There is a Vietnamese proverb:
“ Một cây làm chẳng nên non,
Ba cây chụm lại nên hòn núi cao.”
If a tree stand alone by itself, it’s just a tree. If three trees stand closely, they can together create a mountain. In the figurative sense, it can be understand as ‘three minds are better than one’. I think any countries also have some proverbs like this because no one can lives or works alone by him/herself, we need each other especially in these modern technology days. There is no individual success without the support of other person or a team and vice versa. I think working in group can bring a lot of benefits not only for a group but also for each of members. However, it can’t be denied that benefits come with challenges.
From the beginning of the Industrial Design Engineering program I mostly have been working in groups. For the Project Community, I have been in a group with six members. Six of us came from different countries( Brazil, Germany, Netherlands and Vietnam), we might be different in the way of thinking and working. I preferred a group of three or four members, because at this size its easier to know each other, to discuss and give decision because there are not many opposite opinions between members. But it was still good with six. We knew that was our first challenge so from the first time we discussed clearly about the schedule for group meetings( beside the time face to face in class we have two group meeting a week), assignment for roles( we have leader, manager, secretary), platform and communication tool( we use Whatsapp and Basecamp for communicating between group) , group’s principles( anyone who comes late for the meeting, he/she has to buy coffee for the others). We follow what we all agree about those things and it helps our project progressing steadily. As a member I want to share some thoughts about group work.
During the last four weeks, the first thing working well for me in my group is planing and managing time. The time for Group’s meeting is my top priority, I always plan and manage my time so that its can be ready to use for the group’s activities because I think may be I have not had any ideas about the project but my regular presence will partly prove my responsibility. Second is refining understanding through discussion and explanation. I may have had knowledge or understand about an issue before but through discussion and explanation with other group’s member I can broaden my mind by looking at the issue objectively with different angles.
However, like I said above benefits come with challenges. My challenges now are the communication debating skills. These two skills are closely linked with each other. To be honest, I am not good at expressing my ideas or feelings even in my mother tongue. I am a person of few words, I like doing more than saying. This is partly explain for my lack of debating skill. I know these are my weak points and I want to overcome them. I think I can start by trying to speak out my thoughts. It may be unconnected and inarticulate sentences but I believe I can make it because I have the determination and if my friends can patiently listen to me it will help me a lot.
One more thing is challenging me is the weekend time. For me, weekend is the time not for working but for family. I don’t want to hold the phone in hands all the time or facing with the computer during the weekend days. I want to spend my time doing some simple things with my family to let them know that I care of them and I love them. Because of that I think in the coming weeks I need to set some fixed time during the weekend for group work to show my respect to my group’s members and it may help to speed up process. This is the thing that I will do differently in the next coming weeks.
I have four weeks left working in the group for Project Community, I don’t know the result of the group work is good or not( I hope it will be good) but I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all my group’s members : Larissac, Ronja, Sebastian, Peter and Tomas for cooperating with and supporting me so far. You are really nice! This is my sincere words and I hope that in the next left weeks we will have more fun time together :). Good luck to us!
Thank you for reading :)!