This semester was quite successful for me as I have set up some important goals and achieved them. First of all, I wanted to develop one significant skill that not everyone is lucky to have. Lots of people are good goal makers, but only few achieve a result. I have decided that except being a good goal maker, I also want to be a perfect achiever. Secondly, it was important for me to try my leadership skills in order to understand how I interact with people and whether they listen to me. Another crucial point for me was to be strong enough not to give up something I have started. My lifetime shows that I was not persistent enough sometimes and this semester I wanted to change my past ‘lazy’ skills.
My team consists of people who are not conflictive at all. We always get on well with each other. However, there has been a time when we could not agree on a company that we should use for our team project. We had a real conflict about that, but I consider it from the philosophical point of view. Some experts of conflict management trainings say that conflict is a good energizer for participants. It prevents people from making inferior decisions and tests the logic of arguments. Moreover, it encourages individuals to rethink the basic assumptions of the problem and its possible solution. Striving to reach agreement, individuals learn more about each other and start to understand important issues that should be considered primarily. When my team was trying to choose a company for the project, we could not find an agreement. However, I like the fact that we had a conflict that bonded us. It has given us a huge experience, wisdom and has taught how to solve problems tactfully.
My idea was to work with Panda Restaurant group because no one did it before. This company is well-known and it would be quite interesting to cooperate with them. I suggested the idea to the group and everyone liked. I called to the CEO department of Panda Restaurant group and they told that they would be glad to help us. We agreed to get in contact when our group would need interviews with their workers. Till the 6th week I did not get in touch with that company as I followed our plan and made a lot of other things. However, on the 6th week everyone started to be worried because it was a time for interviews. Team members were not sure about Panda Restaurant’s accessibility. Sofia suggested cooperating with a company where she worked, Fitness and Recreation Center. She stated that as she was working there, she could organize interviews at any moment without any problems.
She considered Panda Restaurant group extremely unreliable because they were inaccessible, to her mind. Also, we did not know how they could make an interview with us: with the help of Skype or telephone. Our team decided to have a meeting in order to discuss this question. Unfortunately, the meeting was not successful because we did not solve anything. Definitely, it was my fault that I did not prepare everything beforehand, however, I did not believe that Panda Restaurant group is as inaccessible as everyone considered. Honestly, I was very upset after the meeting, because everyone was at Sofia’s side. Even if team members liked the idea to cooperate with Panda Restaurant group, they were too worried about the deadlines that all of them supported Sofia. I understood that the best way to solve this conflict was to agree with Sofia as well and use Fitness and Recreation Centre. However, I clearly remembered what I had promised at the beginning of semester. I knew that I wanted to try my leaders’ skills as well as do everything possible to get the highest grade for my team. The whole team agreed about it and I could not let them down. So I decided not to lose heart, keep calm and think carefully. My decision was to make pro and con list. I made it without any personal judgment, just facts and statistics. The next day I brought that list to the team and we started to analyze. Everyone agreed that Panda Restaurant Group had more advantages so we decided to take that company again. The only problem was that we did not know whether they could Skype. I called the media contractor of Panda as well as SEO of Panda whose name was Andrew and asked them for help. They told me to write emails to some other people with all the requirements in order to agree on interviews. That night I was going to have a birthday party with friends, but I decided to stay at home and finish all the emails. Next two days I communicated with Panda employees trying to confirm time and location of interviews.
That period was very important for me as I understood that avoiding would never help to solve a problem. Studying of Interpersonal Conflict handling style helped me understand the nature of conflict better. I found out that win-win situation could be achieved only with the help of resolution not avoiding. Our team had a problem, and, honestly, it was my fault. However, I did not lose my heart; I collected all my thoughts and decided to continue something that I had already started. That experience was great as it taught me a lot and gave me the feeling of happiness after conflict solution.
One more my achievement was to know myself better with the help of feedbacks. Johari believes that a person can increase self-awareness only through feedbacks from others. I should admit that this knowledge really helped me a lot. I knew that my mistake was the delay in work and it caused a problem for the whole team. My teammates told me in a friendly way that any kind of delay is bad and unwise. I listen to them carefully, thought about it a lot, asked for an excuse and made a promise to myself that I would never delay any work anymore.
Another biggest achievement of mine is that I learned how to make good presentations. Earlier I have never started or concluded presentations as I never considered myself good at it. However, during this project my teammates told me that, to their mind, I was doing presentation quite well and they want me to start and conclude our project presentation. Honestly, I was shocked and I told them that I was not sure I could. But they believed in me so much, and tried their best to help. Armand assisted to create a good speech, Evan practiced with me long hours and gave useful advice. Just before the presentation Colleen and Sofia said to me that they believed I would do the presentation well and they were already very proud of me. Finally, I think I performed well and did not disappoint my teammates. I would love to thank all of them for believing in me and giving the possibility to develop.
In addition, I really succeeded in packaging learning. The problem was that I put less food in box than others. Evan saw it and suggested me help. He showed how it was possible to make more space in order to fit more stuff. I got it very quick and understood that real teammates would never laugh at someone’s weaknesses. They really helped me not to be behind the team as in that case two sides suffer: me as I am at the back and them because it would decrease the productivity of a group. In a group work I was a leader with share leadership and it was important not only to let someone teach me, but also to do my best in order to achieve our common goal.
Now is the end of semester and I can make some conclusions. First of all, I have learnt a lot and I am quite proud of myself. To my mind, the goal of the team was successfully achieved. Despite some faults, problems and desires to give up, I did not let down the whole team and finished the project. I have become not only a good goal maker, but also a great leader and achiever. I have increased my self-awareness, I knew myself better, I improved myself through conflict awareness and feedbacks. Also, I made some promises for the future that would significantly influence on my life. For example, I decided to be more organized and never delay any work. Despite all possible obstacles I have to remember the valuable lesson I got during the project. I understood that I am perceiving type of an individual and it is not always good. I need to be more organized and do not wait till deadline to start to do something. Finally, I understood how my habit of avoiding conflicts prevents me from a productive work. After this project I would always aim only at win-win situations in a case of any conflicts or problems.