant Magda, thank you very much as well! I should try to make it shorter, but there’s just so much to talk about! I agree that one should prove one’s self in the team, but what I meant was that we depend on each other and that one person can’t do everything alone since a team is about everyone’s collective effort and input. This is why I said that one person affects the rest, thus there’s no I in TEAM.

  2. magy khalil says:

    yomna: I am very impressed with the enthusiasm that you put in your work and writing. Yet, I feel sometimes that you are repeating your words. Perhaps you could Ty o mak it shorter a well.

    Who said that in a team there no “I”?! You can prove yourself in a team and be an essential player to the extent that a team can t do without you. It depends on the role you are playing and the effort you are spending. You menioned that there were some weakness that your team faced which I was eager to learn about. Your presentation at the end was good to draw back my attention that I lost because of the length of your blog. Keep up expressing yourself within your team with the same passion and eagerness for new learning. All the best.

  3. magy khalil says:

    yomna: I am very impressed with the enthusiasm that you put in your work and writing. Yet, I feel sometimes that you are repeating your words. Perhaps you could Try to be more focused.

    Who said that in a team there no “I”?! You can prove yourself in a team and be an essential player to the extent that a team can t do without you. It depends on the role you are playing and the effort you are spending. You menioned that there were some weakness that your team faced which I was eager to learn about. Your presentation at the end was good to draw back my attention that I lost because of the length of your blog. Keep up expressing yourself within your team with the same passion and eagerness for new learning. All the best.

  4. Nancy White says:

    Yomna, what an amazing and thoughtful reflection. I think you have both summed up what I have read in other blogs from last week, but you have also put forth some suggestions, which is what makes this post really special.

    One tool for working on weaknesses is to “mine” the strengths and see if they can address the weaknesses. There is something about using our strengths to address our weaknesses that somehow is more energizing, rather than pushing on the things we might think of as “failure.” Is that something that might be useful for your team?

Group 8 Blogs
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  2. IhsanRadOne ihsanradone.tumblr.com
  3. MMartin mmmmarto.tumblr.com
  4. Only1Gideon danielmetz.tumblr.com
  5. TIANZIXUAN tianzixuan1117.tumblr.com
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  7. Yomna Farid yomnafarid.tumblr.com

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  • Nancy White { I appreciate that you included client liaison - I think this is often forgotten. Good catch. What advice would you give next year's students please?... } – Dec 18, 5:53 AM
  • Nancy White { Fun visuals! And right to the point. I think you are practicing your design principles! 🙂 Thanks for being part of Project Community Nancy } – Dec 18, 5:52 AM
  • Nancy White { I loved this piece of advice "Nobody will spoon-feed you the content of the course, you have to make your own experiences but you get... } – Dec 18, 5:51 AM
  • Nancy White { I love that you used your own photo! But more important, I appreciate the clarity of your description of what you have learned. WONDERFUL! Thanks... } – Dec 18, 5:49 AM
  • Nancy White { OK, your tips are the most practical ones I've read so far. WONDERFUL. Thanks, Fer. Thanks for being part of Project Community Nancy } – Dec 18, 5:46 AM
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