Meeting your new peers and teammates for the first time can be an anxious process. Especially when you are going to be spending the next three months in a room that is roughly 8ft by 10ft with three other people. To put this in perspective the average prison cell is 6ft by 8ft. Yet, there we were. New students ready to learn and put our ideas to the test.
We realized that we needed a great foundation for this to work. What our newly formed team tackled first in our 8ft by 10ft room was to turn it into something else. We turned it into a place that we are happy to be in. That small room became Ctrl+Cat Studio. It was no longer just some room down a hallway of doors, it was ours. This first step led our group into laying our foundation, and more importantly changing our mindset when we stepped through those doors.
We were fresh and had something to prove. Our team principle was open communication in a constructive manner. Still, no matter how constructive your critique, being in an 8ft by 10ft doesn’t give you a lot of space to cool off. Our team bond was challenged several times over creative views. But our group was able to come out of it stronger. We became stronger because we all had the same goals and expectations. Our room became livelier with music and YouTube videos that let us blow off steam. We were able to tackle issues head on and not be concerned if it would be taken personally.
Our group was hitting our stride when another team was canceled. Our team ended up taking on an additional person in the middle of development. We were faced with a classic mistake of adding a person late in development, especially when real estate was scarce. Our team had a foundation in place that allowed us to incorporate our new member quickly. However, as a team we didn’t want someone to just follow the lead but to have input in the game. Without getting buy-in from the new member it would have affected our principle of open communication. Our team decided to come up with new goals, expectations, and continued our open communication.
Shortly after, the music and videos started again and our team bond was stronger than before. As a team, we were lucky to get a new member that was able to go with the flow. It helped even more that our goals and expectations lined up so well. With our foundation established early we were able to develop our team on solid terms. Having the ability to express your concerns, thoughts, and feelings without worry made that 8ft by 10ft room seem not that small.