Reflection on my experience in the Organisational Behaviour team over the semester with particular attention to the way that Communication interacts with Conflict. Reflection is the process of stepping back from an experience, to ponder carefully, it’s meaning to the self through the development of inferences (Organisational behaviour handbook, 2009). After completing group work for 10 weeks, there were many problems that occurred within my group that had an effect on the report set. This essay will focus on communication and conflict in particular and on how experiences were reflected on effectively and learnt from. Being a social person I have always enjoyed meeting new people and learning things about them however group working has always been a problem for me as I always go into it with the mentality of ‘I don’t want to do this, I can achieve the same result or better by myself’. Entering my Organisational Behaviour group however was different. From taking the Interpersonal skills module last year I had highlighted my need to improve on group work skills and believe I had successfully managed to do so. I entered my group with a smiling face and a new attitude towards forming a successful team. As a group we decided to have weekly meetings to discuss problems, what was going well and review our work. During these, I found that our ideas bounced off of each other easily and we were able to work well; however sometimes I felt I wasn’t confident enough to air all of my views. This was not to any fault of the team but down to my own insecurities. I generally get embarrassed to say certain things or ideas out loud. From completing a learning log (see Learning log: 1) I noticed I restrict myself from sharing my ideas. Communication is an interchange of thoughts, opinions or information by speech, writing or signs (Dictionary.com, 2009). Withholding some of my ideas was a barrier to my successful communication. As an understanding individual I was aware that conflict was a natural thing bound to happen in group work, however was not very familiar with that conflict being within myself. Martin, (2007) highlighted conflict at an individual level as ‘intrapersonal conflict’. Although this didn’t cause as big of a problem for the rest of the group, it caused problems for me. I got angry at myself for not sharing all of my ideas and stressed myself out because of it. My group were also indirectly affected as I wasn’t able to utilise my potential. After completing my learning log and reviewing it, I decided to make sure I got all of my ideas out rather than saying only some. I attempted to do this in the meetings by listing all of my ideas on paper before hand and making sure I got through all of them by the end. I felt this was hard for me at first; however after a bit of practice it came naturally, without having to rely on the piece of paper. This situation highlighted the fact that communication falls hand in hand with conflict, and that a single barrier to successful communication was all that was necessary to cause interpersonal conflict for myself. As mentioned above we had to meet weekly as a group to discuss and delegate tasks to each other. At several meetings we highlighted Alpha Planning’s main problems and came up with deadlines for each other to get certain work done by our next meetings. However, trying to meet as a team caused a bit of a problem at first because our timetables clashed and 2 team members were on a different campus. After a bit of discussion we all managed to find days where we were all free. From this I learnt that a successful team requires everyone to compromise (Mullins, 2007), and in the future I will do group work with the idea of compromising and empathy as main catalysts for doing well. It also highlighted the fact that successful communication enabled us to work well with coming to a decision. If we all chose to be ‘directing’ i.e. being highly assertive and not concerned about...
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