Difficult Group Project

Written on 09/14/2019

 

Consider a situation where you are asked by your supervisor to work with one of your co-workers on a project.  This co-worker has opinions that are very different than yours and they feel very strongly about these opinions. Do you think this is a good idea?  Use reasons and examples to support your answer.

The Essay:

 

It is always a challenge to collaborate with our colleagues on important projects. Personally, I believe that it is extremely beneficial to work on assignments with people who do not share our opinions. I feel this way for two reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.

First of all, co-workers who do not share our beliefs can often show us solutions that we would not ordinarily come up with. We can sometimes get stuck in our ways if we spend too many years at a job, and this can negatively affect our problem-solving skills. However, if we are exposed to people with radically different perspectives we can make unexpected breakthroughs. My personal experience is a compelling example of this. A few years ago I was employed as an intern at a local magazine. I was given the task of getting new companies to buy advertising in the magazine. I was convinced that only large retailers would want to promote themselves in the publication, but when I called a few they just weren’t interested. As a result, my boss assigned my colleague Jeff to help me out. He was of the opinion that local cafes would be more likely to partner with us. Right after we started calling them we quickly sold all of our advertising space. I was quite certain that I was correct in my original belief, and had it not been for Jeff’s input I would have totally failed at my work.

Secondly, working with individuals who have different opinions is a wonderful way to improve our communication skills. In cases like these, we need to speak clearly and persuasively to win others over. For instance, when I was a graduate student I worked as teaching assistant together with a classmate. I thought that our students should be punished harshly for submitting essays after the given deadlines, but he was more liberal and wanted to give them generous extensions. To convince him to change his mind I had to debate his stance using effective reasoning and well-articulated logic. This helped me to be a powerful communicator, which has served me well in my career since then.

In conclusion, I feel that working with people who do not share our opinions is very advantageous. This is because they can improve the way we carry out tasks, and because such situations can really improve our ability to convey our ideas.