Thursday, 23 February 2017

Group dynamics in action! Reflections of a Group meeting on Weds 22nd Feb.

On the actions arising from the last meeting we had on 15 February, I made sure afterwards that our discussions were sufficiently documented in order to clearly articulate the need for evidence based research, the need to individually contribute a summary of our work so far (and I suggested that we should each produce two "slides" to visually represent this), and have a record (within those slides) of our decision making; This was decided and divided into the group responsibilities of 'Event Research', 'Web Research & Design', 'Event execution, documenting and Archiving'.

I purposefully showed a sense of frustration at this meeting this week, that there seems to be a lack of action.

In particular my main concern at the moment being the progress of the design of the website. As there are two group members responsible for this activity, I was initially worried, but am now pleased, in fact delighted that one of them has not only stepped up and created a strong visual example of suitable a website, but they also provided a good presentation of it which helped the group as a whole engage in productive debate as to suitability.

Notwithstanding this strong presentation, my fears that the web design may become a real issue for us is still present, as it relies upon the two team participants to not only work together successfully, but also help to drive and position other members of the team as well. Whilst I am able to provide a level of maturity in support of their endeavours, (as is always the case within a group), certain people appear to work harder than others.  From my own point of view I am conscious that I need to continue to put pressure on the development of not only the research evidence, but also the finished outcomes, or at least considered outcomes of this task.  This remains a concern as it seems that the two individuals have a slight clash of personalities. That's something we (I) must manage through.

As we will be making a pitch to Dr Devlin next week, it seems appropriate that a rehearsal of the presentation takes place a couple of days beforehand. In the absence of some of the requested information required to construct a coherent slide show from the group (as mentioned above), I felt that this meeting might create even greater worries for some team members through the lack of tangible material...   It is always difficult to explain the need to create 'more' than the 'end' outcome, in order to distil the best parts from their work, and it is very evident that some of the group feel that this process is "wasting their time".   I recognise that this is merely a difference in opinion and in different ways of working, but many years of managing large bids and proposals for projects have shown me that this approach tends to produce far better results than 'just coming up with something the night before!'

However, we are where we are, and in reflection we can only do, what we can do with what we've got!

Initial Conclusions

  • In hindsight, there probably is sufficient material now to go forward and create a suitable presentation, albeit, limited. 
  • I call this the "Turkish Slipper" approach, as like a Turkish slipper, it almost always turns up at the end!  I don't like this, it's unprofessional, untidy, laissez-faire and poorly considered. So my own personality type is at odds with this approach too.  
  • I'm still very cautious though, as likewise, being over confident, hubris is a terrible thing.  I must help the team stay vigilant in trying to create a professional and polished outcome.   I don't like being unprepared, and as there is a focus on me to hold the team together, I'm not sure just how much frustration I can show without upsetting some of the more sensitive team members. This is always difficult to gauge, but if the team want me to lead them properly, I have already said that at times I will make myself un-popular... 
  • It's all about negotiation and communication styles ultimately.

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