Team:TUDelft/Team Bonding


Team Bonding

In times of COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we started to get to know each other via Zoom; celebrating Dutch King’s day together, watching movies online together and ordering food for each other.

Also in real life!

Once Dutch regulations permitted us to meet, we had a very enjoyable get together in person, yet slightly awkward because we all rediscovered how to be social in real life.

Our favorite activity: all-you-can-eat restaurants

The only way to make meetings in person less awkward was to meet more regularly; so we looked for new activities we could do with all of us. Our favorite activity is undoubtedly eating. We are big fans of the “all you can eat” experience! It was fun challenge; who can eat the most and still walk out of the restaurant without any regrets. So far we have enjoyed spareribs, pancakes, wok and sushi. For us, the stakes are high. For every prize we may win during the Giant Jamboree, we will have to plan an “all you can eat” night.

Cake points?!

And more on eating; to keep each other in check, we give out cake points to each other. If someone was a few minutes late for a meeting, or did not meet a soft deadline, a cake point is handed out. If a team member has earned five cake points, he or she must bake a cake for the rest of the team. Towards the end of the project we started looking for excuses to give one another cake points because, as it turns out, we have good bakers in our team and a sweet tooth!

Bonding with our supervisors

Our supervisors are also invited to our cake-events. We even gave them some locusts to eat during a social drink.

Plenty of fun

Our team leader Nick has taken it upon himself to plan a bi-weekly fun activity. We either have drinks with supervisors after working hours, have an “all you can eat” night or go to the beach. We have also spontaneously gone for ice creams during lunch throughout the summer to cool our heads and take a well deserved break.

A little bit more serious

Besides all the fun, we have taken team building seriously from the beginning of our iGEM experience. We are a diverse team with individual values, priorities and ways of working. Throughout the project we have endeavoured to create an environment where all team members have a feeling of belonging, and our values are accommodated to the best of our abilities. To do this, we actively sought out coaching from Marijke Luttik, founder of “Het Modellenbureau,” who offers personalised coaching and training for large, academic groups. We followed three coaching sessions to better understand each other and learn to effectively communicate to ensure everyone can thrive in their own way. The main take-home message from these training sessions was that rough patches are resolved through clear communication, by first acknowledging the difference in values for each person, thus understanding why certain actions are taken. Miscommunications are common, and friction between team members is bound to occur within a large group of people working together for an extended period of time. We have done our best to understand each other on a deeper level to overcome the inevitable hurdles.