Blog Bart van Campenhout: Reviewing the first TU/e SkillsLab Teamwork session

Bart van Campenhout is 21 years old. He is doing his master in Chemical Engineering at the TU/e. Besides his studies, Bart likes to teach high school students and has a job at the university as well. In these different roles, communication and teamwork have proven to be very important for him. In this blog he writes about the TU/e SkillsLab teamwork skills session he participated in.

Earlier this quartile I participated in a 2-hour TU/e SkillsLab session on teamwork skills that was organized as part of one of our courses. The session contained a game that was linked to the subject. Team members sat around a table and formed a group. Each member got multiple cards with information. There was only one simple rule, you were not allowed to show the information on the cards to other members.

The objective of the game was to solve the problem by combining all useful information on the cards. As soon as the cards had been divided, somewhat naturally team roles were divided. It was nice to see that some members grabbed a pen and sheet of paper, while others started looking at the information. A strategy discussion started off – how are we going to do this?

One member started organizing and leading the conversation. He ensured that everyone got a chance to provide information. He also tried to keep order and made sure everyone was listening to the speaker. After some discussion we came up with a solution. Fantastic! 

Or not so fantastic at all... We got a wrong answer because not everyone got the chance to share all the information with the group. Quite an anticlimax for such an effort, but on the other hand also a great learning point. Teamwork is not easy. This is the reason that students can benefit from TU/e SkillsLab sessions, in this case during a roleplay. This small game involved all components of teamwork. The most important one is to communicate to other members about the information you have got in your head.

Thanks to this session I became more aware of communication during teamwork and I am ready to work on it!