Monday, 11 January 2010

‘Wanna be in my team, my team, my team?!’

Introducing the team members:

Mr Laid Back – attended the meetings, was sometimes late but was a constant and valuable team member.
Mr Talker – comes up with good ideas and likes the bureaucracy of group work – however sometimes lacks execution.
Mr Do It – knows what needs to be done and does it. Enough said.
Miss Surprise – The dark horse. I started out being unsure of her in the group however by the end she surprised me by taking the initiative and being a hard worker.
Miss Sweetheart – a genuinely nice young lady. Attended all meetings, contributed good ideas and was reliable.

Oh and me....”Carly?...she is bossy, controlling, acts like my mum, steamrollers the conversation, doesn’t listen, makes decisions, reliable, gets the work done, passionate, earns respect, has the courage to be loud, can handle difficult situations and is very organised.” These are all words and phrases I have heard being used to describe me. You know something? I am proud of them. Some of them are negative however that’s me.

There are certain things I look for from people within a group situation. I like:

· A mature and positive attitude

· Punctuality - Miss Sweetheart was always there on time and was a brilliant member of the team. She didn’t talk all the time but came up with good ideas and voiced anything she didn’t agree with – she was a reliable member of the team.

· Enthusiasm - Miss Surprise was. She independently emailed the company that the brief had been set on and asked if they could send any promotional material they had already produced.

· Confidence - Mr Do It had it. He knew what he was doing and remained a strong team member throughout. I have worked with him in other group work and I feel we complement each other.

· People who use their role to their advantage - This was evident with Mr Do It, Mr Laid Back and Miss Sweetheart – I feel they know their roles and use them to their advantage. Mr Talker knows his role however I felt that he was slightly confused...if I hadn’t have been in the group I feel he would have utilised his role better.

I would say that the qualities I am looking for are the same that are necessary in the workplace …so you could say I am preparing my team members for the outside world of work.

If you plan on joining my team here are a few pointers as of – ‘what not to do’:

· Don’t consult the team on a major decision – right at the beginning of the group work Mr Laid Back invited someone else to the group without consulting us – this is a person who had not attended any of the previous seminars, this concerned me, I didn’t know what this girl was like and to be honest wasn’t too happy she was in the group. Miss Surprise earned her name however as she pulled through – attended the seminars and worked on the presentation.

· Poor and negative attitude

· Be unwilling to participate or make suggestions

· Lateness – this is really something that gets me. Mr Talker was late to one of the meetings and totally forgot about another one....however instead of getting stressed I just accepted that they were late and carried on with the meeting as I would have done if he was there.

· Have volatile moods - this is something that used to affect me and then I worked with someone who acted the same way, I realised what an undesirable environment it caused and I changed my behaviour.

· Fail to keep promises – Mr Talker said he would take the presentation away to work on – ‘fluff up’ was the distinct phrase that was used. However later in the evening I had received nothing – I had to then follow it up – something in me wanted to sit back to see what happened but I got the impression it would have been: nothing.

In previous group work it has been said that I act like my team members mothers...taking the adult role – however I have now noticed if I take such a role they are more than likely to revert to the child role and I will have to mother them even more.

I often ask myself:

What could I do to make myself more of a desirable team member?

I used to think that I should try another role and take the non-leadership role...easier for me and I will probably blend into the background of the team more. Plus if things go wrong I can’t be blamed as I will have just been doing what I have been told to do. There is someone else in that role, the operational one who crosses the T’s and dots the I’s. I also don’t feel I would be beneficial in that role as what would happen if no-one else took the role....or even worse if someone who wasn’t competent did?! Overall I would say I am a useful member to have in a team. I provide team members with the tools they need to motivate themselves and give them a person to come to if they are stuck. I used to give the impression I was unapproachable and would bite somebody’s head off but over the past couple of months I have started to understand that I can’t control other people’s lives and not everyone puts the same amount of effort in as me. Plus sometimes circumstances take over and it alters the plan.

However....I’m not perfect....I need to work on appreciating others team member’s roles and understand how they help get the work done. This is something that the module ‘Managing PR’ has helped me with. Instead of focusing on the fact that someone isn’t a good leader they might still be pivotal to the team because of the research they carry out.

In the next 2 blogs I will be discussing team roles, how they all work together to get the best results and also what I need to work on to be a better team member....

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