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WORKING METHODS You will encounter group work not only at school, but even more often in your later professional life. Whether in specific projects or in everyday work in general, the principle is always the same: Several people work together towards a common goal. However, it is not easy to make this work and requires some rules.
I have never liked group work. They meant stress, trouble and above all a lot of work for me. Often the other group members did not have the same attitude towards work as I did, which usually resulted in an unequal distribution of tasks.
But somehow I have always managed to complete the task sufficiently well. In the following you will find the 5 best tips on how to master your next group work with fun and above all with success.
1 Make a plan
“Just go for it” has never been a good plan. In order for you to work as efficiently and purposefully as possible, you must set yourself a goal. This is the result that should be achieved at the end of your group work, including the time when it has to be finished (this can be the deadline, but a small time buffer has never hurt). To achieve this goal, a work plan is needed. You will define it (as far as possible) at the beginning of the group phase.
2 Appoint a group leader
In some projects, a group leader must be defined automatically. But even without the concrete request it is often worthwhile to appoint such a person. It has to be someone who has both the goal and the group members firmly in mind and who is willing to push them once in a while, should a general unmotivation have taken over the group members. A good group leader is not a sole determinant, but rather a supervisor who also decides together with the others.
3 Division of tasks
For the right division of tasks you should know the strengths of all group members. One of them is not so good at history, but is good with computers? Use that! Who says that everyone has to work out their own parts of the speech if someone is better than everyone else in artistic creation? Either way, everyone should have about the same amount of work. Don’t forget to set intermediate goals or plan to meet from time to time to discuss what you have already achieved or where there are problems. The earlier you become aware of current developments in the work phase, the faster you can adapt your tasks to them.
Nothing works without communication, otherwise the group work would not have earned its name. Interaction is the magic word here. I don’t mean “You do this and I’ll do that and then we’ll see what comes out.” As mentioned above, you always have to share suggestions, questions, etc. with the group immediately, for example through a WhatsApp group. Of course, you can’t always choose your partners and may not have the best connections to each other. But you don’t have to be friends to work together effectively. Compromises can always be found and other disputes can be settled later.
5 Do something unique!
Anyone can create key points and a poster. If you want to stand out with your project, you have to come up with something special. This is where the strengths of individual group members come into play. Create a homepage instead of a simple flyer, bring in your own interesting knowledge, etc. (Attention: Pay attention to the task!). This is exactly what ultimately makes a group work: that you don’t always just follow the familiar path, but that the group constellation opens up new paths and something special is created.
One more tip: You have to prepare a lecture? Everything on this topic can be found in my articles The perfect lecture Part I and Part II. For even more information on group work click here.