There are many things that the course in group dynamics has helped me to realize. Studying theoretical concepts discussed during this course, it becomes possible to understand the nature of relationships within any type of group. Moreover, it helps any person to comprehend his or her role in the group and improve the behavior and performance in order to bring something important to the group environment.
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Speaking about my personal experience with groups connected to different spheres of my life, I can say that I have always been surrounded by many people belonging to different generations and I consider myself an enthusiastic person. I have had many hobbies and each of them encouraged me to become a part of some group whose members understood my values and interests. Thus, I have been a member of many groups since childhood. As for my school experience, I suppose that nothing special can be said about it. Although I have had many friends, our class could not be called a cohesive team due to many reasons. Apart from being a member of my class at school and a member of my family, I have also been a part of a dancing group and a volleyball team. I regard these groups as ones that encouraged me to do my best in order to support other people and add to their efforts. Due to this experience, I managed to realize the importance of mutual respect within the team. Besides, I have also helped other people to organize charity events, and I remember them as the team that has helped me to unlock my potential.
It is important to say that I like the course because of the content that we discuss. Personally, I believe that this course is essential for everybody who would like to understand the mechanisms that help different groups to appear and exist for a long time. Thanks to this knowledge, any person gets an opportunity to have a fresh look at many things that seem to be quite ordinary. To be more precise, I like almost all the topics already covered but I pay special attention to the notion of group motivation. I completely agree with those believing that strong motivation is a distinctive feature of a successful and cohesive team (Levi, 2015). Furthermore, I suppose that the topics devoted to group structure are also very significant. Although many groups are created with regard to the principle of equality, it is extremely important for all people to pay attention to the internal structure of the group and realize why some members can make important decisions whereas others cannot do the same. Therefore, it is essential for any member of the group to distinguish one role within the team from another. Moreover, it is important to remember that individual tasks are good motivation for people (Haslam, van Knippenberg, Platow, & Ellemers, 2014, p. 45). To continue, I also consider the topic of conflicts within the group to be very important as it allows people to understand the causes of mutual discontent deeper and address these challenges in a more effective way.
I regard the discussed course as one having certain practical significance for me and other people. Speaking about skills that the course materials encouraged me to develop, I would like to mention the ability to understand my personal role within the team and decide which details I should pay more attention to in order to fulfill my task more effectively. What is more, the course has helped me to understand the ways of reducing conflict and helping other team members to reach a compromise. I am convinced that these skills will be extremely important for me in my future career as they will allow me to regard any problem from the perspective of the final target. Speaking about the things that I need to improve my performance, I would say that it could be necessary to pay more attention to establishing good personal relationships with other members. Although I understand their importance, sometimes I tend to focus my attention only on the goal. Due to that, some people may come to false conclusions about me and this situation may have a negative impact on further work. Nevertheless, I have already managed to improve my knowledge and performance related to many aspects such as the ways to bring the members of the group together and inspire them to do their best for the good of the team. I suppose that this improvement has become possible due to rethinking my previous negative experience.
As for the strengths that I possess when it comes to group work, I would say that I can perform as quite an effective leader if the team has been created to fulfill the goal that I believe to be really important. Furthermore, I am able to inspire other people when it is necessary to remind them about our common goal. As for the things that I can bring to a group environment, I believe that my sense of purpose and willingness to work hard makes me a good example for people in my class and my close friends.
In the end, the course has helped me to change my attitude towards the personal problems of team members. Due to the topics explained, I have managed to become more conscious about the split of responsibilities within the team and the ways to resolve conflicts.
Haslam, S. A., van Knippenberg, D., Platow, M. J., & Ellemers, N. (2014). Social identity at work: Developing theory for organizational practice. New York, NY: Psychology Press.
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Levi, D. (2015). Group dynamics for teams. London, UK: Sage Publications.