Group work can be very effective if it is properly organize. At the same time, the experience of group work can contribute to the development of organizational and leadership skills which can be very helpful in my professional career. In this regard, I can recall my school experience, when I worked in a team on a project in history. It was very useful experience, although, today, I understand that my team work was imperfect. Nevertheless, I am conscious of the fact that even imperfect team work proved to be useful for the development of my organizational and leadership skills.
At first, the team work was quite difficult for me because I got used to work individually. The lack of experience of close cooperation with other students in a team raised certain problems I could not overcome at the beginning of the team work. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the problem of the redistribution of responsibilities among team members. What is meant here is the fact that our group members had to define their functions within a group to improve the effectiveness of our group work. To put it more precisely, one team member was searching for information concerning the subject of our project, another team member processed and analyzed the information, the third team member worked on the development of the presentation of our project, the fourth team member made the presentation to the class, the fifth member edited and corrected the presentation before it was delivered to the class, and, finally, there was a leader, who organized the group work and managed the work of team members.
However, we faced the problem of the redistribution of functions within our team because three out of five team members wanted to perform the function of a team leader, including me. Naturally, our team could not have more than one team leader and the struggle for the leadership in our team raised significant tension between team members. Namely, I always attempted to prove the group that I would be a better leader than the one the group had elected. Today, I believe that such tension and my strife for leadership had a negative impact on the team work because the internal competition between team members slowed down our work on the project.
I believe that our team would perform better if we did not compete with each other and, instead, focused on specific functions of each team members. I am conscious of the fact that the effective team work is possible on the condition that each team members knows his or her functions, accepts his or her role in the team and performs his or her functions properly without interference in the work of other team members. In addition, it is important that the team leader should be accepted as a leader by all team members, who recognize his or her authority. In such a way, the leader can organize the team work and lead to the successful outcome of its work.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, I can conclude that my experience of team work proved to be useful because it helped me to learn how to work in a team. I learned to find a compromise decisions to meet the team goals and give in my individual goals for the sake of team’s ones.