Blog Post 7

Summarize and report on the results of the SKS exercise. 

For our SKS, we decided we are going to start doing more team-bonding exercises because they provide everyone with positive reinforcement. We all enjoyed learning what other people’s perspectives of us in the project were, and it definitely provided us all with reassurance and made us each confident we were doing our part on the team. We also decided that we are going to start becoming more involved with past members. Our team has 2 members who did the project last semester, and 4 new members who just joined. Since we are new members, we see each other more often because of the Tuesday seminar. It seems there is a slight disconnect between us and the past members. Each person does their part, but the dynamic between the 4 new members is different from the dynamic of the team as a whole, clearly because the new members spend more time together. We want to work on tightening this divide.

We want to keep the team dynamic between us 4, and extend it to the rest of the team. We all get along really well and enjoy each other’s company. I am so glad to have become friends with my new team members, and definitely want to keep the love we all share for each other. Our self-motivation is apparent in our ability to focus on our roles and how we are able to come together to address concerns and new directions in our research. We have began to encourage one another to lead more, so we have a healthy balance of supporting one another.

We want to stop simply giving updates at our meetings and teach each other more. A majority of our weekly meetings with our advisor are focused on simply giving updates, but they are not as in depth as they could be. If we each become more in depth with our updates, the rest of the team will become more knowledgeable on each aspect of our project and have a better holistic understanding of it. To change this, we intend to begin taking more time during team meetings to teach one another about the work we have accomplished rather than just updating one another. 


Develop a detailed Collaboration Plan for your team clearly articulating your Goals (Small g and Big G), Roles, Procedures, and Relationships.

Our big goal as a team is to begin to teach and inform each other about our individual work in the project. We are all very dedicated to our individual work, and have done a lot of research within our work individually. In many cases, if our other team members knew about the information we learned about, it would greatly benefit their own research too. Additionally, it is important for us to be aware of what everyone is working on to have a more well-rounded knowledgeable background of our project. Our small goals as a team include communicating more with past team members. Prior to the trip, it would be helpful to establish better relationships so we can understand their approach and how we can prepare ourselves for potential obstacles they experienced. The questions they gained from their fieldwork and time researching can help guide the goals we pursue and better prepare us for getting the answers we need to push the venture forward.

Our roles in our team consists of having small projects as subsets of our big project goal, which is to alleviate childhood malnutrition in Sierra Leone. Each one of us is working on one specific thing to contribute to our project as a whole. Samantha is working on developing new recipes to test during our summer fieldwork, Gabby and Evelyn are leading our application for the Food Systems Vision Prize to win a grant, Robert is working on developing the recipe for moringa-fortified bouillon cubes, and Kayla is working on writing the research paper based on past fieldwork. We proceed with our goals by developing a timeline of when we want to complete different tasks to complete these smaller projects within our malnutrition project as a whole. As a group, we hold each other accountable for completing these goals. Our relationship as a team is a strength of ours; we have a great group dynamic while working on our project together and outside the project, however we want to continue to improve our relationships in our team by teaching one another about our work to ensure we are knowledgeable beyond our individual roles and prevent knowledge gaps from forming between one another. Although our dynamic places transparency as one of our core values, teaching creates security for our group’s ability to speak on the efforts we have put forth, fosters the opportunity for us to suggest potential revisions or topics for one another to explore and anchors the groundwork we have all put in for one another. Despite now being separated physically from one another, we have more incentive to be each other’s checks and balances. 


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