A few weeks ago, I attended my first all-committee meeting for Greeks Giving Back 2011. Greeks Giving Back is a relatively new event to Virginia Tech that is held in October of the Fall semester. In order for this Greek-wide day of community service to take place, the Greeks Giving Back Executive Board has created three committees to assist them with the work that needs to be done before October. These three committees are Fundraising, Logistics, and Student Outreach.
For the past 2 years, I have been on the Student Outreach Committee. The role of this committee is to speak to all Greek organizations on campus and spread awareness about Greeks Giving Back. This year, the committee is composed of one Exec member and about 15 committee members from a handful of Greek organizations. At our first meeting we simply went over the role of each committee member, and what we were expected to do over the course of this semester into next semester as we get closer to Greeks Giving Back.
Since we are building a new committee, it is important to start considering the team dynamic. Patrick Lencioni’s fable, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, composes a model that lays out the five most common dysfunctions as a team. These dysfunctions are all interrelated to each other, meaning that the lack of just one of them could be lethal to the success of any team.
In this model, the first dysfunction that a team must overcome to be successful is absence of trust. Since the Student Outreach Committee for Greeks Giving Back 2011 is still building its teamwork and group dynamic, this is something we definitely need to consider as we continue to meet and assign roles throughout the end of this semester. Without obtaining trust among committee members, we will not be able to overcome other potential team dysfunctions, such as fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and lastly, inattention to results.
Since our first Student Outreach meeting as was held as an all-committee meeting, we did not necessarily have time to start working on our team dynamic. However, as we begin to meet as an individual committee and are assigned roles by our Exec member, the team dynamic will begin to form. According to Lencioni, “team members who are not genuinely open with one another about their mistakes and weaknesses make it impossible to build a foundation of trust.” I hope to convey this message to the rest of the committee members by the end of this semester. If we have a strong foundation of trust coming into Fall 2011, I know we will have one of the most successful Greeks Giving Back events yet!