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It cannot be denied the fact that the importance of the projects such as group assignments, group presentation and team working has a really big number of contributions to students career development as these all activities improve their knowledge and skills. It could be evaluated that the practical activities are as important and useful as the theoretical knowledge that we have learned so far. When the importance of experiences is deeply considered, which have been faced in university life regardless their results (success or fail); the fact that they are lives bloods for the future career success as much as theoretical knowledge, cannot be deniable.
In this study, first, I have identified my one of the key career development objectives in this year since I started my university in September 2009. I have also examined and analyzed the activities such as team working and team leading which have contributed to me to improve my knowledge and communication and management skills. Secondly, the theoretical part is incorporate with some examples and experiences that I have had so far. In the last part of the study, the changes on my perceptions and behaviours have been described.
To sum up, the activities which I have carried out this year during the time that I have spent in my university so far has allowed me to have a considerable number of experiences and chance to develop my future career.
In today's developing and changing word, it has been getting more and more difficult day by day to find a good job even if you finish a university or even a master degree, if you do not take advantage of the opportunities to improve your skills as much as studying hard while you are studying. Therefore, every single day that I have spent in my university since I started on September 2009, is important for my development and progress. As I mentioned above, I have been trying to improve my skills such as team working, leadership and time management. The time that I have studied in the university so far, has taught me that the practice is an important key career development tool as much as the theory. So, I believe that some important key learning experiences such as a project, a placement, team working or a theoretical framework can directly affect my future career after university.
As it was mentioned in the first paragraph, I have many objectives that I have set for myself over my university life. Two of the most important of these objectives for me are team working and leadership. I firmly believe that these two significant skills will allow me to enhance in my career in the future, as each of them will contribute very much to me on my way to success in my future career.
TEAM WORKING AND LEADERSHIP
Team Working Theory and My Observations
The definition of a team can be several people who come together to provide a collaboration. These collaboration aims to carry out a shared objective or a task. It is not necessary for several people to become a group. According to Bodwell (2007), a team can be defined as a number of people who have a high level of interdependence gone to an accomplishment of a mutual aim or completion of a task rather than just a group for administrative convenienceââ‚¬Â. (Bodwell, 1997)
ââ‚¬Å“Real teams are groups which has a high degree of social structure. Group members show a special form of behaviour which allows the group to function smoothly toward specific aims.ââ‚¬Â (Robbins and Finley, 1995)
A team's success is definitely related to trust that its members have to the leader, the team objectives, and the importance of the team itself. (Katzenbach, Jon and Smith, 1986)
My First Learning Team Experience
My first learning team experience was the involvement of a group which is created to carry out a group assignment. It was a really perfect experience in my life. When we were selected in our teams at the end of the first week, nobody in my group really did not know what to do like me.
First we had to share the tasks within the team. In this situation, we faced some important questions which are really necessary for a good organization of the group. One of these questions is to decide whether the group would have a leader or not, and if yes, what will happen the tasks of the leader. According to some leadership guide books, "Every group needs a leader. Without a leader, a group will be nothing." (Leadership in Groups, Pg. 173) In our group, we decided to rotate leaders at the first day of ever week. Luckily, my team selected me mates to become the team leader for the first coursework. As the leader, I was also responsible for resolving any conflicts that may have arisen during this assignment. I consider myself (and the team) to be lucky in this, as we did not have any conflicts that needed resolving. The team completed the charter on time and received full marks on the project.
My learning team experiences so far has been much more than I ever expected. My team mates are all very intelligent individuals and I believe that I have a tremendous amount to learn from them in the remainder of this class and I hope, in future classes as well.
From my observations, I have determined that first; leaders should provide and then meet a workforce in the group. Secondly, leaders must support a workforce which has permission to apply. Leaders need to know how to determine the boundaries and to let the members to make their own decisions within these boundaries. Finally, leaders must encourage group members to be creative and feel free to solve the challenges.
In cases such as a group assignment or dissertation, the success of the leadership will directly affect the success of the project. As a group leader agrees to take most of the responsibility of the project, even a little negligence can cause a fail. For example, the one of the most important leadership issues that I have seen so far is providing communication between team members. Especially in today's world it is easier to communicate with people as almost everybody can gain access to the Internet easily. So, it is not necessary to meet up to share every single idea. A good leader must provide this communication between members.
When I compare my current knowledge and skills with the previous one before I started the university, it will not be difficult to see the differences. Actually, one of the most important contributions of these learning experiences such as carrying out a project with a group, determination task of each group member, providing coordination between group members, gathering information and data from each member, putting them all together, prepare a good presentation and the other activities that aim to reach the success has made my confidence stronger than before. I was a bit shy about these kinds of presentations before I started university. So, as it is clear that it is really important in the business world, especially in big companies which have many sub systems in their organizations and it is necessary to manage each sub-system and from wider point of view, cooperation of these systems with each other will require some good management skills and knowledge.
First, I understand these learning teams are the groups which are created by a small group of people who come together to achieve a common aim, such as group assignments and projects by sharing their knowledge, skills and abilities.
Secondly, these learning team needs to have members who have diverse skills to enhance the level of learning which can come from being in learning teams. Every member has to play a significant role in the team. For example, let us say that we need a team which consists of 5 members. We need to choose people who have different skills to provide the variety and work share. So, the group needs to include the people in following skills:
1. The direct person
2. The individual
3. The influencer
4. The steady person
5. The cautious person
The direct person's task is to keep the group in order and is impatient, that may be very useful for the team. The individual's task is to make sure the meetings are focused and we complete the group's aims. The influencer is a person who is more talkative and encouraging and positive. The steady person is very dependable and will make sure these tasks are performed consistently. The cautious person is more of a perfectionist. The cautious person may also be very useful for the team. This individual will make sure that our assignments are perfect, formatted and sources are cited.