Saturday, November 13, 2010

How to work in a group

This article is about my experience and thoughts about this hard job- working in the TEAM. It’s about how person should or shouldn’t act with their group members.
The moral of the article is that never, never forget that you are a human first and only then (or in the university- you are trying to be) the professional in your field.

My experience and observation
In my IED experience I have worked in 3 groups with different people and also I have observed have other groups are working and I have absolutely different experience.

Advices to a better group work despite what I have experienced:
1. Don’t cut other people ideas just because it doesn’t go together with the strategy you imagine or it’s something you didn’t think before. Of course it makes you feel uncomfortable a little bit, because that means you need to come out from your comfort zone and maybe think in some other direction, so actually you are afraid a bit of this idea and you just don’t want to accept it because it makes you think again and look to your project from other horizon, but it can make your project better.

2. Don’t cut other people ideas even if you think the idea is stupid, because it’s only your perception and maybe it’s not the best one. Try to discuss it, develop it and you will see, it will lead you to a new idea! Try to understand group needs and characteristics, what every person of group can give. What are their strong characteristics which can be useful.

3. If you are not discussing ideas other group members’ advice, or you just cut them, they will be afraid to tell you something next time, so the whole climate in the group will be destroyed and they will not be able to give as much contribution they actually could. Listen, listen, listen! The climate in the group is essential important to succeed. There are always people in the group, who try to lead through creating a climate for fear, competition and that in my opinion is the straightest way to have problems. Try to lead by creating positive atmosphere.

4. Don’t be afraid to admit you are wrong, make joke on yourself. Group members appreciate person who admit his own mistakes because after all it’s a human quality and then other members of group will not be afraid to tell their thoughts, opinion, even if they are not sure about it.

5. When it comes to the presentation, let your group members talk if they want! Let them grow! (Come on, guys, it’s a school!) Not keeping the bad climate, atmosphere by not letting your member speak! Image how much energy you spend? If you are a member of a group (especially in the university) what gives you the right to decide- who will talk and who will not? You are all equal and if you can help your group member to grow- let him do it! And if before the presentation you say him: “Our asses are on fire because of you!”, do you think you will really help him to be the best on presentation after that kind of words? I have a big doubt. In every single step try to support your group member and let them feel your shoulder! And after- be happy if he did a great job, because you let him grow.

6. Sometimes students in university, when it comes to a group work, try to have a certain role. I absolutely agree in the group there should be a person, who is putting together all the ideas, like the responsible one. BUT- that doesn’t give you a power to decide, what you will put on the presentation and what not. You are just a secretary who put everything together not the person who gives the green or red bottom for your group member ideas.

7. The last but not least- humanity. I have seen some students are really punishing themselves because they are not use to be the “bad persons” who are trying only to tell their opinion and the rest one they don’t matter. I also was the bad person in one of my projects. That made me feel bad and I was so happy that I finished that project. So, the question is: “How to “fight” whit such kind of person? Why you need to be bad, to make them respect you?” I still don’t have the answer to this question.

Team success is usually the reason of combined hard work with the respect of your team members and that’s the key to success.

P.S. I'm not sure that the attitude I wrote is professional, but I’m sure it’s human.


  1. I have to say that I agree with almost everything you state… some things to add. These are quotes of knowledge people that have studied group works and advices to be really effective:

    “It is amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares about who gets the credit.” Robert Yates

    “Individual commitment to a group effort-that is what makes a team work” Vince Lombardi, football coach for the NFL (1913-1970)

    “A team is more than a collection of people. It is a process of give and take.” Barbara Glacel & Emile Robert Jr.

    Teamwork is what the Green Bay Packers were all about. They didn't do it for individual glory. They did it because they loved one another…
    Vince Lombardi (1913-1970), football coach for the NFL

    Everyone is needed, but no one is necessary.

A job worth doing is worth doing together.

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives.
    Andrew Carnegie

    If you want to be heard, then talk and try to do your best, it is not only being in a group what matters, be committed and work.

    A true leader is not only a secretary he has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He doesn't set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.

    Teamwork: Simply stated, it is less me and more we, every group of people must not only work as a group where every individual works for his own advantage, but instead, every one should work as part of a team

    The team must have high standards that are understood by all. Team members must know what is expected of them individually and collectively. Vague statements such as "positive attitude" and "demonstrated effort" are not good enough.

    To be part of a group you must assist to all meetings and clearly give your best for the well being of the group. Your peers must be able to notice you are giving your best.

    Decisions should be made by consensus; not everything anyone says should be done. Avoiding to address a problem within a group is letting it grow.

    “Without forgiveness, there can be no real freedom to act within a group.” Max DePree

    Camila Jaramillo

  2. University is university, in real life when everything is around the money, and especially in this kind of business. No one will cut out some good idea. One more thing  there will be always pointed leader of the group.

  3. Thank you Camila. I have learned a lot from you!

  4. i have no more to say, how- ''advertising sharks''

  5. The word "shark" has been used a lot this week. I think that actually one part of us also want to have the skills, abilities, strengts and pose of shark.I think it's even more positive than a negative word. Maybe I should change my blog name from "Advertising girl" to "Advertising shark" :)Thats sonds more powerfull! :)

  6. Ha ha this will be breaking point. Remember it! November 14 of 2010. A nice girl become a shark !

  7. When I read this article, it remind me some things from my own experience at work and at study process...when is one person who always try to be the best, whatever it takes him or her to do it...Humanity doesn't work there and only word for that person is bossing...But as far as I had this experience, sooner or latter that person understand that he needs advice, he needs to talk, to get new ideas or develop his own ones...or other vise that person just die in creativity or innovation meaning...and become the sneaky one, who steels other ideas...
    However business and teamwork can go hand to hand and they can do opposite way, but listening and expressing opinions - that's the MOST IMPORTANT thing to make something really grate and appreciative.
    Also there is other opinion in USA, that all best schools, universities, institutes exploring to their students (to encourage to make their minds crate "fresh" ideas:), that business is just a background for new ideas, creativity and innovation, (like a dj on the dance flour) - the best part is teamwork, support,understanding,listening,discussing,joy, happiness that they experience,share (like finding new dance steps, even if at the start they are clumsy), because that makes the new steps for future and show us what we really can achieve as team and as to dance and with whom to dance that's is our own decision, but it doesn't mean that everyone can try...

  8. Anrida, you pointed out one very interesting idea which is” try to get enjoy and fun out of the work in a team, because this process should be like this in ideal world. Unfortunately frequently we can’t choose the people to work together, especially if you are a student who starts his carrier in some company. And even if you would be able to choose, then maybe actually the group work would be not so good, because we need different characteristics, opinions etc. So, the best thing to get from it is to collect this experience and enjoy the process. Because, if things around you is impossible to change, then you need to change your attitude towards them and then the process can become enjoyable and even fun.

  9. totally agree with you on this one. its listen & respect, but i have to say sometimes with a person who has the decision power is such a bless when the project working process is being a mess :D

  10. that's true - if that's not impossible to change people in the group...that teamwork brainstorming on ideas can be this way friend of mine (Stanford's Master, in Human brain nerves researches also teamwork, personality)said an interesting thing - depression - no one of team workers can't depress others with his opinion, there way to make them feel bad - all students should be in similar position's when ideas are generated. After that,when the tasks are given for each person in team, depending of their best productiveness (like, who can speak good - let them make ppt, who can design the best - should do the design and so on), but never make people feel bad in group and listen what they had to say about the task which is given to him /her. In bad atmosphere no teamwork can be done good, with satisfaction of what people feel working together to catch the same goal, because they are working with the same project...
    Hmmm, just recognize little bit different way for team work - choose people depending on theirs skills, then their definitely should be also with different characteristics and making the project can become maybe more easier...but of course this is just my opinion ( I will try to experiment on this one:)