As you know, it’s been a while, I’ve been working a lot in groups, and it’s not without its problems. Who never wanted to shoot his comrade when he did not return his game on time? Who has never wanted to remove one of their group’s names from the final file? Who has never spent those days working alone when the group has six members…
The group work and these forced passages end up displeasing us in the long run. Nevertheless, even if it can be “a struggle” to manage a group, it must be admitted that it brings us a great deal. Learn to work as a group, to listen to each other, not to impose too much, and to understand the difficulties of each one. All these things that are ultimately important to the world of work.
Despite everything, even if from you to me, I don’t support group work and prefer to work alone, I must admit that in 4 years of studies where I have not stopped working in a group, I ended up discovering little tricks that make the pill go a little better. So I thought to share them with you to help you too, to learn how to work in groups.
1. Choosing the right people
And yes! The first and not the least concerns the very constitution of the group. Very often in our studies, teachers let us choose with whom to do our work. So, most of the time, students choose their friends because you have to admit it is a good way to spend time together.
However, if I told one piece of advice, it would be to RUN FROM YOUR FRIENDS. Why run from them? Because it can cause you a lot of problems in the long run. Friends are great for spending time and having fun, but when it comes to working, it’s much harder to get your friends to understand that you’re working.
So, to avoid any mishap and end up alone, choose people you don’t know or know very little about but know you will work with. Even if some disagreements will be present, it is better that it happens with people who are not part of your friends than the other way around.
2. Setting deadlines
The 2 point I would like to make is that I would advise you to start with your group. In other words, take a couple of hours and set a date every week you see each other. In this way, each week, you will be able to go back on what everyone did last week and to go back on possible misunderstandings.
Likewise, set your group renderings, that is, set together a date each week at which you will pool your renderings so that everyone can see the progress of others and thus know where the work is at. The more you try to set boundaries, the more organized the work will go.
3. Using collaborative applications
For this point, I advise you to use with your group a collaborative application or platform that will allow you to put all parts of group work in one place. You can use Google Drive, which is very convenient for group work, you organize it as a folder, and then you share it with your entire group so that they can see your progress. This method will help you, in particular, to take a look at the work of others and see what is going on, what is not going on, what is going on, or what is not.
Also, with these platforms, you can directly put comments on the created files and allow others in the group to see what is wrong with their part. This turns out to be handy and will save you a lot of time if it works well in your group.
4. Acting as adults
As a final point, I wanted to share with you this trick, which is not a trick. It’s more of a mindset and a question of maturity, but it will help you in many cases. Why do I say “act like adults”? Because for most of you, you are or are about to be, so you will encounter difficulties as you go through your journey and your life that will have to be overcome. Thus, it is not by pestilence against others or by doing only as you see fit that things will move forward.
Sometimes we need to be able to challenge ourselves and listen to what others have to say. Admittedly, it’s hard to take it when you’re not used to it, but you have to recognize your mistakes. Very often, group work does not work for that very reason, because people have not been able to listen to each other and communicate before things get out of hand. But it is essential when you work in groups to say what you feel to move things forward.
I am not telling you to criticize the slightest actions of your colleagues/comrades but to say if something does not suit you. This will save you many frustrations and allow others to learn from their mistakes. As a result, once you understand that and apply it, you will find that even though group work is severe, you will eventually succeed.
That is why, for this day to come, I would like to pass on to you this little diploma that will bring you a smile.