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View Full Version : How do you keep a team from collapsing?


pakrat
10-19-2004, 05:46 PM
My team, the Ratpak, is a small, closely knit group of dedicated students that work hard and really get a lot of stuff done. This pre-season, though, we have run into somemembership crises. Just two questions:

1. If your team gets new members, whats the best way to get them involved?

2. If a long-faithful member leaves on conditions of returning, how are you supposed to act? Do you just change your team, or do you lose the member?

Koko Ed
10-19-2004, 05:57 PM
My team, the Ratpak, is a small, closely knit group of dedicated students that work hard and really get a lot of stuff done. This pre-season, though, we have run into somemembership crises. Just two questions:

1. If your team gets new members, whats the best way to get them involved?
We have a pre season with actvities that encourage creative thinking, team building and getting to know one another.

2. If a long-faithful member leaves on conditions of returning, how are you supposed to act? Do you just change your team, or do you lose the member
If a member leaves they leave. If they come back before the build season that should be reasoanble but in the middle or just before traveling probably wouldn't be good.

Kevin Sevcik
10-19-2004, 06:03 PM
Beaten by Koko Ed, but yeah.

1. Preseason activities. Break into groups with half vets and half rookies, or as best you can and have rookies brainstorm about old challenges. Design arms and drivetrains for fictional challenges. The whole point is to make sure everyone's involved and the vets don't drown out the rookies.

2. It sounds like you're saying a long-time member of your team has left, but will return if you change the team in some fashion to suit him/her. If this is the case, then you have to let the person go. The whole concept of a team negates this idea. You can't change a team to suit one person. If you do that you stop being a team and start being a group of people gravitating about one person.

pakrat
10-19-2004, 06:17 PM
Yeah, btu what he wants isn't unreasonable, i just think he might be acting a little bit too harsh. His leaving would be a massive blow to our team, i think he's probobly the most important single member.

Billfred
10-19-2004, 06:30 PM
I'd say hear him out. If your other teammates agree with the concept, go with it. If they're against it, then stay put.

Rafi A
10-19-2004, 06:32 PM
If you think what he wants isn't so unreasonable then ask other members, maybe they agree. Sometimes it takes one person to state what everyone else is thinking.

Liz Smith
10-19-2004, 06:39 PM
Yeah, btu what he wants isn't unreasonable, i just think he might be acting a little bit too harsh. His leaving would be a massive blow to our team, i think he's probobly the most important single member.

I don't think that someone who would just walk away from a team like this is really a dedicated member. If he is committed, then he probably is just making threats. If he's asking for some team improvement, he should try to come up with solutions instead of just walking away. If he wants something for personal reasons then he is putting himself before the team, which isn't good. Either way, his walking away doesn't seem to help the team in any way and isn't a good way to find a solution to a problem.
I don't really like the term "most important", I don't think that anyone should be "most important" in a team, but i sort of understand what you mean. My suggestion, if his knowledge is really worth that much, is to bring him back and as a team try to come up with solutions so everyone is happy.

Arefin Bari
10-19-2004, 07:25 PM
1. If your team gets new members, whats the best way to get them involved?

- Best way to keep members involved are to take them to local offseason competitions, let them get a hand on experience on the robot. Do demos around your community with your robot. show your rookies what is FIRST about. they will stick with it, since you gotta love FIRST.


2. If a long-faithful member leaves on conditions of returning, how are you supposed to act? Do you just change your team, or do you lose the member?

- Its totally the member's choice to stay on the team or not. if he/she doesnt... then you gotta let her go. you know the quote "everything has a beginning and an end." maybe that member is committed to other things. its always about teamwork. your team wont be harmed unless there is a serious problem with team work and communications... :)

greencactus3
10-19-2004, 08:16 PM
bake cookies and say you will pass them out at meetings... youd really be surprised at how effective cookies are... :D

George
10-19-2004, 08:28 PM
Hi,
We have the same thing happening, one of our central mentors is taking some
time off (we all hope its just time off)
In this process we are "reinventing" our team,
All the posts in this thread seem to sum things up well,
** Ya just gotta go on**
it is a "team thing" and up to the whole team to make a call.
we made the hard call.
Good luck, I hope it all works out,
(just wanted to let you know your not alone)

for new members, get them into Everything, sort them out as to what they like, what they are good at, and what they want to learn.
most of all
Have Fun!
Geo.

Noah
10-21-2004, 02:01 AM
In general, any team has natural leaders who emerge in specific fields that the team works in, or lead the team as a whole. Especially after spending a few years working for the team, these leaders tend do strongly believe that things should function a certain way.

The problem here is that there needs to be compromise between tradition and innovation. A successful team needs both.

If people who you would consider 'core' members of your team are leaving, then they probably have legitimate gripes about the current team structure. This is a case where I would have a team captain confront them. As senior members, they have a responsibility to the team to make it as good as it can be. They can't do that through threats, and they can't do it by walking away.

I would suggest that you hold a team meeting. Allow all your team members an open floor to talk to each other and address the way your team functions. You will probably find battle lines being drawn at some point, and that is where the role of the team captain is critical: Find an acceptable compromise.

It's sounds difficult, and believe me, it's harder than it sounds, but start with the assumption that all your members (and 'almost-ex-members') really want your team to succeed, and you have a pretty strong base of support.

Good luck!
--Noah