Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blog post #5 Survey project reflections

Team work of trying to save the leaning tower from collapse

Reflecting back on my experience on report writing, I felt that it was definitely an enriching experience. For this module, there are a lot of tight datelines that we have to adhere to. Assignments like minutes for the meeting, project proposals, project survey drafts have to be finished within a short time frame and that requires adequate communication and cooperation of my group mates. Slowly, I found out that I was having trouble with getting sufficient cooperation from one of my team mate due to insufficient communication and very different styles of working.

During the process of report writing, I learnt that having clear communication with my team mates is not easy. It is important to be diplomatic and control my emotions when I am working with my team mates, even when conflicts occur. I also learnt to be firm and phrase my ideas logically such that I can convince both my teamates and readers of the report that my proposal is persuasive.

Building interpersonal relationships in a team is crucial as makes communication easier for work matters. Having small talks with my team mates helps in bonding of team members and build interpersonal relationships. For my team, we voice out any disagreements such that negative emotions do not accumulate causing bad relationship to develop.

An important lesson learnt from being a team player was that I must be open to ideas from my other team mates, even though I do not agree with them. During the report writing process, my team mate and I have a rather different style of working and that resulted in some conflicts which we voiced out and tried to resolve. As a team player, it is also important to strive to be a consistent and perform the best of my abilities. If I do not give concerted efforts at my work, my team members are likely to be affected by it and this may drag the team down. It is therefore important for each of us to provide our own expertise in the project, such that we can achieve much more as a team.

In this project, research was mainly done via a survey instead of the usual online research in lab reports. For my group, it was not an easy task as we had two batches of survey to be disseminated to the professors and students. We faced difficulty in getting the professors to do our survey by sending emails and had to do so face to face. I learnt that we must always have a back up plan and be flexible in dealing with our work. I also learnt that it is not easy to carry out a survey and that all team members have to work hard in disseminating the survey forms such that analysis of results can be done.

I learnt to write report succintly and effectively such that my message can be conveyed clearly through the report. I also learnt to support my data with graphs and references such reliability can be reflected in my report. I also learnt to phrase my arguments in a logical and cohesive manner such that it is compelling and will be able to convince the reader.

I would hope that there would be more communication and bonding such that stronger interpersonal relationships can be built among my team mates such that we can all enjoy the process of working together and emerge as effective communicators. Also, I would hope that a everyone in the group can have a positive and consistent working attitude in the oral presentation to come, ensuring that our project done can be of substance and style.


Alicia said...

Hi Xinyu,

I understand the turmoil of dealing with two batches of survey forms as my group faces the same challenge. In the face of time constraints, to produce a survey report which requires feedback from two sources entails a higher level of commitment and effort. It is common for group members to have differing opinions as no one is structured to think alike. Hence, in order to produce a final product; the survey report, a mutual agreement need to be reached.

In the course of reaching mutual agreements, it is essentially to trash things out and speak your mind to iron disagreements. No doubt it is necessary to make known to others your thoughts, it is also crucial to be tactful in putting across the message you want to convey. Speaking about what has to be done is so much easier than actually doing it. However, without trying, one will never know the effectiveness of this approach. I am glad my group has taken this first step and manages to iron out differing opinions. It is also heartwarming to see that the disagreements that once affect the team’s cohesion have cleared up.

Lastly, all the best the upcoming oral presentation and I am positive that your group will pull through as a team. :)

Jing Yi said...

Hey XinYu,

Thank you very much for being such a fabulous group leader. Hence, we are able to complete our projects on time.

I have to agree with you that it is important that everyone in a team is a team player, hence, we would not increase one another's work load. And exercising the effective form of communications when need be.

It is important to voice out any conflicts to prevent the negativity from snowballing. However, using the right words, tones to put the message across is a challenge, as it is important that no one feels offended through out the process.

We are now left with the oral presentation. I believe we will be able to do it well as a team. =)

MadelineLee said...

Dear Xinyu,

My group also faced some problems while conducting survey. It was difficult to get a good mix of respondents from both genders, in the given time constraint. Furthermore, we wanted to change some of the survey questions after we had printed them. Fortunately, we managed to apply the survey results relevantly to our proposal after much discussion. Like you mentioned, flexibility is really crucial in the analysis of surveys. Furthermore, I am glad that my team members were able to communicate and share ideas effectively to make the survey useful for the report. Overall, it was the team effort that pays off.

I admire your courage in attempting to resolve conflicts and to convey different perspective. It is certainly tricky to work out differences but I am glad that you have become a better communicator and built friendships through this meaningful experience.


r. said...

Hey Xinyu,

Well i guess as much as we pray and hope for team members of the same working styles, with traits and abilities that complement each other, there are times when we do get people with different working styles for group members. Like what you said, it then becomes very important that group members clear things out by talking out the differences and in addition to this, laying the ground rules and achieving a common understanding is important in reducing possible conflicts.

On top of this, apart from different working styles, I believe we could try and improve our interpersonal relationships through looking at the person from a different angle. In this way, we could discover different aspects of the person and maybe help improve working together.

On another note, I really do understand the difficulty in trying to obtain information from lecturers especially for such a survey topic that you are involved in. It's not your fault that results and responses weren't as expected but like you said, having backups may solve the problem.

Hence with this, I do sincerely hope that you have solved the differences with your group mates and work towards a good oral presentation =)

oxy said...

Hi Xinyu,

In my personal view, I think the problem your group faced during the research project is relatively, especially when working in a group. We often meet people with very different working style from us and this is often the main cause of disagreement or conflict in the group. Therefore, in my opinion, it is important to have an understanding of the person you are working with so that one could prepare him/herself better in term of communication before working together.

A mutual understanding and agreement between group members is essential in order to complete the given task well and on time. In the case of yours, I think it is necessary for the group to sit down and voice out your thoughts so as to allow your other group members to understand how you feel. This perhaps would enhance the relationship between your group members and lead to a better working experience.

Whatever it is, I believe you had learnt quite a lot from this research project, especially the importance of team work and effective communication. These skills are definitely important for our future workforce.

I do sincerely hope that you have solved the differences with your group mates and strengthen your relationship with each other.