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“Going Green” in the Workplace: A Learning Event

Stage 1: Awareness

Description of the learning event

After careful thought about a relevant topic to discuss and support, my group chose to discuss ‘going green’ in the workplace. We were aware of some of the ecological concerns that the organizational activities had on the environment. Many organizations are unaware of some of the negative effects their activities have on the environment.

We decided to highlight some of the negative impacts and discuss some of the possible ways of combating them in order for the workplace to be a greener workplace to work in. However, in order for the task to be successful, we had to organize our group and come for several meetings. There were several challenges but after familiarizing ourselves with the task and with each other, we were able to make it a success.

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Related thoughts and feelings associated with the event

The first thing that was to be done is the forming of the team. Our group consisted of diverse members. Some of the members were very fond of each other but some were just acquaintances. Therefore, in order for some of those members who were not very familiar with the rest to feel in place, they felt that they needed to work extra hard in order to be accepted.

During the initial stages of the task, individuals tried to understand one another by gathering some information about each other. They also started to get some impressions about each other. According to Tuckman (1965, p. 386), these are the characteristics of the first stage of team building.

The scope of the task was discussed among the group members and specific tasks were assigned to every individual. In the first meeting, we also made the goals and objectives clear so that everyone understands what part he or she would play to meet the objectives. During this time, everyone seemed to work alone and there was no aspect of teamwork.

Why the learning event provoked associated thoughts and feelings

Concerning the aspect of ‘going green’ in the workplace, we believed that the workplace had to be more environmentally friendly. We believed that some activities such as the dumping of papers would be harmful to the environment. Going paperless was a better alternative. In the subsequent meetings, we started to address some of the issues at hand. The members made their contributions by suggesting some of the possible problems that could be associated with a typical working environment. We also suggested some of the ways of avoiding those problems.

At this moment, our team had reached the second stage of team building according to the Tuckman’s Group Development Model (Tuckman 1965, p. 387). This is the storming stage. All members of the group had understood the problems that they had to tackle and try to solve. This way we understood that there were times that we had to function individually in order to tackle some of the individual tasks assigned. One of the tasks was to research widely about the environmental impacts that the offices have.

However, there were some tasks that had to be handled as a team. These included discussions about how the environmental impacts could be mitigated through adopting eco-friendly activities. Since these activities needed organization and management, some team members suggested the need for a supervisor. However, some (including myself) believed that everyone was mature enough to understand what was required. We saw no need for one and the whole team agreed.

Stage 2: Critical Analysis

Descriptive analysis

With every meeting we held, I started to understand the importance of teamwork. I realized that when things are done in a group situation, the results are great. We were able to exchange ideas and come to a consensus. Despite some previous disagreements when it came to some ideas, people were able to come to an agreement. Some had to give up their ideas and agree with the ideas proposed by others. This way the team functioned as a single unit since individualism was avoided. Personally, I took the responsibility and was ambitious to work for the success of the goals and objectives of the whole team.

According to Tuckman (1965, p. 392), we were on the third stage of Tuckman’s Group Development Model. This was the norming stage. This is whereby the team members have matured enough and are able to resolve the small issue and focus on the greater issues. Some of the conflicts were easily resolved and everyone was at par. However, certain issues were hard to handle as a group and some members suggested that it was because we did not have a supervisor.

Analytic and critical skills related to self-development

Since all the group members had done thorough research on the issue of ‘going green’ at the workplace, we exchanged ideas on how they could be resolved. Some suggestions were valid but some were not logical. In our several meetings, we were able to air out our views and we discussed whether they were logical or not. Since the group had reached the norming stage, we were able to reach a consensus quickly and effectively.

I had to give up some of my ideas after the group discussed and decided that they were not valid. Therefore, I embraced some of the ideas that were discussed and was able to learn a lot in the process. If I were working on the task as an individual, I would not have been able to know where I had gone wrong. I would have made the wrong choices and failed.

Stage 3: Learning

Implementation of possible changed perspective

The entire team experience was a great experience and I was able to learn a lot. Firstly, I was able to gather a lot of useful information about the importance of going green in the workplace. I learned how useful this would be to the environment since it would reduce environmental pollution and reduce the effects global warming.

I also learnt the importance of a supervisor at some point of the team building process. Tuckman had suggested that the use of a supervisor was important in the second stage of team building. Therefore, in the future tasks involving a group, I would suggest the need for a supervisor or chairperson.

Benefits of possible implementation based on theoretical bases

When a group has a supervisor, some of the processes may be guided by the supervisor (Tuckman 1965, p. 394). This assistance may come in the form of decision-making or the supervisor may help the team to act in a professional manner. This way, the team may be in a better position to resolve some of their differences and everyone would be able to participate effectively.

Reference

Tuckman, B 1965, ‘Developmental sequence in small groups’, Psychological Bulletin, vol. 63, no. 6, pp. 384-399.