Part1: Individual observations:
There are two teams competing against each other. The red team is formed solely with women, while the blue team is composed of men.
The red team has a big problem on communication and also seems to lack that certain chemistry to make everybody a full-pledged team. Some of the women are trying to root off others out of personal interest.
The blue team seems to have a better understanding of what the team is supposed to look like, however there is much misunderstanding and inequality between members and that issue produces chaos.
§ Melissa - team-player, good chef but short-tempered
§ Nona - does her work and tries to get along.
§ Sabrina - slow, self-centered, makes a mess of things every time, incapable.
§ Jillian - doesn’t seem to have an opinion about anything, also she is the only one friend’s with Sabrina.
§ Gail - - has the attitude of a team leader, she knows when to step down and is confident in her own powers.
§ Emily - does not pick a team, neutral, seen in her positive reactions.
§ Vinny - he’s smooth, he thinks before hand and can handle any challenge, has team spirit and the positivism he needs to make it work.
§ Rob - has a good impression of himself, tends to be a team-player but often shows his contempt towards other team members.
§ Russel - really willing to win and work hard, as seen in his strong start.
§ Boris - he claims to have a lot of experience as a chef but his actions say otherwise more than once.
§ Trevor - tries to fit in, feels like he is underappreciated (and he is) and tries to get attention in more than once.
§ Louis - he is the soldier type, easy to give instructions to but fails to do so as we can see on the episode of the case study. He leaves the group alone.
The goal of the team is to cook dinner for everybody in the restaurant. It is not a competition between team at one point as it is to cook for the customers. Being the best team does have its perks however, the blue team being sent of a relaxing evening to play golf and are flown by helicopter while the women get to wash up the kitchen and make preparations for the next day.
The ultimate goal of each individual member is to be the best chef and the last person standing at the end of the show and the winner will be named the chef of “LA Market” with a huge annually salary.
Each individual wishes to win the position for the restaurant. They may also be motivated by personal goals (such as be the best chef or maybe working for the specific restaurant). In a nut shell, the most dominant motivation is the collective desire to make Chef Ramsey as happy as possible.
The thing that makes the people a group is the desire to be the best chef and complete all the challenges as best they can. Although not everybody sees eye-to-eye, the general idea is to be the best team and satisfy both the customers and the head chef, Ramsey. This would explain the dynamic of the team but not how the people operate. People are run by emotions, assumptions and experience. As a team there must be a level of trust that is missing in both teams, but in the red team there is a clear fight between most of the members and there is not a concrete core that seeks to do well, rather an “everybody for themselves” ideology rules.
At the beginning of every challenge, all members put the goal of communicating with each other and being the best team, however it is often that personal feelings or personal interpretation comes between their efforts and their success. We even witness a phase in which someone tried to under-mind the work of another (see Sabrina and Gail).
In the red team there are a lot of mixed feelings and almost every conversation ends up with a fight. Often the women swear and throw heavy words at each other. All-in-all they try to make everything work but Sabrina is usually clueless and asks help for absolutely everything, although she does get the occasional dish done just right, thus giving her a strong sense of power that only feeds her emotion of being under-appreciated. Sabrina is usually the center of attention and the one who plays a key role in disruption the natural flow of thinks inside the red team.
The blue team is more calculated. Everybody does their best in order to not cause trouble to the team. However, inexperience and doubt usually leads to quarrels. The “victim” in this episode was Trevor because he is considered a simple bartender and his colleagues do not show the proper appreciation. Every member is confident in his skills and that makes a good working environment but there is usually one person who shows true leader values: Vinny.
The red team has a more organized value compared to the blue team. It is rigorous and has the resources to carry out all orders. It’s biggest weakness is the lack of communication between team members and even the anger directed towards Sabrina who makes life hard for everybody and is loud and inauspicious.
The blue team has a better understanding of each other and although they communicate and even bond better than the red team, they are afraid to ask for help and often result in failure. The team is more like a tribe of survivors than a fraternity, in the meaning that everybody wishes to keep everyone in place but to a certain point. Also everybody thinks their mistakes are smaller than the others and thus lacunas are created there where trust and understanding should be.
Part 2 and 3: Group Discussion: Integrating Perceptions & Written Assignment
Show: Hell’s Kitchen, season 8, episode 4 – 12 chef’s compete
Two groups are feature. We have the blue team who represent the men in the competition and we have the red team who represent all women in the competition. In this assignment we have observed both teams. The blue and the red team compete in the restaurant when both having guests. They both try to make the best dishes and serve them in time to satisfy the guests. The members of both teams differ a lot except the fact that they all have the same goal. They try to achieve them differently, though. They all want to win and become the head-chef of the restaurant ‘LA Market’ and earn $250.000,-. That’s why they compete in Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant Hell’s Kitchen.
Our impression of the teams and the members were basically the same, with Sabrina standing out as 'the incapable-center-of-attention'.
We all agreed that both teams have major communication issues. The teams seem clueless on what good communication is. The red team is the worst. They yell, they show no respect for their team members, they curse and blame each other for their errors. The blue team's communication is a little better and from time to time they make it work, but it is a far cry from the essence of a true team spirit
The goal of the teams is clear: to win the challenges as a team and satisfy Chef Ramsay and receive the title of head-chef at LA Market and win the $250000. Some of the team members only want the prize money, others want the job. So the motivation is different per person.
3) What evidence did your teammates use to form their initial impressions of the group, its members, and the dynamics?
Our team formed its impressions of the groups as such:
- analyses of the behavior between team members
- level of personal closeness between members
- personal and collective actions towards making the best in any situation
- individual quarrels
- personal expectations and implied circumstances
- the level at which one is willing to accept his/her mistake
- the competition between the two actual teams
- observation of individual behavior
- selection of specific needs relative to situations and potential of good/bad outcome
Yes, there was prejudice and discrimination in the show.
Firstly, the two teams are set up with different genders. So there was gender discrimination. The men always thought women didn't have the talent for cooking.
Secondly, there was job discrimination. Some participants had the cooking related experiences before the competition; furthermore, some of them were even the head chef already. Therefore, they didn't trust the team members who didn't have any experience at all.
We think that the lack of trust and poor communication are the main weaknesses. Also personal quarrels might cause other members to feel insecure or feel bad and irritated. There are people who are manipulative and have personal agendas that disturb the workgroup. The strengths are their personal cooking experiences, their traits and their own self-confidence. A good trick to try and improve the teamwork of each group is offering help and helping the weakest link as to maintain the pace for all of the members.
Based on what the members of your team have learned from the course so far, and your team’s observations from question 5:
The overall weakness is teamwork and the lack of communication which leads to impossibility of finishing the tasks at hand. Also the “singularity”-factor, factor, everybody acts on their own behalf and expects everyone else to do the same, which is not exactly team spirit material.
The key to good team coordination is trust and constructive thinking. Keeping that in mind we would suggest doing some activities together and sharing some experience at the exchange of one’s personal values.
Some methods for building trust might be:
List: 1. Doing some activities to build trust.
For example, the Trust Fall. It involves a person falling backwards from a high space into the arms and hands of the group. Each group member can opt to take a turn as faller. Although commonly used, some believe it should be avoided due to the risk of physical and psychological injury.
2. Having lunch/dinner together at a fixed time in a fixed period, so that they have the chance to communicate.
3. Make a list of the team weakness together, and try to find the solutions together.
4. Make a list individually about the Strengths of other team members.
There is no “best” solution because most of the times someone might disagree with the method. A criteria would be an objective approach from the members. Another method might be writing some anonymous letters of how people behave and are bothering others and also mention individual weaknesses and qualities. After a discussion upon these new opinions and results we can chose what way would better suit the team (for example: a hierarchic plan vs. a voting committee of some sort). The final outcome should improve cooperation and lead to better teamwork.