There are many important concepts and skills to have in order to be an effective business individual. As there are group projects and interactions in college, these same situations will emerge in my career and everyday life. During my undergraduate studies I have had many opportunities to enhance my skills, challenge myself, and amongst others learn in a variety of ways. In both my NCC classes and non-NCC classes, I was able to establish how the competencies came into play. Competencies such as communication, information technology, and group interaction are fields I believe I have had more experiences with. Group Interaction has influenced my understanding of my concentration, Organizational Administration; group interaction will be important.
I have found group interaction is necessary to become aware of different personalities, cultures, situations, and much more. Group experiences have also allowed me to learn about myself and adapt to differences. For example, most of the group assignments I dealt with required advertising or promotion of a topic. I had very little experience with creating advertisements or informational material for marketing. However, in my Social Movements and Political Activism class I was able to develop the skill needed for creating advertising and marketing materials.
Through my group’s campaign of “A Call to Action”, we were marketing to get people to volunteer. Our tasks were to create advertisements in paper and audio commercials for the non-profit we volunteered with, as well as a general advertisement informing people of the importance of volunteering. I was ecstatic because my audio commercial permitted me to work with software’s such as PowerPoint and Camtasia. Camtasia is a program that allows you to transfer PowerPoint and many other programs into audio and visual movies. I also used Microsoft Publisher to develop some written ads. I was very proud and excited about the final version of my commerical and so was the group. Developing both of these commercials was a form of Experiential Learning. In order to create them I had to learn about new software and this gave me hands-on knowledge for both in and out of class. I am know capable of re-creating other materials using the same programs and software. Below are two examples of my commercials created for the campaign, the first one is a visual commercial and the second is an audio commercial:
Unfortunately, despite our excellent work, the group as a whole did not interact well. As a group we were divided. I think the lack of communication and collaboration contributed to the conflicts in this particular group. Two girls were best friends, one isolated herself, another felt “detached” because of her older age, and I was some where in the middle. A few group meetings started out successful but because the group contained willful and strongly opinionated women, disagreements progressed into arguments. In the beginning, I attempted to act as the mediator and this went well, until I found myself in an argument. Although, we did not interact well on a personal level, our uniform goal was to succeed in the completion of this assignment. It is my opinion this goal is why we did well despite our personalities, we had a commonality.
Setting aside our differences and conflicts enabled us to completed the assignment and receive an "A" for our project, despite ending with unresolved issues. Nevertheless, our work was superb and we won an award at the University’s Innovations; a student and faculty showcase.
In order to prevent or decrease conflicts in group settings I think the individuals should discuss their concerns or another group member can act as a mediator. Some items to discuss in order to prevent or limit conflict can be varying schedules and meeting dates, a members’ lack of knowledge with technology, and an individuals’ difficulty speaking in public. More concerns could be the overall goals of the group such as; meeting deadlines, equal participation, and individual experiences. In future groups I stated my personal goals and the pros and cons of past group experiences, I asked about the other members’ experiences, and we set our own guidelines. This method was useful in most of my later group projects, however I learned trying to plan the group’s interactions is truly contingent upon every group member. If a person does not put in the effort, the plan will not be successful, unless it was stated what to do in a particular situation.
While there are troublesome groups there can also be excellent ones. In my Business and Professional Communications class, we were placed into groups where we had to develop a business as well as a vision statement. We called our business Tribal Teaching and Education. Tribal Teaching and Education focused on enhancing communication for businesses and personal satisfaction. Below are the questions we asked interview candidates::
As a group we worked wonderfully together. Developing communication skills was the goal of our company but it was actually a success during our project. By discussing the project and our personal thoughts and goals from the start, we created a comfortable environment where communication flowed; unlike my Social Movements and Political Activism class. We started out with a plan to work together and established the best ways of communicating; this was not done in my Social Movements and Political Activism class. Both of the experiences reiterated the importance of communication and group interaction with regards to interpersonal communication.
Working in groups, in class and out, gave me the opportunity to learn more about individual people, cultures, environments, and more. Many people go out into the workforce without ever working with others. In each of my NCC courses I have had group projects and from each one an overarching theme has been, every situation and group will be different. One experience taught me the importance of establishing communication methods early in the project; some people preferred email to phone conversations and face-to-face than electronic, another said delegation is pertinent; assign individual tasks for completing the project, and a different one stressed the importance of deadlines; without having deadlines it is easy to forget the specifics of a project. All of these would be needed in the real world and in future classes to be flourishing.
Group interaction has shown me the importance of teamwork in my concentration. While my goal is to become a real estate entrepreneur I will have to work with others in order for this to become a reality. Also, working with others can relive the stress affiliated with working alone and it allows you to delegate tasks and focus on the assignments only you can handle. Although, I have had awful and excellent group collaborations I see how they can be useful.
The benefits of group interactions are learning and understanding various cultures and opinions, teaching each other, gathering ideas for future group experiences, as well as learning about oneself. Working with others not just teaches you about the individuals and the assignment, but also about yourself and how you work with others. You can find out your skills and weaknesses, your pet peeves, test your ability to adapt to different personalities and environments, and in general end with a skill or knowledge you did not previously have. Developing my communication and group interaction skills has been useful for my education and overall personal life.