Studies at GSE involve performing a substantial number of different activities which vary from course to course. But one thing that you find almost in every course syllabus is a group work. I am not going to write how important it is to develop team working skills or what roles you can take. Today’s blog is about how groups are different in their working style based on my personal experience of being a student at GSE.
After the first semester, I realized that some features of a group performance allow me to classify it into three categories, or styles of work. The first working style I would call “Follow me!” There is a strong leader whose opinion dominates in the team. Other members are either too quiet or too sleepy to contribute. It may probably be an effective way to do the task if the leader is willing to do all the work and others are ok to follow the instructions. But I believe that what you get at the end of such cooperation is a relief that the project is finally done.
Another type of a team work I would call “See you on the due date!”. It means that the minimum time is spent together between the first and last meetings of this team. Members of the group complete arranged parts of the project separately and bring revised (or nor revised, who knows) works before the deadline to compile a single project. I was a bit shocked when we did so because all the authors’ points were great by themselves but did not work together at all. We tried to give more sense to the flow of ideas and at the end of the day everybody felt so tired that we just submitted the work because we had no will (and no time of course) to make what we thought of a “perfect work”.
I was trying to find a good name for my last experience in a group work but “work + fun = result” probably fits best. I think that is the way the group work is supposed to be built. You meet first and make sure everybody gets some work to do before the next meeting. Next time you revise together what you have so the work is developed smoothly step by step. We enjoyed working together and it was fine to be a little ineffective sometimes and have fun. But no matter what, everybody’s ideas were listened to and discussed. Everybody’s opinion was important. Everybody’s joke mattered.
I believe this working style is the best for one reason: you do not get tired working on your project. You do not feel exhausted like after a long run, you feel inspired. I am so glad I had a chance to get such experience during my studying here. The question is: do you get the same feelings working in groups?