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Example of Reflective Essay Essay

The most significant experience that occurred to during the past five weeks was in the first tutorial class. This was happened on 11th of September 2012 in the class B604. I was in a class of about twenty two students. The lecturer introduced us to the subject and told us about the assessments, later she mentioned that we have to work in a team of four to five individuals who we have not met before to observe a team and present the observations within the next eleven weeks to come. At this point I was very excited to start my work.

The lecturer put me into a team of four individuals, three girls and one boy. I was the only International student in the team but we all shared the same ethnicity, we all were Chinese. Later we were asked to introduce ourselves within the team, even though I was excited at first at this point I felt very nervous but still I happily introduced myself to my team.

It seemed like there was no tension among my team mates everyone was very polite and was talking well with each other. The first task that was given to us as a team was to build a tower using straws and paperclips, the lecture mentioned that she would then choose the most creative and stable tower. Within no time one of my team mates started to make the tower, there was no discussion or allocation of task still no one argued or had opposing ideas.

All the team mates accepted and agreed upon the ideas that were given out by the team mates. My goal when building the tower was to be the most stable and creative tower among all the team, but I didn’t mention this to my team mates but half way through a team mate of mine mentioned very openly that we should somehow win this task and there onwards the goal of our team was to make the most stable and creative tower.

Even though no tasks were allocated at first, half way through the tower we used all the ideas as resources to build the tower, more and more ideas were given each team mates which we selected and agreed upon, there were some ideas that I didn’t like but I still agreed upon because it was considered good by my team mates. At the end of the tutorial class our tower was selected as the most creative and stable tower. I was so delighted and proud of my team. My team mate then made a group on a social messenger that we all had used on our phone so that we could have better communication. We all left the class quite satisfied. Observations and Reflections

With reference to my first tutorial at first I felt very excited to work with new people whom I haven’t worked with before, but then again I felt very nervous when it actually came to introducing myself this may be cause I’m generally a very silent person and do not talk to people unless they talk to me because I’m not very fluent with English. I still spoke to the other team mates because I felt more comfortable when I realized that all of them were Chinese and therefore might not be also very fluent with English.

I also noticed that when we started to build the tower even though I disliked some ideas that were put up by team mates I still agreed upon it and didn’t want to look rude in front of my team mates, I just met them and had to continue to work with them for another twelve weeks, also I wasn’t still very open with them so if I had disliked the ideas that were put up by them they might think of me as a bad person. I didn’t want them to judge me as a bad person on the very first day. I felt that this might have been the reason why the other team mates also didn’t argue and accepted the ideas readily.

It was clear to me that when we came upon a common goal the team as a whole worked towards the goal and when we had won the task that was assigned to our team everyone bonded with each other, I think this was the start of our team cohesiveness. I was willing to join the group in the social messenger so I can keep in touch with my team mates so I could get to know them better. It was also clear to me that I myself appreciated the work of the team in winning the task that was allocated to us.

Abstract Conceptualization

Tuckmans model identifies five main successive stages of group development and relationships they forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. “The first stage, forming has two aspects. First people join the group either because of a work assignment, in the case of a formal group, or for some other benefit desired in the case of an informal group”(Robbins & Coulter, 2002).

Since we had formed a team to observe another group and that is was for an assignment for the unit Organisational management, it is clear to that our team was a formal group and was still in the forming stage of the tuckmans model of team development. “This first stage is characterized by a sense of uncertainty and awkwardness and perhaps anxiety.”

(Appannaiah et.al, 2010, p190) This may have been the reason why I was nervous when it actually came to introducing myself to the team, “At this point, mutual trust is low and members are not forthright with their opinions and ideas”. (Gilley et.al, 2010, P.19) this is the reason why I didn’t voice out my goal to my team mates, I had not developed complete trust with my team mates and didn’t want to impose a bad impression on them.

I think it’s also necessary for the team at this stage to appreciate the hard work put into the completing the task, this would in turn increase our teams effectiveness. Appreciating the pressures and difficulties faced by team members has also been shown to increase team effectiveness (Marks et al., 2002; Druskat and Kayes, 2000) The most frequently mentioned characteristics or behaviours of effective team members are the ‘five Cs’ (McShane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010).

Out of which “the first three competences are mainly (but not entirely) task related, while the last two mostly assist team maintenance” (McShane, Olekalns & Travaglione 2010). “At the individuals’ level, competencies represent skills, traits, characteristics and behaviours that distinguish an individual, whereas at the organisational level, competences are those activities that an organisation has the capability to effectively performing given the required skills and knowledge” (Hafeez and Abdelmeguid, 2003; Hafeez et al., 2005)

The Five team member competencies are Cooperating, Coordinating, Communicating, Comforting and Conflict resolving. When we were building the tower I accommodated other ideas and opinions even though I personally disliked it and therefore I was displaying a “Cooperating” competency.

Actual Experimentation

After analysing the theory referred to in the abstract conceptualization it is clear that the knowledge that I have gained from the theories and generalisations can be applied in the future when dealing with similar situations.

For a team that’s is undergoing the forming stage it is certain that most of the individuals are uncertain and feel awkward so in order to make it easier for the team mates I would be more polite and will try to make friends with them. I would do this by sharing personal contact details and influence my team mates to get to know each other better. I will also gain the mutual trust of my team mates since it is necessary for each individual within the team to trust each other when working, this will increase the effectiveness of the team.

I will also appreciate the work or achievements that are made by the team regularly, this can motivate the individuals in the team there by making them work more effectively in order to achieve higher achievements. When working with the team I will make effort to understand the skills and difficulties of the individuals in the group, for this I will adopt the five competences and also try and advise my team mates to adopt it. For instance I would assist the individuals in the team by listening to their views and opinions and accommodating them, by doing this I’d be adopting the “Cooperating” competency.

List of references
Appannaiah, H.R Reddy, P.N Kavitha, B. Rose, 2010, Organisational Behaviour, Himalaya Publishing, India Cacioppe, R & Stace, R 2009, ‘Integral team effectiveness: validity analysis of a theory-based team measure’, Team Performance Management, Vol. 15 Iss: 5/6, pp.220 – 234, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Emerald Journals, viewed 10 October 2012. Gilley J.W, et.al, 2010, ‘Integrated theoretical Model for Building effective teams’, Advances in Developing Human Resources, Vol.12 pp 17-28, Sage Publications, viewed 10 October 2012. Hafeez, K & Essmail, EA 2007, ‘Evaluating organisation core competences and associated personal competencies using analytical hierarchy process’, Management Research News, Vol. 30 Iss: 8, pp.530 – 547, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Emerald Journals, viewed 10 October 2012. McShane, S, Olekalns, M & Travaglione, T 2010 ‘Organisational Behaviour on the Pacific Rim’, 3rd edn, McGraw-Hill, Australia. Robbins S.P & Coutler M, 2002, ‘Management’, 7th edn, Prentice Hall Inc, New Jersey USA

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