Negative Nancy

Photo by Steven Depolo

The dreaded group work. For many, working in a group causes more pain than pleasure. Personalities clash, fights to take lead on an assignment occur, or worse, you get stuck with a bunch of slackers and end up doing all the work on your own. I have been lucky enough to work with an amazingly motivated group this term for one of my classes. The communication has been great and no one has been left in the dust.

It is important to find a balance between expressing your thoughts and listening to the thoughts of your group mates. I read an article called How Creative Thinking Gets Killed by Team Members – 8 Fatal Blows that lists things you should NOT do while working with a group.

Here are a few things I’ve found make a successful group

1. Communication

Express your thoughts. Be vocal and give your opinion. Your group mates can then help tweak your ideas into perfection.

2. Listen

Always take your group members thoughts into consideration. Work together and don’t overpower a quieter group mate. Let every member contribute to the project at hand.

3. Be positive

Have a positive attitude when working in a group. It can be stressful trying to get a project done so keeping things light and positive. Working together and getting along will make life a lot easier and will contribute to a better outcome.

Working with a group can be beneficial. If you use your group members to your advantage it can be a way to bounce ideas off each other. Feedback always makes something better.

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2 thoughts on “Negative Nancy

  1. Great post, Olivia. You raise a great point about the importance of staying positive within a team. If it’s in your personality to do it, sharing a consistent positive message really helps a group. Having someone in the group who is celebrating progress, recognizing accomplishments, and putting mistakes (that might seem big but are hardly the end of the world) in the appropriate context.

    Another positive behavior that can help a team is forgiveness. People make mistakes or slack off at times. Not labeling someone for that shortcoming and being willing to move on holds the potential to turn a struggling team member into a stronger contributor in the future.

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