Throughout the course of this week thus far, I’ve had the chance to observe the team dynamic between my fellow student volunteers. I think it’s just a natural tendency to want to always have a reason for why things are the way they are, point to certain people or things to take the blame, take your frustration out on others, or complain about this or that. And I totally get it. In an environment where miscommunication is bound to occur, it’s easy for people to just jump to conclusions and make assumptions, then act out according to those assumptions.
In regards to some of the changes that have taken place, I’ve also noticed a shift in attitude and perspectives. Though I am still a fairly new addition to the team (having just arrived a couple of days ago), there’s a lot to be learned in regards to the team-building aspect and just teamwork in general. And this applies to any type of environment requiring teamwork and cooperation.
First, I don’t ever think it’s fair to just put the blame entirely on someone. Sure, people make mistakes all the time and it’s easy to say, “it’s completely his/her fault”. But at the same time, there are so many different factors that could have played a part into a certain conflict, and rather than finding a solution to the issue at hand, blaming someone is far from constructive to the team aspect.
If people make realize their own mistakes, it’s fine for them to just take the responsibility, learn from it, and not make that mistake again. It seems unreasonable to have to keep pointing out “that one time” or bringing up past mistakes. We all make mistakes, so let’s not pretend to be saints and be completely perfect in all that we do.
Next, be considerate of other people’s feelings. Just because I feel a certain way does not mean that everyone also agrees with my opinions, and vice versa. That doesn’t mean that you should just give up your own views either, because everyone’s input should be valued. Instead of saying who’s right and who’s wrong, it’s a simple issue that can be addressed by talking about what’s best, discussing amongst other members of the team and coming to a compromise that best fits the situation at hand.
If you have a problem with something, then change it. There’s no use in complaining about everything or even overreacting over something that may just require a few adjustments. At the same time, don’t set your standards so high in expecting that everything is just going to go smoothly and go exactly your way. In a team, there are a number of other individuals that you have to learn to work with, and being a team player is one of the most essential parts of building a strong team.
Being a “leader” does not make you the boss of everyone, nor does being “team member” make you an insignificant part of a huge crowd. Every single person is important, and at the end of the day, no matter what problems we face—we will get through it together and work together because we’re a team.