Communication is Key

This semester, I have learned a great deal about working in a team, and working in a more professional setting. Communication is a huge thing that I learned about and I was not the best communicator. An example would be asking questions. Personally, I was not one who would ask a lot of questions, with the fear that I would be judged or seen as lesser. However through this project, I went through a process to realize that there is truly nothing wrong with asking questions. For example, given that it is vitally important for the client to get what they want, asking questions is very crucial. In the beginning of the meetings with the clients, we had to gather requirements for the project. Not wanting to ask too many questions, it was not until a few weeks and a few meetings later that I realized that I was taking the wrong approach to the project. Around week six, which is already over a third of the way done with the project, I had to ask more clarifying questions for what was talked about weeks ago. It felt very bad doing this, but after clarifying the points, it became so much easier to work on the project and I regretted not asking earlier. 

Another example of needing to communicate was when communicating with the team. Oftentimes, the team members would assume everyone knew what was happening, when it would not always be the case. Sometimes I would see that a team member is just going along with something but is not actively involved enough because they do not understand. Sometimes this team member would be me. As a result, I learned to spot these things and to ask them questions making sure they understood what was happening, as well as asking questions so that I personally would know what was happening. 

Communication within the team was also very vital when assigning tasks as well as spreading work. In other normal classes, group projects can become very dull and lacking in interaction. The work can get spread among the group members without any discussion and without any insight into why. But in this project, we were able to talk to the team through many of the important steps that we did, and even through the issue tree, and assigning tasks on the board, everyone was on the same page. There was no random handing out of tasks without discussion. This became, in my eyes, the backbone of our team. 

Personally, this experience has led me to realize that no matter what is happening, no matter what positive or negative thing is going on, it is important to communicate it. This way, any problems that we have can be brought out into the open and analyzed, and can be solved together. I experienced a lot of growth this semester, and I hope to carry this kind of value in the rest of my career, and even in my other social interactions. This is hugely valuable experience to me and I fully appreciate the opportunity this class gave me to have it.