Collaborative Processes Essay, Research Paper
Working with a group of people allows individuals to come together to express a common interest and strive toward a common goal. Frequently, working in collaborative fashion requires more in-depth and complex social skills than does working individually. Working in a group requires an individual to put aside their single motivations in order to combine together with the rest of the team to reach the demands and expectations of the group. The skills required to be effective team members are evidently instilled in the youth of today at an early age. As early as grade school, students are encouraged to work in teams to learn the necessary tactics of being a cooperative group member. These students are taught a preemptive notion of the definition of teamwork in the old saying, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest length.” Society has taught us that working in a group requires special skills and knowledge that each person needs to acquire to become a responsible adult. Within the workplace individuals will be able to apply the skills they have acquired in order to succeed as a productive team member. The working world is the most obvious illustration of individuals combining their skills to achieve a common objective. Collaborations are also prominent in the theatrical world. It is only through the effort of all those involved in the making of a performance, that it is possible. Each team member has separate goals to complete while simultaneously working for the same end performance. Thirdly, a group’s effort is also witnessed in the sports world when individual players group together for a team “win”. It is evident that collaborative processes abound in today’s society. In order to be an effective team member, one must be able to fulfill their separate duties in order to accomplish the common goal of the group. Many aspects of today’s society requires that individuals acquire the specific abilities to work successfully with others.
A distinct collaborative process that I have found myself involved in is the sport of cheerleading. In my group words like staging, blocking and dress rehearsals are replaced with stunting, cheering, and tumbling. I became a cheerleader when I was a junior in high school. I was quickly taught that cheerleading was a noteworthy sport just like baseball and basketball. Each squad member had their own outstanding talents that combined together to perform in front of the crowd during athletic events. The collaborative process involved working through strenuous practices that demand a lot both mentally and physically. Cheerleading is one of the few sports that involve the risk of falling from great heights. The team has to learn to work together and trust each other’s ability to accomplish the stunt being attempted. The culmination of the team’s effort was debuted during the regional and national cheerleading championships. All of the working season was spent perfecting a three-minute, high impact routine to be performed in the state competition. A cheerleading squad definitely follows the rule of thumb that the squad was only as strong as its weakest length. Everyone’s flaws were evident but we realized in order to be the best we had to work together to overcome them, instead of focusing on them.
Being a male in a female dominated sport, I quickly sized up that a main part of my contribution to the collaboration would be strength and muscle. While cheering in high school, not many other school squads had male members. I became interested enough in the sport that when I had the opportunity to tryout for an All-Star squad, I quickly took it. I made the squad and quickly realized that, although the team parameters had changed, again I had to find what I could contribute to the squad. I cheered with the United Cheerleading Bulldogs for two years and worked to improve my ability and overall knowledge of cheerleading. This squad differed from the one at my high school in the fact that it took the sport of cheerleading to a new level. The team consisted of twenty members; five guys and fifteen girls. The team had been chosen from a tri-county area and each individual was equally as talented.
We practiced three times a week, working on the particulars of the same routine until it was perfect and ready for “opening night.” We performed the same routine for different audiences numerous times. After graduating from high school, I proceeded to take my ability to the next level, collegiate cheerleading. It was at the University of Georgia that I realized my true potential as a cheerleader. I had never been the most talented on a physical level, but my attitude and positive motivation overshadowed my weaknesses. I quickly realized that the level of enthusiasm I was able to offer not only helped the team work together more efficiently, but it was also helping us to accomplish our goal. Here at the university, the squad’s goals changed slightly. Since the university does not compete nationally, our team’s purpose was to entertain the fans and act as ambassadors for the university. We worked together to create our own performance segments, or pyramids, that were performed at many of the university’s athletic events.
The major weakness I possessed involving the sport of cheerleading was the tumbling and flipping aspect. The one thing required of the team members of the football squad was an acrobatic feat known as a standing back tuck. This mechanics behind it are simple, but the mental aspect is the part I found difficult. After making the football squad, I was given the summer to perfect my back-tuck. I realized that the squad was relying on me to “earn” my spot on the team and therefore I worked particularly hard to pull my weight on the team. When school started back in the fall, my work had paid off and the squad was able to begin working as a unit.
Within the group, I was also able to add background knowledge of the sport of cheerleading to new squad members. Many times guys would come to tryouts having never thought of the idea of cheering. My personality and knowledge allowed me to teach these new team members some of the particulars of cheerleading while I team was reorganizing itself. The culmination of my efforts came when I was selected as captain of the cheerleading squad. To me it signified the acceptance of my ability and knowledge by my peers. The squad generally votes on a male and female captain and the sponsor then validates the general consensus. The decision making process involved in cheerleading also prove to be team processes. A sponsor or coach commonly makes the major decisions regarding the underlying concepts. The coach holds the utmost authority and everyone answers to his or her authority. Under the coach’s authority is the power of the captains. Although the captains are chosen by the squad to represent them, they are also picked based on the ability to lead and be a leader. Many times the coach will rely on the captains to make some of the minor decisions involved in the process. However, most of the decisions are made on a general consensus level. The squad realizes it has to work together to be efficient and therefore, realizes that the decisions made have to reflect the thoughts and ideas of the team as well. For two years I was both a captain and a regular team member. The decision-making process is tedious and well thought out because twenty people have to be able to uphold the decisions made.