If you have nothing but positive views about group work, you just have to take a look at some of the funny memes about the topic to get an idea on how some people see it. In an ideal world, group work leads to great results as members all collaborate to achieve a common goal. But the ideal is often far from reality. It is common to hear stories of only one or handful of group members doing most of the work or people disappearing only to reappear once the project is done, and more. While group work can be frustrating at times, it can also be a platform for individuals to band together to accomplish great things. Here are some ways to survive and become effective at working with a group.
Match skills with roles or tasks. In a perfect world, you can always have the right people on board. But it does not always work that way. There are times when you do not get to choose who to work with. One of the simple but significant things you can in any group is to try to match the skills when assigning roles. This allows individuals in the group to do what they do best and contribute to the success of the project.
Communicate and share goals clearly. Be clear about the group’s goals. Communicate and share expectations – individually and collectively. Ask if everyone is clear about the roles and tasks. Take time to clarify anything that may not be too clear to some of the group’s members.
Encourage collaboration and teamwork. The key to any successful group project is teamwork. Everyone’s contribution matters. Create or design a work environment that encourages and promotes collaboration, trust, and open communication.
Promote a sense of ownership and accountability. Create an environment that promotes ownership and accountability. Be clear about each other’s responsibilities and the value of being accountable. This includes owning up to mistakes, if needed, instead of putting blame elsewhere.
Make room for feedback. Group work sometimes involves trial and error. People make mistakes and delays can happen among others. Do not let setbacks breed criticisms that may discourage individuals or the group. Share constructive feedback that focuses on improvement rather than emphasizing what went wrong.
Working with a group may be one of the easiest paths toward achieving workplace goals. However, it can also be challenging for those who have to work together as a team. Thankfully, there are ways to bring out the best out of individuals to create a successful and highly productive project team.