(what do I know about teamwork and leadership and about myself as a team worker and leader to start with?)
Before I even start this reflection I want to lay out my understandings about teamwork and leadership the way I see it.
Teams are these collaborative units of people joined together to accomplish a common goal whatever that is. The output of the whole team should exceed that of the sum of the output of individual members. This is the main reason for working in teams. Teamwork is the sum of all actions undertaken by the team members to achieve a common task. Teamwork also involves recognizing your role within the team and focusing on the team’s common goal rather than focusing on personal preferences.
Leadership is a behavior of one of the members of the team, which concludes in influencing the team’s decision-making process and over all team performance.
Team leaders must be able to :
– prepare the agenda for team meetings
– ensure that team meeting is focused on the agenda
– establish positive working and creative environment
– point out the objectives needed to be discussed
What do I know about my self as a team worker and team leader?
Well I was always able to work as part of a team. I have worked with variety of people from different ages and nationalities on 2 continents. I worked as warehouse supervisor where I had a team of 12 people to look after and supervise day in day out. During my time as Farm Manager I had teams of up to 15 people which I had to supervise, to plan for the day ahead and to know at any instant who is doing what. This type of work is very demanding physically and psychologically and I enjoyed it a lot. These days I tend to take second stage when it comes down to been a group leader simply for the fact that I’ve been there and kind of feel obligated to let the younger team members to take the initiative and prove them self’s as team leaders.
(Why is teamwork and leadership important for an engineer? what are some important dimensions to working in teams and providing leadership?)
Teams of engineers have become the basic working unit in modern engineering organizations. Because team environment foster interaction and open communication, and create a desirable setting for generating new ideas, the ability to function effectively as a member of a team has become essential.
The broad range of disciplines required to move an innovative idea through product development and testing, and ultimately to production and marketing, requires that engineers collaborate in teams to create products that meet the needs of consumers.
The broad acceptance of teams as an effective approach to improve performance has fundamentally changed the work environment for engineers; today’s engineers must master teamwork and communication skills as never before.
We can all say that importance of teamwork is undisputable.
(What did I learn from the team exercises? what was the feedback that I received?)
There are a few things that I am going to mention.
Our group worked very well when we got together. We shared tasks and split the workload in order to prepare for our second presentation based on our experience at UL Activity Centre.
We had numerous group meetings where we discussed the details of preparation and where we decided who is going to present if called on the day. Apart from this we kept constant contact over email through which we shared information about the work we’ve done so far and collaborated actively to complete the task in time. I took an active participation in the process and in the end we were pleased with the result.
I have to acknowledge the effort of all members of our group and to congratulate them for job well done.
Perhaps for the next group exercise we need to work little bit harder since we’ve seen the effort of the other teams involved.
(How can I use this to go forward? what specific things should I do to develop my team working and leadership skills based on what I have learned from this experience?)
Working in a group is exciting and a bit of tiring exercise some time especially if someone does not pull as much as the others . In our group we are all strong and well-developed individuals but when we work as a group I think that we lack the edge needed to be very successful. From my point of view I think that I need to encourage the other members of the group to participate more actively when it comes to completing a task and take matters more seriously. Having said that over all experience is definitely positive and looking forward to the future.