My final action point for this workshop was to work as a monitor evaluator. I have tried functioning in this role on two different teams The first team was made up of 10 people who volunteered to work for the Peace Festival. I was in the Information stand, which involved answering people’s questions and comments, handing out programmes and questionnaires, selling t-shirts and other merchandise and being the general point of call for the public.
The role also involved keeping records of what is sold and attending to issues that arise in the course of the festival, especially when children get lost, making good judgment.
In the course of the festival, nature had its way and a tent fell down, bruising one of the occupants. Sensing the problem brewing I calmed the occupants when they came to our tent. I also offered them my seat, making double sure that no severe injuries where sustained. I was the only person at the information caravan when this happened and so got in touch with other members of the team to summon the coordinator.
I also reassured them after confirming the accident that they would be compensated accordingly. The coordinator came and I briefed her of what happened from the accident site till she came in. A little smile here and there the tent owner decided that he didn’t want to be reimbursed for his completely destroyed tent. I’m glad that I had the foresight to make a good judgment leaving all the parties happy.
I also had the opportunity of being the monitor evaluator in the welfare team. The head of the team was going to be away for a few weeks and 5 of us were given the task of looking for a suitable replacement. Two candidates were nominated and one was chosen. However, I was able to discern some members of the team had some reservations.
I voiced out the reservations, that the existing assistant leader should take the baton of leadership temporarily as the proper practice. I then said another person could then be nominated to assist her. As I said this, I had made a suggestion on some peoples mind. The matter was raised again and the incumbent made it clear that this was what was in the best interest of the unit. I remained mute subsequently and observed the demeanor of all, and they were visible happy and in support after they were fully aware of the pros and cons.
Following from, my previous action point where I had the opportunity to act in the specialist role. I had to make sure I explained the situation to all other members of the teams. I informed them of the good and bad sides of settling in or out of court. We were all able to see reason that rather than expend time, effort, energy and finance on going to court it made better sense to settle out of court.
The group was divided on going to court or settling out of court. The pro-court group and myself were in conflict, as they were in the opinion that the court was the best option. It took a lot of careful explanation and commitment not to act until we could reach a compromise. We decided to pursue the out of court settlement first and where it failed to pursue the court avenue. All members of the team unanimously voted in favor of this suggestion. Since it was resolved in our best interest there was no need to go to court. We were all glad that turned out the way it did.
The past few weeks I have been playing different roles in a team. I have worked as a specialist, as a monitor evaluator and a complete finisher. The Belbin report rightly identified me as a people oriented person, the roles I have taken up were all action and thinking oriented roles. Unsurprisingly, though I always moved into the team worker role trying to avert friction during the course of the tasks. I come out knowing that as a people’s person I need to be able to strike the balance and be able to adapt to whatever role that I have to play in a team. It might be challenging at first like all these roles were, but you know what they say "life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are". Thanks so much.