Out them ‘avoiding’ each other on set

Out of the whole Final Year Project Experience, I’ve come out with 3 key personal learning points. To start off, it is about communication – communication with the team, clients and also our supervisors.  Communication is truly the fundamental basis of all working projects. This project taught me the utmost importance of it and how miscommunication can be bane of every group’s existence. Just because we all are communication students, does not necessary mean we are experts of it in our practical daily life. I think that communications comes in two types – one is in a manner of communicating your ideas rationally which is verbal. Another is, about sensing the emotional climate of any discussion which would be non-verbal. For the latter, an example of it was during our second day production shoot, two of my teammates had a small disagreement which led to them ‘avoiding’ each other on set as they are doing their roles. However, I was not present during that time of which it happened, as I went to get lunch food for the talents and the production crew. I noticed concealed tension when I returned and paid close attention to their  body movements that were sending a storm of signals as they stayed silent. When I gathered them to communicate about it, I realised that I had misread it. I got to know from their perspectives that it takes time for them to process and self reflect what they had done in silence, in hopes to think before they speak as to not lash out especially in moments under pressure. Because of that, they also found out that I was someone that needed to tackle that issue at hand as with them being silent, it did not want it to be uncomfortable for the rest of the production crew. It was that moment of realisation that nobody is right or wrong. All of us had different perspectives and we have to work together and communicate to better understand how we function individually and as a team. Then, the team can get going again. We came out of that conversation with a few solutions. Since I understand what their long silences were, I would give  a short time to reflect and think before focusing on the work on hand. In a sense, it was quite revelatory that I learnt how to manage working style and conflict, simply just from different ways of working the issue out and having communication. Through this project, I also learnt that it takes time to understand how a teammate works. You can never fully understand someone by a certain time. The process has to be like a continuous growth, almost like a relationship where constant understanding and adjusting to each other’s differences . The foundation of a working group is communication. As humans, we are interdependent and must learn to work together. Second to this would be having faith in the people you work with. I’ve come to realise how essential trust is with your own teammates,  with your own friends. Trust has made me realise that I did underestimated some of friend’s skills and capabilities, but coming out of this Final Year project, it has not only taught me the essence of hope but I have also come to respect my friend’s skills and capabilities a lot. I learn to trust and welcome critiques and comments as there are always many perspectives to a matter. It may not always be positive, but the underlying message of it is that with listening, I found out how critical it is to always hear out other people’s ideas and to give it a good thought, no matter how contrary as it is to mine. There are many a time our ideas proposed clashed with one another and sometimes, it goes against the grain of what I would usually do or think about,  but because of scenarios like this. I’ve come to value that. That is what a team is for – it was tough at the beginning because of the difference in ideas, in personalities and in thinking. Nevertheless, I deem that it is how you set aside these differences and see it in another light, and try to work it out that’s meaningful. One of the scenarios was in the initial planning stage of forming the outline of the storylines for the Good Death project but I thank them for that as it has allowed fine tuning of our ideas collectively and ensuring a thorough thought out plan. At first, I thought that it was absurd, because we were clashing a lot in terms of ideas. This is one of those moments when I had to take a step back. It was time that I listen to what others have to say, go home and give a good thought about it. The next day/ week, we could congregate once again and talk about it. Lastly, it was about being brave when faced with uncertainty. I’ve learnt to take risks, anticipate setbacks and also face challenges. At times during meetings or on the production set, I would get frustrated and mentally exhausted because of doubts when things are not going in the way. FYP was one of the toughest things I did in Republic Polytechnic, it is one of those hurdles that I came out of, feeling like a champion after the big race. Tackling Good Death was tough, but I didn’t come out feeling the same way as when I’ve first started. Final Year Project is a whole rollercoaster ride – It has made me less apprehensive of what’s out there. Philosophically and pragmatically.