Sunday, March 18, 2012

Practice building character

A friend of mine told me that she and her group (in one of her classes) are having issues with another group member. That person tends to actually brings more work to the rest of her group, as she doesn't do quality work and has a very reactive attitude, thinking that everyone out there has the problem -- not her, when in my friend's perspective this is not true.

We all face similar situations all the time. After listening to my friend, I asked her, "So what, in your opinion the right thing to do?"
"Well, the right thing to do is to talk to her."
I said, "I would try to do the same thing."
We both agreed that the right thing to do is to speak up and address the problems to this person because her group grade is at stake.

I talked a little about what I have learn in group dynamics and I talked about trying being that one person who speaks up for the group, because the reality is that most people will not do it. Working with groups is a challenge when not everyone is on the same boat in terms of their project vision and goals, work ethic, and personality.Working with groups is good practice to working in the real world. It is also a good experience to practice leading by conscience and not by ego.One day, we will have to supervise someone or work efficiently with multiple people and being the best leader we can be is crucial in any aspect of life.

 I have learned form working in groups that you have to address problems early on. In one situation in grad school, I decided to address the problem with one of my group members, the most difficult person to work with -- on the last week of the semester... Things got kinda ugly because the person thought I was the problem and I thought he was the problem. In the end, we got the job done, but that person and I ended on not-so good terms. In fact, I think that person holds a grudge against me. Honestly, I kinda think that it was because I am woman and I was standing up to him.

To speak up and tell someone about their blind spots is not easy because we don't know how they will react. We don't want to hurt their feelings and we are afraid because we do not know how we will react if that person explodes. It takes courage to do this. Personally, it is a skill that I want to master, but that comes with practice.

So be courageous an speak up, it builds character because you stand for something and are willing to be brave enough to defend it. It's like building muscle: the more you do it, the stronger you become. What is the worse thing that can happen? Make sure, however, that you speak up because you are driven by conscience and NOT by ego. You will know it is conscience because it is the right thing to do and not about you (or your ego) and you are 100% okay with that.



1 comment:

  1. "It's not always easy to do the right thing. But, doing the right thing makes you strong, it builds character, it forces you to make decisions based upon your beliefs and not what other people think. In life, and in business, you have to stand for what you believe in and sometimes you have to stand alone. But, what makes you a leader is having the courage of your convictions." ~Queen Latifah