The purpose of this paper is to analyze different team working experiences which emerged during the two rounds of the team game “Forbidden Island”. The experience of playing this collaboration game was overwhelming, and it gave us meaningful insights related to personal abilities and to team performance in general. Next sections of the paper contain the background information of the game and the team, analysis of team behaviour based on individual perception and based on the findings of organizational behaviour theories, and also provides a discussion on the consequences of this game, future modifications and the lessons which I should learn. Background information
Forbidden Island is a visually stunning 'cooperative' board game. Instead of winning by competing with other players like most games, everyone must work together to win the game. At the beginning of the term, the class was divided into several small-sized self-management teams that would be responsible to learn how to play Forbidden Island together under minimal supervision. Because this is the team that we will work together on different projects throughout the term, we have introduced ourselves to each other, but we had very limited knowledge about each other. This would be considered as our first stage of Tuckman's stages of group development: forming. There are six members in my team. I will call them by J, B, O, P and K. Based on first impression and very little knowledge about their background, before the game, I had the following perception about the team members: J and B both are Asians, but growing up in Canada. I thought they were rational and assertive because they are from JD/MBA program, and law students are generally considered to have higher level of conscientiousness and emotional stability. P seemed very easy-going and agreeable, because she never showed any objection during our previous conversations. O was comparably quiet during our first meeting, so I made the assumption that she was more introverted. K recently came from India, according to my past experience with my Indian coworkers, who were generally strong-willed, hardworking and assertive; therefore, I presumed that K would have the same characteristics. Throughout our interactions during the game, I would gradually realize that I have made some typical perception errors, which will be discussed later. None of our team members have played Forbidden Island game before, so our knowledge about the game is close to zero. At the beginning of the Forbidden Island game session, teams were assigned to breakout rooms, which were small and closed rooms, giving us a prison feeling. Analysis of team behaviour
For the three-hour session, we only played two rounds. Overall, the game experience with the team was quite pleasant. At the beginning, we spent a few minutes to set a goal and discuss the strategy. We agreed without raising any objection that our goal is to win the game cooperatively, because we shared the common belief that self-managed teams that demonstrate high group cohesiveness and collective efficacy are more likely to successfully achieve goals and accomplishments. With a common end goal in sight, we strategically started with ensuring we understand the rules. J had watched some Youtube videos about how to play the game; thus she had a better understanding about rules. J took the leadership role to explain the rules. J made us grasped the main idea of the rules; however, since majority of us grew up in different countries with different culture background, we were constantly confused with some details of the rules. After struggling with the details for about ten minutes, I proposed to play a test round at novice level first. Everyone admitted that we would understand the rule more easily with hands-on experience. J continued her leadership role to direct the play at the beginning; the individual players permitted this guidance. However, as everyone feels more comfortable with...
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