Me as a Team Player

Working as part of a team to complete a project in an online course has been frustrating at times, but has also been a valuable learning experience that has provided me with opportunities for personal growth and development.  Through my interactions with others I learned a lot about myself and about how I communicate with others.  At times I experienced a feeling of frustration which I believe was a result of the members of the group approaching tasks from a different perspective that may have been a result of a
significant difference in our ages and the life experiences that we brought to
the tasks.  This required me to accept that I needed to approach tasks differently so that other members of the team were able to more completely embrace the learning experience.  At times, it was necessary for me to step back in an attempt to let someone else direct the pace of the process or discussions.

I have remained committed to the success the team by remaining engaged in the team assignments by actively participating in discussions on the boards and during our weekly meetings.  During our first assignment I consistently posted on the boards providing ideas and building upon the ideas of others, while helping to ensure that the team continued to move forward as we progressed through the assignment.  When we received constructive criticism on aspects of the assignment that could be improved, I accepted the criticism as a positive motivator for change and worked collaboratively with others to respond by making the changes necessary for improvement.

During the second assignment I have strived to apply knowledge obtained during the course to my interactions with others on my team.  I have allowed others the opportunity to contribute their ideas while asking questions to further develop the idea so it could be understood and we could explore the feasibility of the ideas.  I have attended each online meeting that we have held even though it has required me to get out of bed before 4:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning.  Following these meetings I have posted transcripts that allow me and others to refer back to the discussions we have had.  I have strived to let go of the attempt to control the flow of things and to be more open to the input of others.  I have learned that others in my group desire ongoing encouragement throughout a task and in response I have attempted to provide them with the motivation that they required.  When aspects of the task have been assigned to me I have met the corresponding deadlines that have been established by the group.

I am continuing to work towards improving several aspects of my ability to collaboratively work within a team.  The first of these is my understanding and empathy in regards to the needs of others.  I find it frustrating when meeting times are previously agreed on and then others fail to honour that time commitment.  It is necessary for me to remember that everyone has other obligations in life outside of the commitment to the team.  I am also continuing to work towards allowing others to take on a greater leadership role in tasks that highlight their individual strengths or that allow them to further develop their skills, and to not be critical of the methods used.  Lastly I am continuing to work to identify the strengths of others and to help them build on these strengths.

To ensure that I am an active and productive team member in the future I will engage in active listening and ask questions to clarify what is being said.  I will be flexible in trying to understand that the time commitments of others may change in response to other aspects of their lives.  When working in a team environment, I will continue to engage in the exchange of ideas with others in a respectful manner that values the input of others. I will step up and promote my own ideas when necessary so that if my ideas are worthy they will not be overshadowed by others who may be more vocal than I am.  As a member of a team, I will strive to recognize the strengths of all team members including myself and to build upon those strengths.  Finally, I will actively seek out opportunities that allow me to gain skills that benefit the environment that I work in.

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