Hi Everyone!

As the term is coming to an end, I am beginning to work on some of my major assignments in each of my courses.  This year, I have noticed that I will be engaging in plenty of group work and the reason for this is that our professors know we will be constantly working with other in real-life career settings in the future.  So, why not start now?!

Over the years I have slowly figured out what works when collaborating with a team, and what doesn’t always work.  In this post I will share some of these tips with you 🙂

1. Set up a meeting time that works for all group members: Doing this ensures that everyone will stay on the same page, and nobody will be left out of any group decisions.  There aren’t many things more challenging than constantly having to catch up another group member or being the one catching up!  This is your first step to making sure that there will be time to discuss future work to be done.

2. Be prepared for your group meeting: Everyone understands that life gets very busy and it may be hard to keep up with group work from time to time, but this step is purely for your own comfort! I say this because it is a LOT less awkward arriving to a team meeting having read up on the project and what is to be completed, than to be completely in the dark the entire time.  This way, you will feel like you are valuable to the group and will have more information to contribute.

3. Be the group member you would want to work with: Lets face it, group work isn’t always everyone’s favourite thing to be a part of.  While sometimes it may be tough to be part of a team, remember that you play just as big a role as everyone else.  If you show negativity or seem to be taking too much control, this may discourage the others in your group.  Try to take everyone’s ideas into consideration and be open to ways of thinking that are different than your own. This will help to create a more positive environment and members will know that you are approachable.

4. Play up the strengths of your group: When dividing up the work among each member of the team, discuss the strengths that each of you bring to the project.  For example, if someone knows that they are strong in finding research and evidence to back up arguments, this would be a good job to give them.  Another person may be good in writing, so they can type up the final copy, and so on. This way, everyone can feel comfortable with what they are working on and the group as a whole will likely be a lot more confident.

5. Practice, practice, practice: If the project is a presentation, my last piece of advice is to rehearse plenty of times together! Even if you know you are good at presenting alone, this is very different from presenting with others up there with you! Keep practising until you can find a comfortable flow, and this will eliminate most of the pre-presentation nerves for you and your group!

All of these tips have helped me so far here at Brock, and hopefully they will help you too!

Until next time,

Emily 🙂

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