Group projects can be a thing of nightmares. From the next level type A personality who takes control (when no one asked them to), to the slacker who rides off of everyone else’s drive, there are always a few too many clashing personalities involved for the process to be anything but frustrating.
The thing is, group projects don’t always have to be bad. Okay, they are bad, but there are definitely things you can do to make the process less painful. Group projects will rarely be perfect, but these tips will help you navigate them a lot easier to minimize the stress involved:
1: Divide Tasks
Give everyone a fair role to play in your group assignment. These tasks should be equal, meaning if one person is taking on one big task, someone else should be taking on two or three smaller tasks. Divide them out fairly
2: Work Independently
A good thing about dividing tasks is that you can work on them by yourself at your own pace. Everyone has different styles of working, which is why it’s important to let everyone do their own thing the way they work best.
After everyone gets the chance to do their work independently, it’s important to come together to see how far along everyone is and start working on piecing everyone’s work together so that it’s seamless.
You want to work by yourself at times, but you also want it to show that the end product was a group effort
4: Group Chat
Having a group chat is an easier way to express an idea or coordinate something with your entire group. Everyone needs to be on the same page so a group chat helps make it easier to contact everyone at once.
Plus, this avoids the confusion of agreeing upon something with half of your group and the other half being left out and without a clue.
5: Hang Out
When you only come together for work it can be tedious and tense — especially because everyone else has other work on their plate.
Schedule a quick bite, grab drinks, or coordinate a night at a board games bar to get to know one another! This helps break the ice if this is a group you’ll be tethered to for an entire semester.
6: Be Assertive
This is your grade and it’s important that you speak your mind. If someone isn’t doing any work you address them and let them know that you’d appreciate if they’d complete a task to contribute to the project — and if they don’t, don't hesitate to let the teacher know.
If this group member is a friend of yours, that may be a stickier situation — but don’t go on without saying anything. If they are like this in a group with you, imagine what they are like with other students they don’t know! Chances are, they don’t even realize how impossible they are being.
7: If Your Group Project Experience Sucks, It’s Ok
Honestly, group projects suck and that’s universally accepted. No matter how good your group is or how well you work together, when you put a group of stressed young adults together something will always go wrong — and that’s ok.
The important thing to remember is that everyone experiences a group project from hell and that you won’t be the last. Accept it, move on, and do your work. You can’t expect much more from yourself.