The paper ' Team Building for Project Managers' is a perfect example of a Management Essay. Group learning is a very complicated process. It totally differs from learning that occurs at the individual level partly because of the integration of more individuals with unique preferences and perspectives into the whole process and mostly because group cohesion does not always happen. The particular group experience was evaluated using the Kolb approach in order to draw out what internal and external processes are necessary in order for group learning to occur. The learning process occurring on an individual level is significantly different from the learning process that takes place in groups.
As individuals learn things on their own, either through observation or through reflection, they are more focused on the data and information they acquire in order to synthesize these in useable forms. Typically, individual learning processes are honed through experience and familiarity. The more one is familiar with his learning abilities, the more likely he is to effectively manage his learning style. Personally, I do not have any difficulties in learning things on my own.
I can freely use learning methods I am comfortable with, like sitting on my favorite couch or listening to soft music while digesting what I am reading. However, this sort of familiarity with one’ s learning process does not seem to apply when considering group learning. Group learning is far more complex than individual learning (Gosenpud, 1986). Group learning involves a lot of factors that, when taken all together, may produce disruptions in the learning process (Salas, Stagl & Burke, 2004). Individuals within the group have different personalities, see things differently, have different socio-cultural backgrounds, and interpret the same things differently based on their own limited understanding of one thing.
More often than not, these differences make groups vulnerable to conflict and hence ineffective learning process. Nonetheless, individuals within groups need to be able to cope with these issues within a reasonable time in order for them to be able to still perform their expected function within the group. For some, the complexity involved is tantamount. For others, integration and effective teams are just impossible. In order to better understand how this complexity works, it is necessary to relate this fact to a particular experience.
A popular model of experiential learning is Kolb’ s (1984) learning cycle. Learning is seen as a four-step process that Kolb identifies as 1) watching, 2) thinking, 3) feeling (emotion), and 4) doing (muscle). Kolb defined learning as “ … the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. ” (Kolb, 1984, p41). Concrete Experience In one of the community development projects where I spearhead, my academic adviser suggested that I join a certain group whose community development plans are very similar to mine.
This group already has six members, each of which operates a particular function in the community development program. He reasoned that since we all have the same thrusts, we might as well work on the same project, paying particular attention to our intended functions. I personally do not know these people I will be working with and even though I agree with my adviser’ s opinion, I am not very comfortable with it. This could be termed as the initial forming stage is the process of putting the structure of the team together (Tuckman, 2001).
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