Thursday, April 26, 2012

Team Work: Lessons from the Flight of Geese

A month delay in the data gathering of one advisee, as discussed in the previous post, has a domino effect on our overall schedule. Supposedly, the data gathered in December were scheduled for processing in January. Just the time another advisee filed her official leave from employment for data gathering. In this way, there would be focus in advising work.

However, due to previously cited voluntary involvement of a nun advisee, the two groups conducted data gathering simultaneously resulting to an overlap in the schedule of organization of data and processing. With the scrambled schedule, we were compelled to confront the pressures we wanted to avoid. More so, that another advisee was affected by the changes of schedule of the accreditation involving our own department.

Much as I wanted to keep my cool to ease the tension, there were times when I had to be realistic in assessing the situation. Especially, that I am still in the process of recuperating from critical illness which has dramatically changed my lifestyle.

While in the past, I could work effectively under pressures, I have learned to avoid such situation after my ailment. Previously, I loved doing homework; especially rush paper work until early morning. My mind had been conditioned to function well within that period. However, since my sickness, I have disciplined myself to sleep early with strict resolve not to bring home any school or office assignment. Conscious of health, I avoided any stressful activity that would trigger the recurrence of my illness. 

Faced with the dilemma vis-à-vis the aforementioned limitations, we braved the tough times with faith in God and team work. I encouraged them to share with one another the development of their work to challenge each other. Similarly, the under development to make each one aware that she is not alone in such situation. It is in this context that the lessons from the flying geese related to team work became relevant to both of us.

My first encounter with the flight of the geese concept was in 2004 when I participated in the Phil-Australia Short Term Course on Technology Training Program (PASTT) by Queensland University conducted in Makati City. Sponsored by the Caucus of Development (CODE) NGOs, the training was focused on Strategic Human Resource Management for NGOs. One of the resource persons presented a power point on the Fight of Geese and related the lessons to team work in the organization. Since then, I have been using the concept in my classes, trainings, seminars and other speaking engagements.

The flight of geese is summarized on this link. Five lessons can be gleaned from the story, as follows:

Foremost, sharing the same direction and working as a team get us to the destination quicker and easier. By helping ourselves, the accomplishment is greater.

Secondly, staying in tune and united beside those who are going in the same direction, the effort will be less. It will be easier and pleasing to reach the goals. Everyone will be inclined to accept and give help.

Thirdly, to share the leadership, there must be mutual respect all the times. Sharing involves even the hardest problem and tasks. It is also manifested in gathering of abilities, and combining our faculties, talents and resources.

The fourth lesson states: When there is courage and encouragement, the progress is greater. A timely word of encouragement always motivates, helps and strengthens. It produces the best benefits.

Finally, to stay beside each other no matter what the difference specially in times of difficulties and great challenges.

Applying the lessons in our experience made us overcome the difficulties. In the most critical times, they took over my classes so that I could work with their papers. Every one tried to encourage one another especially when some were tempted to give up. At one instance, when I reached my own limitation, our office secretary, Carol Kay, who is also an advisee reminded me of the good words of the Dean of the Graduate Studies for me. Her high regard and trust and confidence on me as far as writing and thesis advising is concerned served as impetus to stretch beyond my limits. In fact, I was able to conquer my fear when in two instances, I succeeded to stay overnight working on their paper to beat the deadline in the final stage. 

TEAM THAT WORKS. (L-R) Carol Kay Cortuna- Blando, the author,
 Araceli Tondo,  Sr. Aubrey Casimiro, and Kareen Jay Diesto,
Indeed, team work made us rise to meet challenges. We found ourselves tougher than the tough times we encountered.

No comments:

Post a Comment