In the show, there are two teams. The team that we observed is team “Purple” and it consists of eight members. Both teams are left on a deserted island in Malaysia but on different beaches. Their task is to “survive”. Twice every three days they compete against each other. One challenge is to win food or something valuable like a letter from home, and the other challenge is to win immunity. The team that does not win the immunity challenge has to go to the elimination round. In this round, the team has to vote one member off the island. This member then is no longer part of the show and cannot win the final prize anymore. The final prize is for the last person remaining on the island.
2. Our group agreed individually that the team members were motivated and ambitious. In addition, we all thought this team has the potential to be the winning team, as most of the members looked physically fit. Only one of us, though, noticed immediately that the team did not have a good system of communication.
At the description of the group members, our answers were very similar. We will start with the three members who stood out the most, and then will briefly describe the other members.
Russel (the teamleader) is a good leader and is very motivating. He has authority and is very calm. This opinion is based on the way he instructs everyone what to do for the challenges. He shows that he really knows his team members and their capacities. Furthermore, when voting, his decision is based on what is best for the team and not on his personal preferences.
Yazzmin is self-centered and more an outsider than a team player. This obseration is based on her insufficient group participation and preference to do things apart.
She is also not taking initiative. This is based on her words during the illumination, after her team members told her she didn’t do much on the island she replied surprised: ‘I did what I was told’. One of our group members considered her a mean person, because of her behavior.
The first thing we all noticed about Shamboo is that she looks sturdy and strong, therefore her appearance is closer to the vision of a survivor. In addition, we knew already from the show, that she used to work in the military, so we already had similar expectations for her. Eventually she proved our expectations, but in addition, turned to be a very strange personality. One of the things that give evidence for this is the way she treats the chicken during the chicken task. She talks to the chicken and states aloud that she understands how they are feeling. One of us, however, concluded that this is a proof of her sensitive nature.
Eric is very hypocritic and indirect person. He critisizes people negativelly behind their backs. Furthermore, when he finds the immunity totem, he keeps it for himself although it was thanks to someone else that he found it.
Monica is weak and unstable. Because of her, the team looses a challenge and afterwards she falls in a depression.
Dave has very good self-control and is a good team player. The team won a challenge because of him but he remained calm and did not take all the credit for it.
In relation to the team’s goal, we all agreed that it is to be victorious when competing with the other team. The difference was, however, that one of us thought their goal was to eventually survive on the island. In order to survive on the island, the team should ot let itself loose a game. Another team member thought the goal of theam was the sum of its individual member’s goals, and that is , to win the show for themselves, by first of all playing for the best team.After all, it should not be forgotten that staying on the island is a goal for the individuals themselves and not for the group. The group is only a mean to this goal.
In relation to what motivates them in reaching the team objective, this is the reward that comes with winning the challenges. Those rewards are either prestige or food. Only one of us thought that winning food was also a motivation. The explanation was that this would make surviving easier and winning the food was something to look forward to. What motivates the individuals also is the fact that if they stay on the island longer, they have more chance of winning the show and earn the prize. All three of us came up with this answer individually.
Certain answers however, were different from observations. For instance, in terms of the key to success, some of use concluded that it was the leader’s capability to introduce organized structure, while others said the key to success was in the individual member’s motivation.Individuals based the conclusions on their own understandings and perception of the organization. In addition, there is slight difference between the discussions of how the group in the video interacts with each other.
Someone commented that the group divided themselves into smaller groups who share relatively similar characteristics while others made a conclusion that this is the way the group members support and cooperate with each other. The explanations for the different feedbacks are due to the different definitions of interaction and communication. In our case, some people considered that the direct interaction between a smaller range of people led to the result of insufficient communication between the whole group while others treated this phenomena as a common way of group discussion and communication.
3. Our initial impression was that this was a winning team, with strong members and good atmosphere. This was based on the interviews in the first episode of the season. The members had impressive jobs, such as working in the military, being a doctor, studying law, etc. This team also did well in the past, as they won everything so far. Most of the members looked strong and the men were all were muscled. In addition, most members looked confident. There were no fights in the group, and everyone seemed to get along with the others. Altogether, we thought this team would perform well in challenges and has a great chance to win.
4. Regarding the occurance of prejudices, we had a few observations.First of all, Dave, who scored the highest and thus directly led the group to success during the game on the beach, had the prejudice that none of the group member is as intelligent as himself. The prejudice had negative effect on his behavior in the group from then on. Dave started to blame and complain and this made him feel more confident about himself. In addition, due to the insufficient communication between group members, the prejudice becamse even more serious which made the group less united and efficient later on.
Secondly, Russell, who was the leader of the team, had the stereotype that Shambo ,who comes from countryside, was not competent enough to make contribution to the group tasks. From the Episode, it can be clearly seen that Russell based this stereotype on his own experience and the stereotype made him feel better about being a leader. Some group members held the same opinions toward Shambo, which made Russell more confident in his point of view.
Thirdly, most of the group member had prejudice towards Monica who was a downtown young girl. She was considered unambitious and not as fit as the others because of her appearance and weak physical capacity. Because of the lack of sufficient communication and interaction, the group did not realize her advantages of being hard working and brave.The prejudice impeded the group from benefitting from her potential.
6. Biggest weakness, list of solution, choice of one solution
Looking at the list of weaknesses identified for the “Purple Team”, the lack of sufficient feedback and post-task communication in combination with the lack of clear overall strategy for development, seem to be the major problem of the group. The reason why this is considered a problem is the fact that although the team has been very successful since the beginning of the game, and always won all the competitons so far, it never actually gathered after the competition, in order to discuss the past game and the points for improvement. This implies that the group works as a group solely during the task, and such behavior soonner or later leads to failure. Perhaps, the initial success made them overconfident and that was the reason for their eventual fail. It is essential for every group, working towards a common goal that its group members analyze and discuss regularly their performance.When they lost for example, they never spoke as a group about the reason why they lost and what to do next time so that they win again. Instead, the team would split in small subgroups, which normally is an accepted fenomenon, but in the case only led to the further separation of the group.
Considering the given problem, the intervention strategy should take into account the need for comunication improvement. In order to achieve this, there are several possible solutions to this problem:
1. Organize an every day meeting around the fire, where every member is given the word
2. Imaginary games when every member tries to picture what would have happened if.., and on this way all group members are invited to express their opinion and point of view.
3. Feedback sessions where every member comments on a team mate’s performance in an objective way
4. Role play games to engage every member actively in sharing opinions and ideas of other members, in front on those members
5. Games aimed at increasing the member’s affection to the group and their active participation
6. Setting close goals involving the participation from all group members when the group will decide on a common goal and strategy how to achieve it
Choice of strategy:
In the choice of the best strategy, a few criteria need to be considered. First of all, the strategy suggested must not require changing the group’s membership, goals or the environment and constraints, set by the conditions of the show “Survivor”. Therefore, it is advisable to set on a simple, but effective strategy that aims to improve the communication between the team members in order to improve the group performance.
In this way of thinking, organizing meetings around the fire, where everyone is obliged to participate, might me a good start. Meetings could be organized on a regular basis, as well as after special tasks when the group had to work together as a team and demonstrate its team qualities. The responsibility of setting and guiding these meetings will be assigned to the group’s leader. During the meetings, it is important to maintain a nice and friendly tone and positive atmosphere. Their goal will be, through the means of good choice of topics, each member to be invited to share his/her vision on the functioning of the group so far, and give reccomendations about what/ or who needs to improve accoriding to them.
To avoid conflict, all members should agree beforehand that the tone will be objective and will not aim to hurt or abuse anyone, but solely to give a supportive feedback. The further aim will be improving the group efficiency and consequently – its performance.