Teamwork. It’s something we often deal with in our everyday lives. In communications, most work is done in teams. When planning an event, for example, you need different team members to set up the venue, invite people, write necessary materials, and execute the actual event.
Even working in a tedious retail job teamwork is important, with some people helping customers, others working the cash register, and even more receiving the product that goes out into the store.
In roller derby, it’s especially important. A jammer can’t score points without the help of her blockers, and conversely, blockers can’t stop a jammer unless they all work together. The whole team needs to help or stop the jammer, not just one person.
Teams need to work together to reach common goals.
Even outside of the actual sport, the roller derby community has always been so giving to me. I’m currently working on a massive school project where I’m filming staged roller derby scenarios. Each time I make these, I need at least 12 skating volunteers and one narrator. I have yet to have any problems finding volunteers.
While filming, all of the skaters have been so incredibly positive, they have fun, and they help me improve my initial plans. It makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside to think that I get to be part of such a wonderful community of positive and empowering women. They all try so hard and almost everyone gets along and works together when they need to.
But then there are other forms of teamwork in life that aren’t always so jolly.
I’m sure we’ve all had those groups. Sometimes there’s someone who slacks off and does nothing at all, sometimes there’s a group member who’s incredibly difficult to contact, sometimes there’s someone who just doesn’t care, sometimes personalities clash, and other times there’s someone who cares almost too much and takes control of absolutely everything and doesn’t take other group members’ opinions into account.
I’m still learning how to deal with these situations, but here are some things I’ve started to learn.
Stand up for yourself. Someone can only shoot down so many of your ideas. Stand for your ideas and contributions. I have such a difficult time doing this.
Always be in contact with your group. That’s the time when it’s easiest to get left out of decisions, and sometimes members of a group won’t care about your opinion later on.
Know when to pick your battles: Fighting for your opinions is good, but there comes a point when constantly fighting about something won’t help you move forward. Especially in something like roller derby where players need to make decisions so quickly.
Start searching for people you work best with. Some people’s personalities don’t match up, and that’s okay. When you have the chance to pick your groups, pick people you like to work with and who compliment our working style.