Chapter 14 Teamwork - Chapter 14 - Teamwork CHAPTER 14...

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CHAPTER 14 Teamwork KEY STUDENT QUESTIONS The questions students wrestle with about teamwork come from their own experiences as team members and team leaders. More and more, students are required to work on teams for school assignments - some with as few as three or four members, and some with as many as ten or twelve members. Students need to know: 1. “How can I make sure that everyone on the team carries their own weight? (How do I deal with social loafing?)” : 2. “What should I do when one member of the team is dominating the rest of the group?” 3. “How can I get my ideas heard by the team?” Answers to Student Questions 1. Social loaf can be avoided by clarifying team goals in advance, establishing clear expectations for each team member’s contribution to the goal, giving people work they are interested in doing, holding people accountable for completing their work, and rewarding well-done work. Students are most often uncomfortable with establishing clear goals and holding people accountable for getting a job done - it helps to emphasize these two components in your discussion of social loafing. 2. Act as a facilitator to help other people express their ideas. Simply turning to a teammate and asking “What do you think about what X has just said?” can jumpstart a more open conversation. 3. By speaking up, and being willing to accept that there is a difference between having ideas heard, and having ideas accepted. If you have stated your ideas, and people seem to be ignoring them, listen hard for different ideas that may be more acceptable to the group. Teaching Tip : One of the most powerful exercises you can do in groups is to assign small groups a topic (perhaps “How can this class be improved?”) and ask them to discuss it for five minutes. At the end of the five minute period, ask each team to share their ideas with the class, and then ask each team member to write down the name of the person in their group that talked the most during the meeting. Have teammates compare notes - it is generally fairly easy for the team to come to consensus about who deserves the “most talkative” title. Then assign a second topic (perhaps asking students for specific ideas building on the first set of suggestions) and tell each group that their most talkative member will have to remain silent during the second discussion. At the end of the second discussion period, ask the groups to: 1) describe how the second discussion was different from the first; 2) what impact silencing the most talkative group member had on the outcome of the group discussion; 3) how the most talkative group members felt about being silenced; 4) what students learned from the exercise that they will take to their next group meeting. Most students report that they not only learn the importance of listening to others from this exercise, but also the importance of speaking up to make their voices heard in group discussions. TT
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Chapter 14 Teamwork - Chapter 14 - Teamwork CHAPTER 14...

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