Wednesday, June 22, 2011

C.Y.A (Cover Your A Suga Suga)...the unspoken rule of Teamwork

In my job I have to rely on other's for help as teamwork is the key to success. Well I have come to realize that teamwork is not viewed the same. I recall that coaches yelling during PE when I was in school. "you have to work as a team, or you'll fail. There is no I in team."  and I took this to heart, putting my all in the group activities and functions often sacrificing my self for the team. Then I learned after several times being thrown under the bus, that CYA is part of the teamwork that I wasn't told about.

Now when your rearing your children, you want them to learn to work well together. From setting up play dates, watching them play, forcing them to share their things, and helping them understand the importance of following through on their group projects. But we don't teach them to CYA. Why?  I have determined that because we want our children to believe that people are naturally good and would not do things to harm them when they agree to help them complete a project.  But what we fail to realize that what we are doing is handicapping our children and allowing them to be taken advantage of.

 Is it wrong for individuals to protect themselves from potential career harm? How would you teach your children to CYA?  


dianne.self said...

I enjoy blogs about parenting. I'm visiting from my favorite, parentingbydummies. She is anything but a dummy and writes a satirical look at parenting. You have to laugh at yourself as a parent occasionally, your kids sure do. I find your blog very interesting and will be back.

Karen Greenberg said...

Wow, you make a great point here! Unfortunately I DID learn CYA as a child. How? In group projects I was always the one to do the majority of the work. I was the one driven to get an A on the project, so I learned early on that the way to do that was to take over the workload the others were leaving to chance. That stunk, but I think it prepared me for life as an adult. As a teacher now, I can't STAND assigning projects that are given one grade for the whole group. I had to do this a couple of times during student teaching, and I felt terrible for the students I knew were just like me. How are we to be expected to force a teammate to carry his or her own weight?

I think in small ways I do teach my children to CYA. I talk to them about how, ultimately, the choices they make are their own, even if they are working together. My girls share a bedroom. When I tell them they need to clean it before they do anything else, inevitably one works harder than the other. They scream and yell about this and want me to make it fair, but I don't. I simply say, "If you want to go outside to play, you will get it done. Find a way." I know that sounds cruel, but life isn't fair, and your teammates are definitely not always going to be on your time schedule. Sometimes you will pick up their slack. Hopefully, sometimes they will pick up your slack as well.

I really don't know of other ways to teach this concept, other than to constantly talk to the children about the realities of life. I don't want to be cynical, but it is very true that they will need to know, as they become adults especially, that in life we sometimes need to make sure we are covered. GREAT post, James! I love the way you make us think with your blog.

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