Bentley is notorious for its group projects. In almost every class, there is some sort of collaborative assignment. While this is great to prepare us for the workplace when we have to work with people we don’t like, this doesn’t change the fact that they suck. Sometimes you can luck out with a good group but if you’re like me, you’ve definitely had your fair share of bad groups. Here are some ways to deal until the due date.
- Step into the ‘group leader’ role. If no one else is taking initiative, don’t be afraid to do so yourself! And this guarantees that you’ll be getting glowing peer evaluations from the rest of your group.
- Try establishing expectations and designated roles. Sometimes people need to be told what to do and by setting guidelines, people can have a clear idea of what is expected of them.
- Try connecting with someone in the group who shares your same work ethic. Sometimes, only a couple group members aren’t pulling their weight. Connecting with cooperative group members can help you air out your frustrations, bond over a mutual enemy, and come up with a better plan together!
- Delegate work and review tasks before ending every group meeting. Clearly deciding who’s doing what and making sure everyone knows who’s doing what can be the key to having a functioning group. Never assume everyone knows what needs to be done – there’s no harm in confirming.
- Touch base with your professor. Coming clean to your professor and being transparent about the situation can help alleviate serious group situations. Sometimes things get out of hand and you need someone else to step in to mediate the situation – don’t blame yourself for things that are out of your control!
At the end of the day, group work is a necessary evil in life, and learning how to work with those you don’t get along with can be an incredible soft skill in the workplace. Just remember that in your personal life, you can hangout with those you love being around while in the classroom or workplace, you sometimes have to tolerate people you don’t like. Just remember that you never know what someone is going through – people can have a million personal reasons stopping them from being a good group member. Live with empathy and treat others (especially your group members!) with kindness.