Collaboration: My experience

I feel like there is always a general groan in the room once someone says team or group project and usually I am one of those people. I wait with baited breath to hear the words, “or you can work alone.” I have never had great experiences with group work, but luckily that’s a completely different animal than collaboration.

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When it comes to collaboration I have definitely had mixed experiences…

Lets start with the bad first. I have rarely had a bad collaboration experience, but there was one, with that one type of person in a group of normal people. The whole point of collaboration in a group of people is to work together to come up with the best thing of what ever it is that you are all working on. It is meant for open minds and no hard feelings and this experience was quite the opposite. The person, lets call them Mr. Sour, was the only one in the group that was seemingly unhappy from the get go and it just got worse as the collaboration went on. He couldn’t take criticism on his ideas, he criticized other people’s ideas and said that they were worthless and not what we were trying to accomplish and pretty much just tried to drag the whole group down with him. He started to really affect the people in the group and it, of course, only got worse. He began to openly yell at people when they didn’t agree with him and started essentially throwing a hissy fit like a three year old that didn’t get to have a piece of candy. He actually stomped his feet and banged on the table. I was trying to contain every ounce of laughter that was in my body, as well as the urge to slap him, but soon the collaboration meeting was over and we told the professor about his behavior and he received a failing grade on the final project that was worth 45% of our grade, ahhhh sweet justice…

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The good experiences have been the exact opposite of that and what collaboration is supposed to be; fun, sometimes a bit silly, and a group effort of trying to create the coolest thing possible. Collaboration can sometimes be frustrating, but all my positive experiences have been with people that are generally upbeat lighthearted people that always like to end the session with a smile (as cheezy as that sounds) its actually really nice!

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