You are on page 1of 13


The problem at “This is the Place Heritage Park” was that the park had many responsibilities but not enough people and time to complete them. The park managers had their hands full already. They have prisoners come and help with the most gruesome tasks, but some tasks that are still important are overlooked because of these bigger, more unpleasant tasks. The park in that particular month making the attractive again, worst of the decorations, and wedding that place. Our solve that
Jolynne, Jimmy, Hayden, and Vincent Washing windows

needed help landscape look taking down the Christmas preparing for a was soon to take

proposal would problem by a

number of people—Shantel, Jeni, Jolynne, Jimmy, Yancy, Vincent, and Hayden—donating their time and effort to make sure that the major responsibilities were taken care of. We wouldn’t leave until the landscaping and cleaning for the wedding were done. Once we were done with preparing for the wedding, we would make sure the major responsibilities that the managers were too busy to take care of would be done by us. The managers wouldn’t


have to worry about not having enough time to accomplish the various necessary chores that weren’t easily done because of the lack of people thanks to our group. Therefore, the problem would be fixed thanks to our group contributing our time and effort. The value of our recommendations would be If someone had told these recommendations to us before the project began, our service learning project would have gone a lot smoother. What are these recommendations, you ask? The first is to bring extra step ladders and other necessary supplies. If we had brought these supplies with us, a lot of pain and extra effort would have been saved. Our second recommendation is to have a small break period, because by the end everyone was absolutely exhausted
Jimmy Moving Chairs

from the physical labor. Our third recommendation is to make sure

everyone knows the deadlines. If we had been clearer about when the deadlines were and had not been negotiable, it would have saved a lot of anxiety about everything being in on time.

Project Description:
Our group’s purpose was to help the busy managers of “This is the Place Heritage Park” with their many tasks. As you can probably guess, the managers

have more than enough to occupy them on any day. Cleaning up for a wedding in addition to everything else would have taken a lot more time with just the managers. Our group was there to help. Our first what exactly do for our project. We gathering donating our and Girls Club, out. Then how she had
Hayden, Jeni, and Yancy Cleaning kitchen

step was to decide we were going to service learning thought about supplies and time to the Boys but that didn’t work Shantel brought up done service at

“This is the Place Heritage Park” last December, and how the park managers had said they were always eager for volunteers. Shantel called the park and discovered that the park did, in fact, have a lot of work they’d love to have volunteers help with. We both went to Mrs. Pay and the project was confirmed to not have been done by anyone else. Our second step was to do the site visit. We went on a Friday to check for any possible hazards and discuss the project further with a park manager. The park manager met us there and told us that since it was almost spring, a lot of weeding and landscaping could be done. He also said that a wedding was coming up on March 9, and that it would help a lot if our group could donate

their time that day. We agreed that we would help them set up for the wedding in addition to doing the landscaping and set the date. Our third step was to have the pre-service meeting. We gathered up the papers every group member would need and met in the conference room to discuss what exactly would be happening. Our group members—Shantel, Jeni, Yancy, Jolynne, Vincent—agreed front of Canyons Education Center March 9 to head Everyone agreed permission slips turned in and to necessary papers Saturday morning. Our fourth step was to actually give our time at the park. We all met on time at the front of CTEC with our necessary papers. We drove to the park and met at the main building, where the managers were waiting for us. At their instruction we cleaned the kitchens as thoroughly as possible with the supplies we had. Once the kitchen was complete, we washed the windows. Once the windows were done we unstacked the chairs. Finally, after we had set up the chairs, we got to ride the train down to the monstrous blue spruce, where we
4 Hayden, Jolynne, and Jimmy Unstacking chairs

Hayden, and to meet at the Technical at 7:00 a.m. on out to the park. to have their filled out and have the when we met

pulled the Christmas lights from the branches. After the blue spruce had been cleared of as many lights as possible, our time there was done. The fifth step was to have the post-service meeting. Everyone brought the necessary forms that had been filled out and an evaluation sheet for their individual paper stack. We all shared what we had learned and what our favorite part about the experience had been. Once that was done, we handed in our papers and our project was officially done. Our end product was the scrubbed and much more hygienic kitchen, the sparkling windows, the well-arranged chairs, the blue spruce free of lights, and the saved time of the busy managers.

Group Assets:

Hayden Washing windows

The two strengths our group exhibited were the size of our group and the fact that we shared a collective goal. As the book Communicating at Work says, these concepts are critical for the success of a group. The size of the group can either make or break the overall productivity. Like Communicating at Work says, “Research on a number of companies has found that 10-person teams often produce better results at a quicker rate and with higher profits than do groups of several hundred.” (Communicating at Work, 2005, page 247). This concept contributes to effective teamwork because with a smaller team, everyone can contribute more effectively, because their

personalities aren’t obliterated by the more dominant members as would happen in a larger group, and everyone stays dedicated to the group because they know that they are being heard. To prove to you, as the reader, that we know what this concept means, we will define it in more depth by saying this: That if you have a very large group, such as in a classroom of thirty students, then the dominant personalities will essentially take over the group, but if you have a small group, such as our gathering of seven people, then everyone is heard and therefore everyone stays committed. Our group illustrated this concept by the amount of people never exceeding seven, and everyone freely expressing their opinions with no one trying to dominate. No single person held the power over the rest. Sharing a goal is also critical success of a group. Communicating at “Interaction alone create a working Guests at a attendees at a might talk with one
Jimmy Taking down Christmas tree lights

common to the As said in Work, doesn’t group. reception or convention another, but

unless they share a collective goal, they won’t be able to collectively accomplish anything. One challenge facing anyone leading a newly created

group is to give members a clear sense of shared purpose.” (Communicating at Work, 2005, page 248). This concept contributes to effective teamwork by ensuring that everyone is dedicated to one thing, and therefore the productivity is much higher than if each person is dedicated to their own separate goal. To prove to you that we understand what this concept means, we’ll provide an example: Two employees aim to boost the productivity of their department. Other employees say that they would also like to increase productivity but continue at their same work pace. In the end, because the department does not have shared purpose, the productivity stays the same. Shared purpose can mean the difference between getting the job done quickly and effectively and getting the job done slowly or at all. Our group illustrated this concept by always working together toward a collective goal: To achieve the chores the managers assigned to us. Even when the tasks were unpleasant and we were all very tired, we all worked with the rest to complete the current chore.

Group Limitations:
Two weaknesses our group exhibited were interdependence and problem-solving. We resolved these issues, but if we hadn’t, the group may have been crippled. Interdependence is how group members rely on each other. As Communicating at Work says, “Group members don’t just interact; they depend on one another.” (Communicating at Work, 2005, page 248).


An in-depth description of what the description means is this: Every person in a group is key to the success of the goal the group as a whole has. People in a group do talk to each other; it would be strange if they didn’t. But groups are there for a goal, and every person in every group relies on the other people in the group to help them reach the goal. It’s important in group work because everyone relies on the others in a group, and if one
Jolynne, Shantel, Vincent, and Jeni

person doesn’t do their part, then the group as a whole is in trouble.

Our group did not demonstrate this concept by some people in our group not being as reliable as they could have been. Many of our group members didn’t bring their permission slips to the group leaders nearly as promptly as they were asked; it was requested that they bring their permission slips by the Wednesday before the day of the project at the latest, and all but two brought their permission slips the Friday before the project. One member couldn’t come and didn’t tell the group leaders until twenty minutes after the project was started through a text. Problem-solving is the ability of a group to confront issues and find a viable and appropriate solution. As Communicating at Work says, “The range of problems that groups face on the job is almost endless.” (Communicating at Work, 2005, page 262).

An in-depth description of what the concept of problem-solving is equals the way someone, or in this case, a group can find the best solution for an issue that needs to be confronted. There are several different ways to approach a problem, but it’s the way it’s approached that affects the turnout the most. It’s important in group work because if the group has an issue and doesn’t have the ability to fix it, then the goal won’t be met. Since problems are almost guaranteed to appear, every person in every group should know the steps to accurately fix problems. Our group did not demonstrate this concept by problems taking a very long time to solve due to not using effective methods. For example, when we needed to reach the highest parts of the windows for cleaning, we didn’t know how, and the managers had given strict instructions to clean every inch; our group didn’t know how to effectively solve the problem, and in the end the tops of the windows were left to the end until Shantel suggested that a stepladder be used. Also, gloves were needed to pull the lights out of the blue spruce, and the ones we had were left in the trunk of Shantel’s car; we didn’t know whether to ask the manager helping us for gloves or if we should take the twenty minute
9 Shantel and Vincent Washing windows

walk to go get them. In the end the manager heard us discussing it and mercifully brought us gloves to protect us against the pine needles.

Our proposal to improve our team’s work if we could do this project over again would be to remember the four phases of group problem solving and to make our group members understand the importance of interdependence. Problem solving is critical to a group, and Communicating at Work provides the correct stages for it: “The first stage in a group’s development is the orientation phase. After the team members understand the problem and have a feel for one another, the group typically moves to the conflict phase. The emergence phase of problem solving occurs when the members end their disagreement and solve the problem. The fourth stage of discussion is the reinforcement phase.” (Communicating at Work, 2005, pages 264-265). A proposal for a specific remedy for problem-solving is to know these steps at all times and apply them in the instance of an issue, no matter how big or small the issue is. When it comes to interdependence, we would remind them that our group’s success would come from how well we all work, like at a restaurant. “By contrast, consider the workers in a restaurant: If the kitchen crew fails to prepare orders promptly or correctly, the servers’ tips will decline. If the employees who clear tables don’t do their jobs quickly and thoroughly, the servers will hear complaints from their customers. If the waiters fail to take orders


accurately, the cooks will have to fix some meals twice.” (Communicating at Work, 2005, page 248). If we had made them understand how much their contribution mattered to the group, they wouldn’t have slacked off. Our proposal for a specific remedy to this is to be much stricter about deadlines. We will apply these recommendations in future group situations we may participate in by making sure everyone knows just how much they matter to the group, being more strict with deadlines, and by always remembering the four different steps to problem-solving. Our group did very well, but if we could do it over again, we would make sure we paid special attention to these critical parts of working in a group to ensure our project went as smoothly as possible.

For our service learning project, we went to This is the Place Heritage Park and did various chores such as weeding and cleaning up for a wedding that was to take place later that day. We cleaned the floors, tables, and walls in the kitchen. We cleaned windows, chairs, and tables in the building where the wedding was taking place. Then we moved to the next big assignment, pulling the Christmas lights from a blue spruces tree as the managers requested. Our assets were the size of our group and the fact that we had a collective goal. Due to our small size, everyone was able to freely express their opinions. We also understood that we needed to work to finish the chores together and we couldn’t get distracted by other goals until we were finished. Overall, we would have to say we had a pretty good team.

Our limitations were interdependence and problem-solving skills. These were issues because relying on others made goals harder to achieve. Another limitation that we were having issues with problem-solving skills hindered our efforts by quite a bit on a few occasions. The limitations were hard but we overcame them with our team’s assets. Our recommendations are to plan well in advance and make sure that everyone commits to the common goal of the group. Give enough warning to those who will be in your group so that they can get off from work. Also tell them when the deadlines are so they don’t miss out on the chance to serve. Then always take the advice from others that have done it before you. The importance of this proposal is that you as the reader now know what it takes to have a project that goes smoothly and a group that is effective. Rather than finding these things out through trial and error, you now know what to worry about right from the beginning. The ability to have a great project is in your hands—use it!


Works Cited:
Elmhorst, Jeanne Marquardt. "Working in Teams." Communications at Work. By Ronald B. Adler. 8th ed. N.p.: Phillip A. Butcher, n.d. 247. Print. Elmhorst, Jeanne Marquardt. "Working in Teams." Communications at Work. By Ronald B. Adler. 8th ed. N.p.: Phillip A. Butcher, n.d. 248. Print. Elmhorst, Jeanne Marquardt. "Working in Teams." Communications at Work. By Ronald B. Adler. 8th ed. N.p.: Phillip A. Butcher, n.d. 262. Print. Elmhorst, Jeanne Marquardt. "Working in Teams." Communications at Work. By Ronald B. Adler. 8th ed. N.p.: Phillip A. Butcher, n.d. 264-265. Print.


Related Interests