You are on page 1of 6

QUESTIONNAIRE - BUILDING CLASSROOMS

Describe the task


In detail, what was the aim of the task? How many teams? What was the team dynamic?
Timings? Rules & restrictions?
During my trip to laos we had a task with the aim of working together in order to build
classrooms for the local school in the village we were staying at. In terms of our whole group,
we split ourselves up in 3 teams. There were around 10 people on each team (but a little less on
the team of people who would shovel out the soil.) The teams consisted of people who would
carry the soil, people who would dig up the soil and people who would mix cement and lay
bricks. I was put into the team of people who would carry the soil. The group dynamic ( in terms
of how the roles and responsibilities have a direct result on productivity) was quite good. As a
team, we had a really great group dynamic as we all worked really well together, and each had
different qualities that benefited the team in different ways. We had 4 hours to try and complete
as much work as we possibly could. As we were all determined to make the biggest difference
in these kids lives and help the schools as much as possible, we were all very determined on
trying to be as effective as possible and work to the best of our ability. There werent really any
rules or restrictions other than just being responsible and safe as we were working in quite
dangerous locations (near the edge of a hill with steep grounds, if people were messing around
a serious accident could occur, we were also were working with quite dangerous and sharp
equipment like shovels and worn out tools - therefor it was necessary to be responsible and
smart when handling equipment.

What was your role in the team?


What did you do? How did you contribute? Leader or teamworker?
My team's overall aims were to help transport and carry the heavy soil from one location to
another. My personal role was to position and hold the bag we were using to carry the soil whilst
it was being filled with the soil. When the bag was flattened out, ready to carry we had to work in
pairs to securely carry the soil from one place to another. When doing this - I had the role of
carrying the bags end whilst my partner would carry the top of the bag so the soil was
balanced. Whilst working in this team I feel as if I had taken the role of a leader, as opposed to
what I usually would take in most team working situations. I had taken the role of a leader in the
sense that I tried to organize and manage the group in order to have highest rate of efficiency,
whilst keeping team workers motivated and with a high morale so theyll be happy to work to the
best of their ability. I had told my team members communicating with them the specific roles
they should do - e.g who would be specifically holding down the bags, laying it flat in the best
position that will hold the maximum amount of soil, who would be the person holding the top of
the bag, who would be holding the bottom and I judged who would be best suited for each role
based on things like level of strength, and how determined they are. I feel that in the team I had
taken the role of monitor evaluator as I was trying to be as logical as possible and make
decisions that were just based on the qualities of my team members that were not biased or
based on any emotions or my thoughts on them. I also was quite determined and focused
throughout.

How did you perform as an individual?


For the M & D criteria make comparisons with other individual performances in your team and
relate to theory.
As an individual, I think that I performed quite well during this activity. Relating to Belbin's theory,
as I mentioned before, I feel as if I took the role of a monitor evaluator as I had all the qualities
that these types of people in a team possess (logical, make impartial judgments, arent biased,
decisions arent based off emotions, as theyre impartial. Theyre generally quite focused and
determined people.) I also feel as if I possessed the qualities of a coordinator in this specific
situation. This is because I tried to organize the group by assigning certain roles to people who
would be best suited for those roles based on their qualities -I allocated certain tasks to certain
individuals and kept things organized in this way in order to be as successful as we can, and as
efficient as possible. In comparison to others in my team I feel as if I took on more of a
leadership role as the others were sort of listening to me and following my instructions. Some
people in my team were quite lazy and werent as determined as I was to make a difference,
which is why I ended up taking up this role. As I was more of a monitor evaluator/coordinator,
others in my group who were determined and happy to work were more solely around the action
oriented roles like implementers. This means that they were very efficient when working and
they also carried out the task by following my instructions. I also feel as if I had taken on these
characteristics as well as I was also doing the hands on practical tasks.
As a leader I feel that I had kept all the qualities mentioned above, but also tried to be as
compassionate as possible , keeping good communication with my team members as I wanted
them to have a high morale in order for our work to be as efficient as possible, and to the
highest quality standard that it could be. This can only be done if I had kept everyone happy
throughout this activity as they were more motivated to work at a better standard. I did this by
having and maintaining a people-oriented role as well as a action oriented role in order to be the
best leader that I could have been as I had intentions and the aims of keeping people happy
whilst trying to complete a task at a high quality, combining these roles as those 2 objectives go
hand in hand.
As I usually dont tend to take a leadership role when working in a group activity this was quite a
new, useful experience to me as I was able to develop many skills, take a risk and try something
that was stepping out of my comfort zone. I had learnt, developed and improved my
organizational, communication, quick thinking and risk taking skills whilst taking up this role.

How did you perform as a team?


For the M & D criteria make comparisons with other team performances and relate to theory.
Overall, as a team I think we all worked really well together and were able to avoid any conflict
and disagreements by all trying our best to cooperate with each other and have a clear method
of communication. We were a very efficient and productive team as we all followed instructions
and a clear strategy as I assigned everyone clear roles. Everyone stuck to their role and as the
overall atmosphere when working in our team was very positive we were all happy whilst

working - making very good progress and being super efficient. Because we had clear rules
and instructions so our team would be classed as a formal team. We all worked together in
order to complete the specific task and cooperated without any issues as everyone was very
cooperative and came into the task with a good mindset.
In comparison to other teams, I think our team seemed to be the most organized and
cooperative. I think this was because all the members of my team had a great method of
communication. We had all spoken and made sure that everyone was clear with their role asking questions if there was any clarification needed. All members of the team had great
communication skills, were able to carry out their individual tasks effectively and efficiently. As
the members of my team were all quite friendly with each other, they were comfortable enough
to share ideas and communicate without hesitation.
I think together as a team we had experienced a full process of tuckman's theory. We started off
forming - we had established a leader role in the team (me), we had started talking about what
it was we wanted to achieve, making sure we all had the same aims and expectations. The next
stage we went through was storming - we had definitely as a group experiencing this point
except for the fact that our activity was so short therefore there was not really any opportunity
for any team rivalry. Cliques were definitely formed as it was clear who was getting along the
most and who wasnt in a group of 10. At this point I had also assigned the roles for each of my
team members and we had all, as a group, re established the goals and aims making sure
everyone was clear of them and understood. We had then gone through the norming stage
where agreements were made on who was fulfilling what role - making sure everyone was
happy with their roles. The team had kind of come together at this point as pretty much
everyone was working well with each other and the group was more in unison as the goals and
objectives were clear. We had then began actually working - the performing stage. At this point
the team was very efficient, making great progress and being very successful and productive
when working - people were fulfilling their roles to a high standard, working together in order to
achieve the best possible outcome to build these classrooms. After our time was up we had
went through the final stage, the adjourning stage - the group breaks up as we had completed
all the transporting of the soil that we needed - all the tasks were completed. I think the only
room for improvement that we could have done would be by not using 2 people to transport one
bag, and using 1 person per bag instead. I wish i would have done this at the time because
initially I thought 2 per bag would be necessary due to the weight. But as we went on everyone
seemed to be having a fairly easy time transporting the bags. therefor an improvement I would
make would be to have 1 person per bag as this would mean larger quantities of soil would
have been transported - making the team more efficient.
In comparison to the other teams, when they went through stages based off the eyes of
tuckman's theory they seemed to have a much harder time in comparison to ours. For example,
when they went through the storming stage, negative cliques were being created therefore
people felt uncomfortable and left out. People were also angry as there was a hierarchy
situation as the leader seemed to be taking too much control - this made the norming and
performing stages a more difficult process for this group as they had a bad start and
disagreements at the beginning.

What were your strengths?


Communication, problem solving, time management, supporting others, physical abilities,
confidence, motivation, resolving conflict, praise, questioning, body language, listening,
awareness, creativity etc
I would say that my biggest strength throughout this task would be my communication skills. As
a leader in this task, it was important that I was able to share the thoughts of the group, and
remind my team members of the aims and objectives within this task. It was important that I had
good communication skills as situations came up where people needed clarification - although
this didnt happen to be much of a problem or occur that often as I made sure when I was
speaking that I was very clear so people would understand me. My other strengths throughout
this task would include my motivation. I had a lot of motivation myself as this was a cause that I
do care about therefore I wanted to make the biggest difference I could. As my team members
had similar intentions, it was important to constantly motivate them as well in order to be as
efficient and hardworking as we could be - being able to motivate my team workers. I also had
good listening skills and awareness as I was able to think very practically...thinking what action
would need to be done in order to have the best outcome. An example of how I did this would
be when I was assigning roles & responsibilities to each person in the group. I was aware of
their qualities, and was able to assign them to a role suited towards them in order to be the most
efficient that we could be.

What were your weaknesses?


Communication, problem solving, time management, supporting others, physical abilities,
confidence, motivation, resolving conflict, praise, questioning, body language, listening,
awareness, creativity etc
I think my weaknesses during this task was my physical abilities. Personally, Im quite a weak
person in terms of physical strength and was not one of the strongest of the bunch. This kind of
brought me down in terms of how efficient I wanted to be as I wasnt able to keep up as quickly
in comparison to others in my team and was struggling at times. I felt because I wasnt as
physically capable as the others at times I felt as if I was bringing the team down. I guess this is
the reason why I wanted to take more of a verbal, leadership role as I feel like I wanted to make
up for the fact that I wasnt as able to be the most efficient physically. I feel as if I also wasnt as
I possibly could have been in terms of motivating my team members. If I had more time, I could
have thought of more creative reward strategies rather than just praising my team members
when they had put in hard work. Instead, I could have used my creativity skills to come up with
different rewards such as more time using the hot shower as we were staying in a village at the
time, simple rewards like that would highly increase the team members morale and motivate
them even further.

How could you improve for next time?


Make future recommendations for yourself, your team and other individuals / teams.
Next time I would like to improve my capabilities to take part of more practical work and
situations, rather than just communicating and not being able to perform as well in a practical
situation - taking more action in my team in a more physical, active sense. This not only applies
in a business situation but also to situations where im outdoors, like this trip to Laos. If im
involving in both aspects when working in a team situation, it would mean that my rate of
efficiency and productivity would increase - and therefore would increase my value and
effectiveness as a team member. As a team I think overall we worked pretty well, but there were
some aspects which we could have worked on to make the success of our team even more
effective. I think as a team something we could have improved on was coming up with solutions
as a group. I also wish that as a group we had all put in equal effort, and next time I would like
to make sure that everyone is doing this by monitoring team members. If I was in a team for a
longer task I would make sure that either someone in the group or myself would conduct regular
reviews, and have members do self assessments in order to see how much effort each member
is actually putting in - these are methods of monitoring. If I were to monitor the team, it would
have many benefits as doing this would help the team achieve the highest level of success. This
is because Id be able to see if there were any flaws or problems within the team, and would be
able to quickly address these issues in order for it to not have any long term damage on the
team. This would also enable to me to support and develop underperforming team members. I
think it would be important to set more realistic goals given the time frame that we have, as my
group had a tendency to try and overwork themselves as we had set ourselves some very high,
unrealistic goals.
Whilst watching other teams working when building the classrooms, I had noticed that other
teams had many conflicts and disagreed on many different things due to an issue of
communication and members listening. An improvement I would suggest for this team would be
to work on their communication and listening skills as this would basically completely eliminate
the conflict and issues going on as they would have the opportunity to meet in the middle, and
agree on a compromise. This would also challenge team members to work on their problem
solving skills as they would be addressing a problem and finding a way to come up with
solutions where everyone would be happy.
When looking at individuals in a group, I noticed that one of the leaders seemed to have a very
laissez-faire leadership style - where they pretty much dont have a hands on approach. They
didnt monitor their team and didnt check up on what theyre doing, the progress they're making
etc. Personally, I tried to be a democratic leader - listening to people and taking in their opinions
as I feel like this leadership style is the best way to get a team motivated and as efficient as
possible. I would recommend that the team should have followed this leadership style as it
would have resulted in less conflict and inefficiency as the leader would listen to what the team
members wanted, hopefully fulfilling or coming up with a compromise to their wants and needs,
increasing morale.

Was there any conflict in the group?


If yes, describe why and how was it resolved? If no, what did the leader do to ensure this was
the case?
Personally, there wasnt any conflict in my group. Being the leader, I had taken action to ensure
that this would be the case. One being I tried to actively listen to the group as much as possible,
and have clear communication exchanged between me and team members. Doing this helped
prevent conflict between me as a leader and the group as I would always try and come to a
compromise if they had any issues with anything that I had said or suggested, in order for both
of us to be happy. As I was actively listening to what my team members had to say, it developed
a relationship between me and them as it showed that I cared about their opinions and what
they think, especially as I had most of the time taken action when they had suggested
something or shared an opinion. An example of this being when one member of my team
suggested that one stronger person would pair up with one medium strength/weaker person in
order to have a balance of efficiency when carrying and transporting the soil. I had decided to
use this technique and method as everyone in the group agreed and it was important to listen to
what my team members wanted in order to keep them happy and efficient - preventing any
fights or conflict with them. If conflict did happy to arise, I would have had used my problem
solving skills, and come to some sort of compromise if team members were fighting amongst
each other.
Another way that I prevented any conflict between the group was by ensuring that I had formed
the right group with the right people. I mean this in the sense that the members of the team
having the same values, objective and aim in this task prevented from any conflict happening,
as all of the members got along quite well and wanted a positive atmosphere as they all have a
share of similar interests and all were there to do one thing - which was complete this task to a
high standard.
How else could you use relevant theory to analyse the overall performance today?
Leadership styles, Belbin, Tuckman, Adair, Honey, Margerison & Mccann, Woodcock,
I have mentioned and included any relevant theory in the questions above. This task and
experience had a lot to do with with the theory of leadership styles (autocratic, democratic, and
laissez-faire mostly) as this were the 3 different leadership styles I had witnessed in teams.
Personally, I was an democratic leadership style and due to the fact that I was open, listening
and acting on my team members opinions made my group conflict free. Another group had a
autocratic leader and therefor a lot of conflict took place as a lot of the team members had
issues and problems with the objectives that the team leader was implementing. I also had seen
a laissez-faire leadership as mentioned above, which just didnt work out as conflict occurred,
and the group was very unorganized and unsure of what exactly they had to do, therefor being
extremely inefficient.
Belbin's theory was also mentioned earlier on as I had said which roles I felt that I fit into.
Looking at other groups, I had seen a range of people who possessed traits from thinking
oriented roles, people oriented roles and action oriented roles. A combination of people who had
traits from each category created the best team as they had a variety of different team members
with different skills, making the team extremely efficient.
Tuckman's theory was expressed when talking about how my team did and how their overall
performance was. I used this theory earlier on to explain how the group had developed from
start to beginning.