The paper "Effective Team and Performance Management" is a good example of management coursework. When we were divided into groups that would do different works of research, I felt fear because I had never worked in any other group before, and, worse still, the members of the group in which I was put were all new to me. Naturally, I am a very withdrawn person, and I really felt very exposed and vulnerable when I was put into that group. It was a group of five, and three of the members were a year ahead of me, and this even made it worse for me.
This is because I really felt intimidated to work in a group where most of the members were a year ahead in campus, and I felt as if it was a set up by the lecturer for bullying. However, I did not have much of a choice in this matter, and I had to do it whether I felt like it or not. Different groups were assigned different areas of research around the campus, and each of the assignments was unique and very involving.
These meant that no member of any group would just joy-ride and have a good time without being actively involved in the assignment (Cohen 1994). Our group was assigned the duty to follow a line of investigation on the town in which the campus was located in. This assignment looked somewhat far fetched and irrelevant, and also the other members of the group sulked when this duty was assigned to us. We would have preferred some of the other duties assigned to other groups, for instance researching on the history of the campus or the history of the school’ s health center.
However, we had no choice, and we had to start immediately because we were given only two weeks to have completed the job and hand in the full written report. When the members of the group met after this assignment was given, the first thing that had to be done was to choose the group leader. It was obvious to me that such a post would not fall on me, because I was younger than three of the group members, and, more to that, I was a very reserved and shy person.
However, my predictions were wrong; the members of the group unanimously elected me as the group leader. I was meant to coordinate every step the group members took towards the successful accomplishment of our task, and I was supposed to guide the group in the right direction. Well, I have to admit that this was quite overwhelming to me, and I felt very discouraged because of the way things were happening that day.
I had no choice but to accept the leadership role given to me, and work began the next day (Conyne 1999). The first thing we had to do was to go to the library and do adequate research on the subject before going into fieldwork. It was very disappointing to me when the books we found in the library could not give us the full information we needed on the history of the town and on the basic steps involved in forming a town. We, therefore, had to do something we had never done before; we had to do research online until we got enough information.
It was not easy, considering the fact that we were all used to getting materials from books in the library. This was the slowest step our group encountered in the accomplishment of the whole assignment. However, we got the information we needed, and we did not need to do much fieldwork to get the information. However, because some fieldwork was still needed, a member of the group had to volunteer and go to the town’ s public records to get the remaining information.
This is where the trouble began. No member wanted to go, and they all suggested that I do the fieldwork “ since I was the leader” of the group. This annoyed me, and I became so angry to a point where I decided that the group work would not continue, and we had to report to the lecturer. The lecturer did almost nothing to “ solve” this issue, and this was much to my disappointment (Hoppe 2010). I thought the lecturer would come to my rescue, but I was wrong.
Since she wanted every person in the class to develop certain qualities so that we could appreciate what other leaders do, she decided to go dumb on the issue. However, she sternly reminded us that this assignment accounted for thirty percent of the assessment tests and that neglecting the assignment would have severe consequences including repetition of the course unit.
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Cohen, Elizabeth. 1994. Designing group work: strategies for the heterogeneous classroom. Amsterdam: Teachers College Press.
Conyne, Robert. 1999. Failures in group work: how we can learn from our mistakes. New York: SAGE Publishers.
DiTullio, Lisa. 2011. Project Team Dynamics: Enhancing Performance, Improving Results. New York: Management Concepts.
Gerston, Larry. 2010. Public Policy Making: Process and Principles. New York: M.E. Sharpe.
Hayden, Gregory. 2006. Policy Making for a Good Society: The Social Fabric Matrix Approach to Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation. Switzerland: Birkhäuser.
Hoppe, Robert. 2010. The governance of problems: puzzling, powering, participation. Bristol: The Policy Press.
Housel, Debra. 2001. Team dynamics. California: South-Western.
Nadler, Gerald and Chandon, William. 2004. Smart questions: learn to ask the right questions for powerful results. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Wildavsky, Aaron and Polsby, Nelson. 2004. Leadership in a small town. London: Transaction Publishers.