Working in groups and teams
A guide to group work
Why work in a group or a team?
Develops excellent graduate attributes:
- decision making and problem solving skills
- project management and organisational skills
- communication and conflict resolution skills.
1. Build a strong foundation
- Get to know your team.
- Discuss strengths and weaknesses.
- Meet early and set rules.
- Agree on the aims, scope, and quality of the project.
2. Get organised
- Decide on a method of group communication.
- Agree on who will do what.
- Set early deadlines.
- Plan on how to present the project as a unified work.
3. Hold productive meetings
- Make sure everyone knows the goal of the meeting, and what to bring.
- Have a leader to keep the meeting on track.
- Have a note-taker to record decisions.
4. Maintain relationships
- Resolve problems as a group. Don't exclude others.
- Address concerns as soon as they appear.
- Renegotiate as needed.
- Understand the other person's point of view.
- helping the group work efficiently,
- monitoring progress,
- knowing when a team member needs help, and
- keeping the group motivated.
Does NOT mean
- doing all the work,
- making decisions and telling others what to do, or
- being solely responsible for the success or failure of the project.
Everyone is responsible for the success or failure of the project, not individual team members.
- You can't work as quickly in a group as you can by yourself.
- Group/team members may have conflicting ideas or viewpoints.
- Group/team members may not contribute equally.
For successful group and team work
- Be patient, demonstrate good communication skills and be committed.
- Focus on the process rather than just the end product.