It happens to all of us at least once a semester. We're given the news that we will have to participate in that dreaded group project that has the potential to end in a blood bath after becoming a one-man show.
It never fails that by the end of the project, all of the work is pushed on one individual, or worse, you'll get stuck with that one person who disregards everything that anyone has to say and they try to take over the whole project themselves. No matter how many texts you send or calls you make, you will be ignored. Trying to line up everyone's schedule is suddenly an Olympic sport, and it's even worse when they say the group project has ASSIGNED team members.
After spending the past couple of weeks with my unlikely team, I've found that group projects aren't as bad as I have always made them out to be, and I have begun to form friendships with people that I probably never would have interacted with otherwise. So, now not only have I made more friends (which I always love), but I have made some personal connections that may come in handy sometime in the future.
Group projects are essential because they help one build good communication skills.
I don't think that a lot of people take into consideration the fact that proper communication is crucial in order to succeed in not just a professional setting, but in all aspects of life. Miscommunication is an easy thing to do and without the practice, we are more likely to slip up when it really counts.
I cannot stress this enough--communication is THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT when working together in groups; and lucky for me, my team has been better than I could have asked for at communicating with one another these past couple of weeks.
Another plus of a group project: instead of all the work being put on one person, it is typically divided equally amongst three or more people.
And who can disagree with or turn down a lighter workload? Literally nobody. Of course, you are bound to get that one person in your group who is about as reliable as the weatherman, but that's when you will come to realize the importance of ground rules. They are a must and they should always be set prior to beginning your project. Sure, there will always be a certain someone that wants to "test the waters," so to speak, but if you have reasonable punishments to go along with a broken rule then the likelihood of someone making a mistake is slim to none.
Our project is not yet over, so let's hope that I didn't jinx myself, but with the nearing of the semester (and the awakening of group project season), I figured I would share my thoughts on what I've found to be the key to successful group collaboration.