Collaboration and teamwork

I recently attended a Skills for Success session given by The Co-operative Group. The theme of this session was ‘Collaboration and Teamwork’.  Being a final semester postgraduate student, I think it is very helpful for future job activities and interviews.  

Main structure of the presentation

The presentation mainly covered the basic understanding of teamwork. It was then divided up into three points for further discussion:
  • What teamwork is
  • Why it is so important
  • Where it comes up 
This session was practice based, so we had a lot of interesting activities to participate in and discuss. The really important thing is that the activities we did got theoretical support afterwards.

Lost on the Moon activity

This was one of the most highly discussed activities we had during this session.  Basically, we had to discuss and express our own opinion with other unfamiliar students who sat around the same table. All students were divided into three groups. Each group had 20 minutes to read and discuss what seven items we would choose for survival if our mother ship on the moon crashed and we needed to find a solution to another 200 mile trip.  

The group I was in had a very reasonable but heated discussion. Students had different ideas on the items chosen. As an individual, each student could have his/her own choice. However, as a group, we had to discuss, negotiate and come to a final decision; that’s where collaboration and teamwork come in. Students from different countries with different backgrounds have their own understanding and their entry points towards the problem varied as well.  Through this activity, I realised that collaboration is about being aware of the ideas of others and showing respect. 

Emily (the presenter) emphasised that it is significant that each participant during the group discussion is able to present their own role wisely: not offending others, but expressing their own ideas. Collaboration is about assisting each group member to move in the same direction in an efficient way.

Overall, this was a really practical session and I enjoyed discussing issues with other group members.

Dingshou (Student Blogger)
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