Working together – Group work: Part 1
Working together – Group work: Part 1
Very often our first experience of a group is in our family setting, whoever raised us, wherever we were raised. It may be as a very small child that first experience was simply with our parents, or within a large family, or even one parent. Whatever the case we came into the world and when we felt around us we realised we were not alone.
For all of our lives to this point whether you are 17 or 71 – you have been part of a group, and part of something much bigger and grander than maybe you can imagine, as we are working together as one large group on earth. It may be that you sigh at this point:
- How could it be grand – my family are disharmonious?
- How could it be bigger – I work in a place with 10,000 other staff?
Whatever your sigh – we are much grander than we realise, as is our group work on Earth.
The world population is the total number of living humans on Earth. As of today, it is estimated to number 7.139 billion[i] – that’s a lot of people and that is only estimated! Let’s go grander. The sun is estimated to be around 1,392,000 kilometers in diameter. Our planet ‘only’ measures 12,756 kilometers. If you did the math about 109 Earths would measure up to the Sun[ii].
Through that you also have to understand how large our galaxy is. Our very own galaxy, the Milky Way, is composed of millions of star systems that hold planets much like our own system. So, imagine Earth being a tiny grit of sand, and that galaxy alone being the whole Sahara Desert. That is the size of our planet, and a mere, small taste of the ginormous whole we are a part of.
So we are a grain of sand in the universe and we live on this grain of sand with over 7 billion other people. Why is this important in looking at teams and groups?
We are not alone, there are millions and millions of us and there are millions and millions of us who work together on the planet, in whatever jobs we do – to provide what is needed for ourselves and others. Are we not one large team – or one large group? Is it not the responsibility for our planet and for all those living on it, something that is all of ours together?
In considering this, if we are one big group living on this planet, isn’t it true to say that we have something in common with one another? That we are here together at this time and that we have a shared job? If this is the case, perhaps the way we work together is actually very important ...
We have millions of industries, organisations and places to run so as to offer all of humanity what they need. Yes, as we know it is not equal at this time, we have poverty and famine, greed and corruption, crime, we have many other atrocities, wars, religious factions, discrimination, slavery, prostitution, and so on, and somehow we got into this together – we created this together – from our one huge team on this planet.
Yet you may cry, "We have so much!"
- tall buildings
- fast transport
But can we say that all is well? As with poverty, abuse, racial hatred etc, we also have illness and disease that is going through the roof – in 2008 there were 36 million deaths due to cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic lung conditions – in this, 17 million people died of cardiovascular disease alone[iii] .
All is not well and we are the group here on earth at this moment under whose watch this is all happening
So how does this relate to working with others and working in groups? Well, to start with, how many of us regularly experience in our daily work and life, harmonious groups?
How many of us experience groups who are willing to work together, do what it takes to do what is needed to be done, with a flow of harmony and a joy? And with celebration and an appreciation? Maybe that is your experience and if that is so, that is something to cherish, and greatly so.
If it is not your experience, then what is going on?
- Do you have bickering, backbiting?
- Do you have arguments?
- Petty intolerances?
- Do you have jealousy, comparison?
- Or bullying and harassment?
And if so, how much time and energy does this take – taking you away from the task in hand, the work that needs to be done, to serve one another, to provide services (whatever work or industry you are in), to people whether near or far, so that together we keep our life on the planet flowing and enable it to flourish?
It’s not to say that conflicts won’t arise but more so, how do you work in a way that enables these disharmonies to come to the surface and be dealt with respectfully so that the group can deepen and continue to offer quality services? In other words, does the way you work help our common job for the group as a whole, or does it go against the group as a whole?
We are in group work when we are with others, in any manner and in any setting.
For all our group work, wherever it may be:
- whether at work
- with friends and family
- or in our local or wider communities ...
... are we not in the end one big group supporting each other as a whole?
- And in our group work on earth do we not each have a responsibility in this?
Every group we are part of has the potential to either support (or harm) our one huge group as a whole.
- Is this not worthy of deeper consideration?
Is it possible that by consciously learning to work in harmony as a group in all the groups we are in, that this in turn supports us as a whole, larger group?