IAIP Kolkata invited Professor Chetan Joshi, a faculty member in the Behavioral Science Group of IIM Calcutta, to take a session on Developing Emotional Quotient and Building Soft Skills. It was a fun filled session with enthusiastic participation of all attendees and the occasional heated discussions at the round table.
Given the time constraints and in the best interest of attendees, Prof. Joshi focused on demonstrating synergies in a team environment through a practical exercise. He began by explaining that there are essentially 3 parts in an activity-
- Input- The individuals working on the project, the available resources and the information.
- Process- The deliberation taking place between team members and the activities undertaken by each of them
- Output- The final result
It is in the process stage where the importance of the team comes into play. Given a positive team environment where each member voices his opinion and is paid heed to, the team output exceeds the sum of individual contributions.
Professor divided the audience into teams of 5 or 6 and asked them to do an exercise first individually and then with the collective inputs of the team. The exercise involved arranging, in proper sequence, a list of 20 activities required to be done in a project setting. In order to motivate the attendees, he suggested every participant contribute towards a prize money which was earmarked at the inception of the exercise, to be paid out to the winning team. The 90 odd minute exercise demonstrated the following:-
- The team score for each team was better than the individual score of each team member. This demonstrated that when we work as a team, the output is better.
- No individual score was better than the team score. This again reinforced the group effort.
- While individual scores had a wide range from very low to moderately high, most teams scored more than 80%. This again bore testimony to the high quality of output resulting from deliberations and interactions amongst the members
- It was found that each Team had certain “gems” based on individual scores. In order to maximise the gains, it is important to identify these gems and give due importance to their point of views since they may not be as vocal as some of their other team members who could be more assertive with their views.
Prof Joshi was effusive in his praise for the young IAIP crowd. He was very impressed with the overall scores and complemented the participants for their efforts.
Contributions from: Abhishek Shah, IAIP Volunteer
Photographs from: IAIP Volunteers