While working in this group, it became apparent that we didn't all share the same work ethic, not did we have the same goal for the outcome of this project and maybe even the Masters as a whole. In passing one person asked if we were in agreement that we are aiming for a C. Another agreed while the remaining three of us seemed to share a degree of shock and or dismay. Before then I hadn't thought about what our goal academically would be or should be as a group. It hadn't crossed my mind that someone would want anything less than a top mark and to do their very best, whatever that looks like within a set of circumstances. I completely understand how life can get in the way and that other commitments can sometime throw a spanner in the works but I still think you should go down fighting. One of my main worries with group work has always been the fact that I can't be as flexible at the drop of a hat as someone else might be because I have to make sure I have childcare and plan my time in advance. I was worried that this might cause a problem for other people. I'm also quite accustomed to working at antisocial times of the day to get things done either late at night or early in the morning, which I know doesn't work for everyone. In all my worrying about how I might be the weak link, I didn't stop to think that I would be the annoying person harping on about meeting up and getting work done in time.
I guess the real problem for me is that I like to have control over what I am doing and how my life is going. This Masters was a choice between returning to work and having the security of a salary and taking an extra year to work on my design style, and ultimately my design business. At the end of the year I intend to be in a better position than I was at the start of the course. I don't like my future depending on other people. That being said, my aims and goals for this year are just that: mine.
We had a conversation on the topic of the MA, why we decided to do and what we each wanted to learn or gain if anything. It was interesting to try and understand where everyone is coming from and what they are hoping for. This included, wanting to work in industry, remaining self employed, it being a good option since they didn't find a job, learning new skills. One common feeling was that this brief didn't seem helpful. I completely understand this view, especially having done the Enterprise Placement Year which involved running a business, attending workshops and lectures on all aspects of running and growing a business. The only area I felt this module adds that was missing, is having to work with people collaboratively. However for me personally, this isn't something I needed or wanted more experience in, I have done it in the past and continue to do it on a daily or at least a weekly basis. In these cases, I have almost always worked with people who are driven and want to do well. Again, this is why I found it so mind boggling to be in a situation where that wasn't the case for everyone in this group.
I have to learn to let go a little more. I like to solve problems and find solutions but this can be a problem. Whenever I see a piece of work, I see what's great but I also see where something could be improved, tweaked or repurposed. I think this comes from having to check designs and copy before they go to print, or reading an email for a colleague to check that the tone won't be taken the wrong way when it is emailed out to stores. I'm hardwired to find faults, with the aim to make something better. This links to my often crippling problem with perfectionism. I'm very critical, both positively and negatively. I find it difficult to leave things unfinished or not looking as good as I think it could be. That being said I often have time restraints and may have to make a call, spend time on the content or on the presentation. I have to find the right balance and accept the outcome. That works when it's just me, but when I'm working with other people, I am really bad letting go. I often end up just doing something myself because it isn't being done well. I need to stop this.
I think the best way for me to move forward with the group without becoming increasingly frustrated will be to delegate and try not to be too precious about things. I will try to take a step back.