Floods of memories flashed through my mind as I recall the problems I faced when I stepped up to lead the team during the second meeting.
The objective of the meeting was to come up with the programme outline, so that we can draft the proposal and show our execution plans to our beneficiary. As the leader, I facilitated the discussion to allow my team mates to partake and contribute ideas, but most of them appeared reserved. Despite my utmost effort to encourage them to express their views, I found myself doing the talking most of the time. When I asked for their opinions on my suggestions, the common answers elicited from them were ‘All right’ or ‘Sounds good’.
Upon dividing the programme into different sub-events (such as games station, ice-breakers, teaching of jingle, etc), I allocated a portion to each member, so that each of us can research on our individual activity and provide more in-depth details for the proposal. Besides that, I offered to collate everyone’s work and come up with the framework of the proposal. The stipulated deadline was the subsequent week (the third meeting).
During the week, I sent out some emails that constituted some of my humble opinions and suggestions on the different sub-events in the light of cultivating a team environment whereby ideas are expressed and exchanged freely. However, most of my team mates did not reciprocate, notwithstanding my reminder to request them to read the emails.
Furthermore, as I was collating everyone’s work, I realized that some of them submitted work that was slipshod in my perspective. Some work exhibited direct copying attempt from the internet without any paraphrasing or analysis, while others lacked structure, thoroughness and forethoughts. For instance, John prepared the ‘logistics’ document, but he merely listed the logistics in scatter of words with the absence of a table or structure and excluded many essential details like quantity and deadlines to purchase them.
With all the aforementioned occurrences I faced, I bottled all my feelings and took everything in my stride. After assembling everyone’s work, I edited the proposal myself by injecting my ideas, rephrasing the words and researching on my other team mates’ parts.
I found myself thrown into a pool of mixed emotions – disappointment, anger, confusion and discontentment. To describe all these emotions in one word, it would be ‘disheartened’.
I believed that creativity is an imperative quality that is necessary in the making of an effective team, and to foster creativity, we should be straightforward with our ideas so that we can combine and refine them to create the best outcome. Thus, when I was the leader, I placed a significant proportion of emphasis on establishing a climate of discussions and interactions. I also hold the conviction that if I have any interesting insights or plausible ideas, even if the work is designated to my other team mate, I should still share with the rest instead of keeping them to myself. This is my understanding on the essence of ‘team work’. All the sub-parts tasked to the individual team member will ultimately be organised together and the final product will be submitted as a team effort. Hence, I was very disappointed by the low frequency of team mates voicing out their ideas to support one another. The lack of response painted an impression that everyone was focusing solely on their parts independently instead of considering the overall picture.
Secondly, I was furious when some of my team mates submitted work without meeting the basic requirements. In my point of view, it is the responsibility of every member that whenever tasks are allocated to them, they should demonstrate some professionalism in their work by performing extensive research or analysis to achieve its basic objectives. When a member performs the task poorly,...