ap·ti·tude – readiness or quickness in learning; intelligence

Entries Tagged as 'ADLT 612'

Groups & Teams #5 – Taking a Backseat

May 10, 2010 by aptitude · No Comments · ADLT 612

I have been so impressed with all the facilitation presentations.  I like the way that they came together in the end and they were all very different.

As I moved towards presenting with my team, I found that I was very willing to NOT take the lead on presenting.  It is one of my skills that I am completely confident with.  Normally, I put myself out there as a lead presenter when I’ve had to work with teams.  It is my comfort zone and an area where I know I can shine.  This time, it was really nice to try on a different role.  I tried to be more supportive of the other presenters on my team and to look more towards document control and process management.  This mirrors some of the changes that have been going on in my professional life too.  It definitely fit!  It is especially nice to be in an environment where I feel safe enough to try on something new and I don’t have to prove myself to my team (or my classmates).

What I truly carry forward is that the effort on my part probably made the group process more enjoyable for my teammates too!  Somehow, I’ve been able to calm down, to back off, to be more open.  I know part of that is about being in a place where I feel safe enough to stretch and grow a little.  It’s perfectly okay to be introspective and honest instead of confident and brutal.  My plan is to carry this forward with me.

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Groups & Teams #4 – Jump On Board

May 10, 2010 by aptitude · 1 Comment · ADLT 612

Way back when, in January, when this class started, my opinion of team work was less than positive.  As a matter of fact, I downright avoided it.  I always felt like a bull in a china shop when it came to team interaction and team development.  I felt like I would try too hard to get along with everyone, try too hard to get tasks accomplished, blunder through meetings and then end up frustrated that no one else was feeling or acting the same way.  I think in many ways, it was one of the things that helped me to leave private industry and start my own business.

Through the course of this semester, I have learned that lots of folks have felt at least part or some of what I was feeling too.  It may have taken a different form or manifested itself differently for different people.  Knowing that everyone approaches teamwork with the same trepidation helps make it easier to swallow.

Low and behold, I got an offer to do some contract work with Capital One.  After the interview, I was given the choice between two different positions.  One position was working by myself in a document control capacity.  The other position was the trainer on a cross-functional team, working through business process decisions and changes together.  At first, I said I would let the hiring manager decide where to best use my talents.  I think secretly, even to me, I wanted to be on that team though.  I was truly excited when they came back to me and requested that help on the team.

I love the synchronicity of how these things happen together.  I open my mind to understanding and working with teams and paid work with a team comes back to me!  Now, my work team does not have the benefit of taking a Groups & Teams class.  But, they have already worked together for most of the year already.  So, they have already established their norms and work process.  But, I totally entered the situation with an enormous amount of confidence in not only my ability as an instructional designer, but also as a teammate!

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Groups & Teams – Post #3, The Brush-Off

April 12, 2010 by aptitude · 3 Comments · ADLT 612

I am not pleased with the Mosaic presentation as a group last week.  We spent so much time and energy trying to collaborate on content and presentation.  Ultimately, I do not think that what we delivered is a very good representation of what any one of us could have done alone.  It was not bad.  I have been in bad training and this would never, ever fall into that category.  But, it seems like adding four dynamic, smart women together should equal a presentation that is four times more dynamic and engaging.

What is most interesting to me is that when I walked out of the room, I had shaken it off, moved on to the next thing on my list.  I am an introspective person, at times to a fault.  But, I generally choose to not spend my time hashing over how things could have happened differently.  I consider what there is to learn, how do I apply that in the future and I move on…  In the days following, I learned that my teammates are upset too which has bothered me all weekend long.  I hate that they are not happy.  I worry that I did something in the course of the presentation that offended them personally.  That part of me that likes to brush things off is itching to move on.  I am curious about our debrief this week though.  I hope that it is positive and I will be able to walk away with more things to apply in my future endeavors.  I also hope that we work together even better for our final presentation.  I am anxious to help make that happen.

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Groups & Teams – Post #2, Full Swing

February 24, 2010 by aptitude · 1 Comment · ADLT 612

My group is in full-swing.  We have a task before us and we need to move forward.  Our group paper is due next week.  I am completely vested in our goals and in providing a high level of performance.  We are also deep into the storming stage of our development.  There are two people on the team who are highly motivated to complete work on time and to make sure that we are not falling behind on assignments.  I am not one of those people and I know that must be hard for my teammates.  I realize that this is an opportunity for me to redefine myself and to stretch into a different role.  In other words, this is a chance for me to alter my cycle of “grace under pressure because I wait until the last minute.”  This meets one of my personal goals in learning more about how to be a better team mate or part of a group.  I am searching for the way to do that but still communicate my confidence that things will get done and that we will get the good grade that we all want.

I really need to keep reminding myself that my performance and learning lies in the process not in the product.

In some of the leadership development that I have done I have also learned that my weakness is in communicating vision to others.  Now that I know what a group deviant is and I recognize that this is often a role that I play (and love), this seems a dangerous combination.  I see the value in doing things differently and in taking a different approach.  But, how I communicate this and get others on board, is lacking.  This is one thing that I am going to practice in my group this semester.

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Groups & Teams Post #1 – Diving In

February 14, 2010 by aptitude · No Comments · ADLT 612

I actually started working on my Master’s degree in Instructional Technology at Virginia Tech Online.  I did well but felt an intense need to connect with my peers.  Most of my peers in that program were teachers in the K-12 arena and their focus was different.  I made the leap to VCU so that I could get what I was missing.  I wanted and needed to work on my skills as a teammate with my peers in a safe environment.

This semester is really going to be a test for me.  I am taking Groups & Teams and Capstone.  Both classes involve a lot of work and interaction with my peers.  This is what I wanted, right?  Yes.  I am also more humbled and nervous and anxious about this semester and these two classes than any other school work I have done thus far.

It is wonderful how the two classes are woven together.  I learn something, garner some piece of insight on Tuesday night in Groups & Teams and then I can see it in action on Thursday night in Capstone.  I have seen Twelve Angry Men before but never in the context of paying attention to group dynamics.   I am thinking that I will want to watch it again at the end of class too!

So, my toes are curled over the edge of the pool.  My arms are high above my head.  My chin is tucked in.  My head is down.  I have no idea how the water will feel.  All I need to do is roll forward into the water…

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