Development of Skills
Within the group, a large amount of skills were used. The majority of the group used listening skills, closed and open questioning skills. Opportunities were available where Probing and reflecting could have been put to practise. Other members of the group displayed passive aggressive behaviours , dictated, used aggressive and bullying body / verbal language and actions. In my opinion the members of the group displaying these undesirable traits were not aware they were doing so. Eleni was the most diplomatic member of the group and quashed frustrations which arose between individuals. Too many of the group members were too passive and allowed themselves to be dictated too. I felt I exercised great restrain throughout many of the sessions where a few individuals were concerned. My listening skills and observation skills were used Working in a team
The preliminary meetings preparing for the mock trial could have and should have been more productive than they were. I have been involved in group work many times and in different areas throughout my teenage and adult life, in academic and work related environments. knowing I would be viewed as an outsider, I decided, before starting back on the course to keep my distance and watch how the group interacted due to the dynamics as a whole being established for over a year. However, the majority made me feel welcome. Originally, when I joined the group, I found it refreshing that all present individuals were showing respect towards each other and appeared to be valuing each others opinions and inputs. After three or four sessions , the dynamics began to change. I noticed the group was leaning more on Catriona. Catriona became note taker (not agreed by the group) of the group, e-mailing the progress and decisions made at each session. I felt this encouraged group reliance on her. Catriona became self appointed organiser and readily gave her opinion (not a bad thing). A person should haave been selected to take lead of the group throughout, to set targets and ensure the stages of the trial were being met and evry one in the group participated at the same level. The e-mails from Catriona stopped, once her role had been established. Alison who hadn’t had any input appeared to begin to compete for the same respect in a needy, passive aggressive way. I found Alison disrespectful, ill mannered and deceitful. Simon, was an aggressive bully in the group. I perceived him as having an inferiority complex by the younger members in the group and so he took on a bullying approached, shouting and trying to intimidate. He didn’t want to hear anybody else’s point of view, he completely lacked people skills clearly showing his deficiency of communication skills. I had one incident with him, which was unprovoked and not justified. This was a result from him reading, in the handouts I produced, relating to my role that I had described the wooden object, to be used in the trial, as a nutcracker. Which it was. He repeatedly ranted about the ballet. I answered him back, he’s more my age than the rest of the group. However, other members of the group said this was his usual reaction to things. I had only seen him at two previous mock trial sessions. Time management
Time management for the trial could have been improved on. One hour each session , in reality equated to thirty five minutes max. The initial couple of weeks were used well. Time was spent deciding on the scenarios, relevant legislation which could be applied to them and the roles of individuals. However, the bulk of time in these meetings was spent on the wooden soldier scenario. The lighter scenario was briefly mentioned on a couple of occasions. There was a lot of time wasted, griping over missing members (Katie and Simon) and how they were hindering ‘our’ chances of a successful trial. Decisions agreed upon at past meeting were revisited over and over. Again, these issues appeared related to certain roles....
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