The school year is about to end and this can only mean a couple of things – end of term reports and group assignments! Working in groups is a way to incorporate social dynamics with actual school work. Since you’re forced to work with different personalities, tendencies, and opinions, group works are definitely not a walk in the park but it develops your patience and perseverance. It might even get a bit confusing and awkward especially if you’re grouped with classmates you’re not particularly close with. Here are the most common types of group mates you might encounter and how you can better deal with them.
The Dean’s Lister
The Dean’s Listers are usually the first to say something in a group activity. They are focused and exude hard-core initiative. You can easily spot them by looking for a planner with detailed notes on deadlines and homework. If you have one of them in your group, rest assured that the project would be a success! A word of warning though– even if they do most of the work, that is not an excuse for you to slack off and be the group parasite.
Speaking of parasites, leeches are the ones with the least amount of contribution in the group. As the name suggests, they take advantage of the output that the group came up with. It’s very easy to spot a leech. Usually, The Leech is the extremely friendly one who volunteers to do simple tasks like creating a Google doc or starting a group chat. You can try to motivate them into helping out by literally being with them as you do the work, but when all else fails, you can always assign them the printing job.
The Mr./Ms. Congeniality
We all have different talents and skills. Being friendly and at ease in front of a crowd are the special talents of Mr./Ms. Congeniality. They don’t particularly like sitting in front of a laptop and spending the day researching, encoding, or collating references. They are very outgoing and prefer activities that involve a lot of talking like focus group discussions and social experiments. They might not be your group’s best choice when writing the report, but you can definitely depend on them when it comes to presenting the final output.
Their A+ ghosting skills would make you wonder if they are even enrolled in your class. From the time the report was assigned, the groups were selected, and down to the submission of the output, you will have a hard time finding The Ghosts as they are better than your ex at avoiding commitment. If you’ve exhausted everything and they’re still no-shows, make sure to inform your teacher to avoid undeserved credit.
You can always count on The Motivators for innovative feedback for they are the self-proclaimed fresh idea factory. When everyone feels stuck or uninspired, they are the voices of reason who give speeches on how the group can proceed. They are consistently present in group meetings, uplift group morale by cracking jokes, and 100% participative.
We all want to work with people who bring out the best in us. Truth be told, you might not end up with the best group mates in the world but working together despite your personality differences would definitely teach you a thing or two about teamwork. Who knows? Your seemingly mismatched group might end up complementing each other, resulting in that elusive A+.
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