Running with the Big Dawgs Now

As my second semester of senior year is coming to a very rapid close, I have thought a lot about the past four years.  It is baffling to think that four years ago I was starting my journey as a business student, and little did I know what I was getting myself in to.  3nktAlthough I do not have any regrets over these past few years, there are definitely some things I wish I knew beforehand and had done differently, especially in the area of group projects.

As a Bryant student you will be placed into dozens of group projects.  The biggest thing I realized was just how much I can learn from each group project and each team member.  No two groups were ever the same due to the different personalities and skills that were brought to the table.  For example, based on the Myers Briggs personality test, working in a group of all extroverts will be completely different than working in a group of introverts because of the way each feels comfortable interacting with others.  Just as, working with individuals that are predominantly NT (Intuition and Thinking) compared to NF (Intuition and Feeling) will be just as different, because NT’s are very logical in the way they approach their work, whereas NF’s focus more on ideas and possibilities.  Each group will have members will all different personality traits that will not only add to the group, but also make you think differently.  After four years of group projects, I can easily say that the groups formed randomly by professors have by far been the best groups I have worked with.  I believe this simply because although working with friends can be more comfortable, it may get too comfortable and individuals start slacking off.  It definitely takes a little time to adjust to everyone’s personalities and work ethic, but if you allow yourself to be a good team player you will quickly start forming a supportive organizational culture within your group, it will make your team very successful.

A team leader takes on some of the same tasks as a manager of a company.  In both positions you learn how to effectively manage different types of people in all different every-group-project-the-hangoverscenarios.  Taking on the leadership role has really taught me about the many different work styles, as well as how different people react to different situations.  To be an effective group leader, one must realize that there are different methods to go about handling a situation with different individuals.  For example one employee may feel more motivated to succeed when a leader reprimands them during a team meeting for a fear of failure again in front of the group.  However, another employee may feel demotivated and embarrassed in front of others and it would be more effective to tell them one on one.

From all of the group projects I have been a part of, I have learned that not everyone performs in the way one would want them to.  I like getting my work done as soon as possible, but that does not mean that my team member won’t wait until the very last minute.  There is no right or wrong way to perform a task, but it is important to acknowledge the different work habits or styles.  Some people may perform best under pressure, while others need to plan things out to the exact second.  Both ways are acceptable as long as the work gets done on time and accurately.

bzyrdiI have also learned that communication is very important no matter what industry or position you may hold.  I fully believe in having an open communication system with different levels of employees, because when employees feel like they are part of the company or organization as a whole, their performance will most likely improve, simply because they feel they are part of the team.  In my experience, when group leaders have had an open door policy, I felt more comfortable speaking with them about issues or concerns which then increased my overall happiness with the company.  It is understandable that in each organization or company, not every employee needs to know every detail, because it may not affect their position.  However, from my experience, it is more beneficial when managers are transparent with their employees.

I can easily say after working on so many team projects and being the team leader I feel prepared to become a manager in my future career.  There is so much I have taken with me over the years, whether learning about individual styles of how to better communicate it will help carry me through my career.  The best way to further your skills for your future is it to try something new; take the leadership role and form teams with members you may not know that well, observe how each individual performs under different amounts of pressure, and learn from each and every mistake and success.


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