Based on the team roles of Belbin, while in a team, participants are supposed to act in a certain manner, based on their commitment to the community and their personalities (Finlay 2008). From the point of view of the measure, I am more likely to be a Monitor-Evaluator, and I can properly balance between a Team Worker and a Company Worker. However, the character of the Company Worker is unyielding, as it does not encourage ingenuity and brainstorming on a single problem that does not augur well for someone who intends to excel in a group conversation. It is because of this trait that I ended up having an argument with a colleague who I was engaged with in group work. I usually address issues logically and realistically but my colleague was subjective making it difficult to make a conclusion and as a result, time was lost.
From the group, we were supposed to analyze two alternative projects and decide on the most viable for a company that wanted to expand its operations. After assessment of the projects, I was of the opinion that none of them factored the current situation of the market and the structure of the firm and thus they should be withdrawn since they would yield losses. On the other hand, my colleague felt that the enterprise was established in the market and could perform since its consumers were loyal.
Though the argument was constructive, we ended up competing as to who had the best solution for the firm instead of focusing on an agreeable solution that was the best for the firm irrespective of who raised the idea. As a prospective consultant, I should gear my skills and knowledge in understanding the client’s concerns and as such, I should be open to various opinions so as to arrive at the best workable solution.
The worst that could happen
Arguing just because the opinions differs leads to time wastage, loss of focus, tension between the group members (Bolton 2010), and resorts to biased solutions that may not necessarily provide the expected group-work outcome.
Overcoming the issue
In future, I tend to overcome the problem by ensuring that I understand my teammates and have an open mind that is ready for criticism and growth. It’s essential to have a mindset that is not inclined in one direction and take up the group-work as an opportunity to add knowledge and develop in my personal and professional life. It’s also important to consider the pros and cons of each opinion and draw up a chart if possible that ensures each member understand the repercussions of each of the offered suggestions, and as a group choose the solution that is viable without stimulating a negative and competitive environment. Group work is supposed to grow an individual and should therefore be treated as a training atmosphere which accommodates different opinions. Having such a mindset will go a long way in ensuring that members debate on issues calmly without creating tensions.
Gibbs reflection model
From the argument, I’ll use Gibb’s model to reflect on the argument. According to Dye (2011) Gibbs reflection model applies six reflective stages as shown in the diagram.
Source: Dye (2011)
I had an argument with a colleague during group work. My colleague and I could not agree on a solution since we both believed our opinions were undisputable.
I was angry and thought that my colleague did not consider me experienced and knowledgeable enough to make a wise decision. According to me, she was subjective and did not evaluate the situation properly so she didn’t have a credible response.
One good thing about the argument and the whole experience is that it taught me to be patient, understanding, and accommodating. Just because I thought my opinion was justified didn’t mean that my colleague was wrong. The experienced broadened my mind and enabled me to become diverse in thinking and dealing with people, particularly in a group.
On the other side, the experience made me realize that I wasn’t fair to my colleague since I made her feel like she wasn’t suitable for such a task which made me feel bad. Arguing with someone that I work and share life experiences with just because we couldn’t agree on an opinion made me feel bad and guilty.
From the experience, I realized that we are all different and it’s because of these differences that it’s possible to come up with solutions that are long-term and worthwhile. Moreover, criticism is healthy since it gives room for growth in knowledge and brainstorming (Brandler and Roman 2015), which is a requisite in the field of business consulting.
Instead of getting into an argument with my colleague, I would have instead tried to deliberate on the pros and cons of the varying opinions so as to determine the most probable solution. Additionally, I would have sought for an opinion from another group member and try to explain our different views so that he/she could assist in settling the dispute. Alternatively, we would have forwarded the differing opinions to the group leader who would have deliberated on the way forward.
In case such a situation arises in the future, I’ll try to reason out with the colleague on the different aspects of the opinions and ensure that I remain calm and open-minded so that we will not waste time, cause tension, or resort to an inadequate solution.
In conclusion, the argument I had with my colleague during a group discussion forum enabled me to have a different approach in approaching such a situation since I’ve learnt to have an open-mind, accept criticism positively, and accept diversity for growth and development. As an aspiring consultant, being flexible and accommodating is impeccable in identification of viable solutions.
Bolton, G. (2010). Reflective practice: Writing and professional development. Sage publications.
Brandler, S. and Roman, C.P. (2015). Group work: Skills and strategies for effective interventions. Routledge.
Dye, V. (2011) ‘Reflection, Reflection, Reflection. I’m thinking all the time, why do I need a theory or model ofreflection?’, in McGregor, D. and Cartwright, L. (ed.) Developing Reflective Practice: A guide for beginning teachers. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education (pp. 217-234)
Finlay, L. (2008). Reflecting on ‘Reflective practice’. PBLB paper, 52.