Improving Teamwork

Next week you’ll be working in small groups. I have some feedback for you all, based on the info I gathered after the second part of the feminist workshops, when small groups reported back to plenary on what they had been working on.

I think you can and should improve the process. Teams need to learn to monitor time and move on to meet the task requirements.

First of all, team members need to start off by wording what the task is, so that everybody knows what you need to be doing. Questions, proposals on how to do it should follow. Consider who does what when, for how long. It doesn’t have to be mathematical, but turn-taking is crucial practice for dialogue (and speaking exams). For instance, you can organize two rounds: in the first people speak with no interruptions, for a certain amount of time. Only clarification questions allowed. And the second round can be for suggesting discussions, topics to discuss, and/or present one’s reactions to things heard.

The other day when small groups reported to plenary, a few mentioned the materials were “old-fashioned” but none explained or illustrated what they meant. I actually thought you meant that the feminist ideas in cards were old-fashioned, till I realized no group had said anything about the definitions of what a woman is, according to Men of Knowledge in patriarchal cultures. And today I realized your “old-fashioned” comment might have been about those brutal misconceptions on women. In a nutshell, you need to improve your reports to plenary, because people at plenary have not been following your discussions and what you think is obvious might not be obvious for listeners.

Good tip for communication: never take for granted what listeners know. Explain things. Offer basic info, before sharing your insight.

Whatever you do in small groups: sharing info, discuss, please, pay attention (even discuss) how you are going to report back to plenary! 🙂

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