Teamwork: Policy And Governance For Public Health Nutrition
This essay aims to reflect my personal learning process, development of skills, and career growth in a specific learning situation that I experienced during the Global Public Health Nutrition (GPHN) program at the University of Westminster during Semester 1, 2020. I have been working on a community presentation on’ Stakeholder Research over the past few weeks. In my squad, there were five positions. My task was to explain the efficacy of the stakeholders. My role was important to teamwork guaranteeing tasks finished as scheduled and improving team performance to high quality.
In a team project, good cooperation plays a key role in the quicker and better implementation and achievement of common objectives. Each team member plays his or her specific role and takes on different roles that can help the teamwork together well and accomplish a common goal. In different phases of teamwork, disagreements or arguments can occur as participants have multiple points of view that need to be harmonized within the team. The secret to good teamwork is to leverage the specific nature of each team position.
It follows the ‘Experiential Learning Cycle’ of Kolb to test my concepts and think about more actions. Kolb (1984) indicated that a person learns through exploration and experience and developed an Experiential Learning Loop to show that as students pass through a four-stage cycle, successful learning takes place. The model offers a holistic learning process model and is referred to as ‘experimental learning’ to highlight the central role experience plays in the learning process.
A didactic model based on the assumption that effective and meaningful learning is only possible through a direct and realistic analysis of the learning material is characterized by experiential education. At the heart of this concept is the learner. Under this technique, the ‘Experiential Learning Cycle’ of David Kolb is a notion that describes the ideal relation between experience and future action. According to this model, learning is a circular process with the subsequent elements: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation. It shows in the following diagram:
I thought teamwork wasn’t an easy task during the teamwork experience. Tuckman’s Four Stages of Group Growth teamwork theory will help me better understand and manage various challenges or unforeseen situations that may arise at different stages of team development in the evolution of team building (Miller DL, 2003). There are four phases in team evolution, according to Tuchman: creating, storming, norming, and performing (Tuckman, online). During my experience from this teamwork, in the four different stages of group development, both positive and negative circumstances happened and need to be taken care of.
The initial stage of team growth is taking shape. Individuals are not yet well united at this point and consensus would be difficult to achieve. Each participant is eager to find a place in the team and can hardly feel a sense of belonging (Scott D. J., 2000). As members are almost strangers, they do not know their objective clearly and strongly need the help of a leader to tell them why they are together. Our team opened several meetings in the zoom to solve the problems created by the formation process and plan for the following team mission, as it was unable to meet physically due to the COVID’19 pandemic to create trust within each other. But during our first meeting, something surprising occurred. When everyone else was expecting her arrival, one of our team students did not turn up. At this point, she wasn’t online and went outside. She did not search Whatsapp community massage while the meeting note was distributed through Whatsapp within the team only as we usually use Whatsapp for connection and sometimes someone does not check Whatsapp for the accident. This was an unfortunate accident, and to prevent such incidents from occurring again, we learned to re-check for any unconfirmed uncertainties.
My leader explained the team mission through meetings, as well as the general agenda and task completion regulations. Tasks were split and allotted to each person concerned. This stage is important as it paves the way for the smooth production of the next team phases. The strengths and weaknesses of each participant need to be recognized and will then ensure that each plays up strength and be coordinated to complete the most suitable portion. If we can delegate various roles to the right person, teamwork productivity will be significantly improved, which will boost individual morale and prevent fewer disagreements or grievances within the team.
When the formation process ended, people started to see themselves as part of the team and will feel a sense of belonging and motivation to work together. The storming stage is slowly coming together as a clash of views and collision of all kinds of trains of thought, which is enough to create a storm for both brains and teamwork (Tuckman, 1977). At this point, team members can easily challenge each other because people have different opinions on the same subject. Using the word of Tuchman to tell, disagreement and inconsistency describe this stage as the surface of differences. In reality, this happens several times in our discussion of the team. Each person had different attitudes towards the same topic, and everyone would appreciate the way he proposed that others accept and think. Conflict is thus inevitable. We vote to determine which proposal will be implemented and attempt to reform ideas and harmonize a method that is widely accepted.
For many times, we thought that the storming stage was wasting a lot of time on the completion of the common task for endless arguing and lack of concentration. But we eventually discovered the further sense of teamwork through our attempts to ‘polish’ each other based on shared respects and understood that the common interests and team success are above all in a team. This is a stage for team members to harmonize their thoughts and the team leader has played an important role in organizing and helping to make decisions about how to achieve the task. Besides, each member of the team can not only learn critical thought but also consider and value the thoughts and viewpoints of others, thereby finding some harmony within the team and achieving the team goal peacefully and beneficially.
The stage of normalization seems to be resolved more naturally and quickly when witnessing a smooth transition from the storming process. The standardization stage is a stage in which team members begin to trust each other more and unite together to process the task with a growing sense of ‘togetherness’ with more teamwork (Gersick, 1988). Our team progressively became more mature with the progress of the formation and storming stages and teamwork was done more effectively and efficiently. Team members now would follow team principles and behave for the best of the team.
The performance stage is the final stage that focuses on refreshing, executing, and completing activities. Via individuals working successfully together (Tuckman, online), all teamwork combined to provide performance synergy is provided. In this process, our team had several chances in the structure and manifestation of the mission. Team members may either be assigned for new tasks or completed for other tasks as well. We had an accident at this stage that was ultimately fixed imminently, but not a threat to the team’s overall success. The role of the conclusion was assigned to finish by the team leader, which I stressed several times in our discussion. Eventually, the team leader took on the responsibility of doing this part by herself. The execution of our teamwork processes was very smooth and effective, despite this minor accident. Team members performed their tasks as expected and in the final presentation, we worked together to point out the faults of each other and improve team performance.
To make teamwork more productive and more tightly unified, I learned through the four stages of group growth that good communication and discipline are very important. Moreover, to attain a common objective, mutual interest, trust, and understanding are necessary. Individuals are highly motivated and empowered to improve job efficiency as individuals learn to value the contributions of each other and support each other. That’s the teamwork beauty that I love the most.
From this experience of teamwork, I deeply feel the value of teamwork and the amazement it can bring to the completion of quality tasks and the achievement of goals. It teaches me to coordinate with others to inspire others to be able to clearly describe complicated things and to bring group interest in the first place as a person. Maximizing individual strengths, communication skills and minimizing limitations to achieve the common objective of a team, and harmonizing the perspectives of team members to some equilibrium is the magic that only teamwork can offer and make each person play better.
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