Let’s face it.
Next to that calculus exam, the next hardest thing to figure out as a student is group work—your groupmates, to be exact. #realtalk
Every student knows what a group work is, more so the effort required to actually make the group work. Tbh, just finding a common time in everyone’s perpetually busy schedule already takes so much effort in itself. What more the energy (and patience) you need to work with people with all sorts of personality?
Before you consider doing the ‘group work’ all by yourself, here are 5 Cs you guys can do to make your group work better together:
1. Come to meetings.
This might not come across as important to some people nowadays, especially in a time where virtual chat rooms and online platforms make group works more convenient, but there’s so much you can do when you agree to come in person and sit down to talk about what needs to be done.
Not only are there more meaningful conversations happening, being physically (and mentally) present also means there’s less room for miscommunication. So as menial as it may seem, come to that group meeting you’ve been ghosting for weeks. You can thank us later!
2. Clarify points.
When it comes to collaborative work, there’s no such thing as overcommunication. When you meet as a group, maximize the time to discuss points and raise questions. Identify too where you are likely to have problems as a group.
When it’s clear what your challenges are, it becomes so much easier to brainstorm the best ways to solve it. After all, it’s hard to fix something when you don’t know what’s broken! It’s basically the same thing with your group work. Do you know why your groupmate isn’t replying to your texts? Why they can’t always attend group meetings? Clarify.
3. Create an open, sharing environment.
Good communication plays a big role in group works. It paves the way for a conducive and engaging environment. Ever had those meetings where everyone just seemed so active and participative? Those are meetings where great ideas are born (read: good grades too) while everyone feels heard and acknowledged.
When people say, “two heads are better than one,” it means all opinions matter, all insights are valuable. Likewise, do you make sure everyone in the team gets the chance to speak their mind? Do they feel comfortable pitching in their ideas? Because they should.
4. Compromise to the best setup.
When all’s said and done, what happens after is all that matters: compromise. Usually, this is where most groups fail to work together. Listening to every comment and suggestion from every person in the room is good. We got that one right! But making sense of all those insights to meet your group’s target is better.
Which idea seems perfect for the task? What compromises are necessary to make things work for the group? Sometimes, the best setup may not be the best setup for one but the best setup for all. Go with the latter!
5. Change accordingly.
Like they always say, planning is already half the battle won. So congrats, champ! You’re almost there. However, while the first four steps are great, the fifth one is the rest of the battle that needs to be fought for until the end. Push your groupmates a lil harder! Let your compromises be fulfilled like what you agreed on in one of your meetings. Nothing beats deadliest deadlines than a group committed to working together despite and in spite of their differences. Don’t you just love groupmates like these?
Where others see easy, people working in a group see the difficulties made look easy by people who persevered to make the group work. Come to meetings. Clarify points. Create a sharing environment. Compromise. Change for the better. Hopefully, that’s how you make your group work.