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Recitation 5: Team Dysfunction

Learning objectives

  • Practice and reflect about being within a team.
  • Reinforce the knowledge of team dysfunction issues and mitigation strategies.

Part 0: Preparation

Use the number generator to get a random number from 1-7 that will determine your role.

To know how you are supposed to act, reference the Roles & personality traits section for the role description based on your number.

Part 1: Skit planning (15 minutes)

You will be planning a 3-5 minute skit to perform in front of the class. Your skit will be about a team that is finding a tool to support the payment system of your graduate application. Here are some ideas of what the skit can include:

  • Researching tools to support the payment system
  • Comparing the strengths and weaknesses of the tools
  • Trying to agree on a tool to use
  • Assigning each member a task to do to integrate the payment system into the graduate application

Have fun with the skit!

Part 2: Skit performance (15 minutes)

You will perform the skits in front of the class. As a class, try to guess for each performer:

  • What dysfunctional characteristic did your teammates display?

Part 3: Trade-off and task planning meeting (20 minutes)

As a class, for each dysfunctional characteristic, discuss the following questions:

  • How would you handle the dysfunctional characteristics in future situations?
  • What problems can be caused by this behavior? Can you think of mitigation strategies and solutions to avoid them?

Part 4: Submit on Gradescope

To receive participation for this activity, please complete the quiz on Gradescope.

Roles & personality traits

Here’s a description of the roles and the behavior each role has.

Role Behavior
Contributor Aim for general team success, discuss solutions with your team. Ask for their opinion and demonstrate engagement during the activity.
Know-it-all You think you are extremely experienced and know how to solve the problem on your own. Act like you do not need help and just tell your team to watch while you search for the tool. Try to tell other members how to search for information about the tool. Be combative and shoot another member’s idea down if possible.
Act silent Pay attention to the meeting, but simply do not suggest anything. You assume your team members know everything and don’t feel you need to say much. Remain passive but friendly.
Agree with everything Do not question the decisions of your team. You are afraid of raising conflicts; so just agree with everything during the activity.
Hitchhiking Your goal is to do as little work as possible. Be friendly but not productive. Try to get other people to step in for you, for example you can act confused with the task and say that you need someone else to do this for you. You may have to make a quick, bad attempt to make it look like you tried to figure out the task.
Commitment issue Go along with the meeting, until when tasks are being assigned, say that you are busy with something (interview prep, midterm, other assignment). If asked if they could do something else, or if being pressed further continue giving excuses why you can’t contribute.

Perfectionist | You will perfect even minor details. Your role is to make sure the tool’s source code is readable and aesthetically perfect and that also includes perfect comments. You should argue for or against the tool based on these minor details.|