TEDxSJU and what I learned…

Aside from the project where I learned that Starbucks employees are surprisingly helpful and tolerant, and that Dunkin Donuts employees will come just short of straight up murdering your ass if you cross them, I can’t say a project has caused me to actually learn something about the world the way this project did. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I loathe group projects. Really. I hate, hate, hate them with the white hot rage of a thousand suns. I often find that most of my group members are lazy/hard to work with because they aren’t willing to reschedule themselves/just flat out incompetent, and that I have to be the one to ensure that the project turns out at least reasonably well. Also, I find that group projects have no real life value, since they don’t really teach you how to work effectively with others most of the time, since most of the time your group members are not only not willing to work with you, they just don’t know what they’re doing, period. However. This project was much, much different. Not only were all of my group members dedicated, energetic, and hardworking, but the project itself actually did teach me something about dealing with people.

Aside from working with my wonderful group members, the TEDxSJU project (and the other projects surrounding it) taught me a very valuable, if unfortunate lesson about working with people in a consultative capacity: it’s largely dependent on the dedication of the client and their willingness to work with the consultant, will be terribly non-starting otherwise. Simply getting reports over and over again about how we still needed more funding and couldn’t drum up any significant sponsorship for the event was almost disheartening enough to overshadow the good things like gaining the cooperation of so many wonderful thinkers and activists. Of course the nature of the other projects taught me the part about the stagnation that occurs if clients aren’t willing to work with their consultants. The lack of cooperation and willingness to adapt to social media was both astounding and disappointing, and I got the general feeling that most of them didn’t take our organization very seriously. Overall though, I think it was a very positive, if harsh experience.

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~ by frankmc5 on November 30, 2010.

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