One of the questions is Independent Work vs. Group Assignments. In a room of 40 people only 2 people preferred Group Assignments. The group was all women, relatively varied in age but probably more under 40 than not, and came from different areas of the organization (I spoke with almost ever person before the program). Assuming that one of the reasons people join organizations is to socialize with other people, I will admit, I was expecting a majority to prefer group assignments. Boy was I wrong.
So what is behind this overwhelming response? The organization has over 2000 members so this is not the result of one leader's actions like you sometimes see when working with a small in-tact team. The members were on committees that cover the spectrum from individual responsibility to working with hundreds of volunteers on one activity so it wasn't a self-selection issue. And I have to admit, the hands went up really quickly on this one so each person was very clear on her own preference.
I don't know the "why" answer, but I do know that from now on this question is on the top of my list when working with volunteers, clients, teammates, or new employees. This is classic low-hanging fruit. If a person prefers Independent Work and you consistently give them assignments to work together with three other people to ask another person a question, you are going to lose them. If a person prefers Group Assignments and you consistently give them assignments to research something on the internet and report findings back at the next meeting, you are going to lose them. And, as I learned once again, you cannot assume you know what people want (or how a group will respond to that type of a question), you must ask them.
Do you have a preference for Independent Work or Group Assignments? Does it change based on whether you are at work, at home, or volunteering? What do you do to cater to the preferences of those you work with?