Communication in teams is essential

How does communication actually work? Why is giving feedback so important and which rules should be observed? These questions and more on the topics of communication and teamwork are dealt with by Roche trainees in their first year of training during the 'Fit in the Team' project week. Chiara Weihrich, trainee office management assistant at Roche, provides an insight:

This year's project week was held under the motto 'Communication in a team'. We met in a youth hostel in the West Eifel region of Germany to work together on communication topics. On the very first day, we divided into different groups and moved on to a theory section on communication. Everyone was given one of three books in advance to read a specific chapter. We gathered the information we had gained from this and summarized the most important points for us in a mind map.

A very important topic during the project week was also the topic of feedback. Everyone hung up a feedback form in the room, which the other team members could fill out during the week. So everyone went home at the end of the week with a positive feedback about the behaviour in the group and helpful tips for the future. 

Not only theory, but also practice

In addition to the theoretical part, there was also a practical task to put what was learned into practice. For example, we were supposed to build a tower, a car and a scale as high as possible, in a certain time and only with materials that were provided to us. The results were then presented in the plenum and compared with the results of the five other groups.

Additionally the group was divided into "observers" and "doers". While one part - the doers - performed the task, the other part observed the team and then gave feedback on their behaviour during the teamwork. Also through tests we were able to find out what type you are during group work or how you behave during a discussion. This kind of feedback makes it easier to adapt to new tasks in a team, because you know where your personal strengths lie. 

The 24-hour task

Typical for the project week "FIT in a team" is the 24-hour task: This year the focus was on personalized training. Each group could choose a topic, such as the role of the trainer in personalised training.

We were then asked to create a sketch note on the topic in question, draw a painting in the style of a well-known artist of our choice and come up with a creative illustration of the topic. There were no limits to our creativity. Highlights after 24 hours were a photo love story, a sitcom, a play explaining the sketch note in Swiss German and much more. During the presentation of the results there was of course a lot of laughter.

It was a great week, in which the groups grew even closer together and we could learn a lot of new things. I am sure that the work in the groups helped us to understand why conflicts arise and how they can sometimes be avoided in business as well as in private life. After all, good communication is essential for healthy cooperation and respectful interaction. Constructive feedback and active listening should be a matter of course for everyone.

Tags: Germany, Areas of Expertise, Early In Career, Vocational Training